There would be no singing of the Yale fight song for the men’s lacrosse team on Senior Day.

An offensive collapse by the Bulldogs (4-9, 0-6 Ivy) turned what started out as a close Ivy League contest into a disappointing 9-5 loss to Harvard (6-7, 1-4) on Saturday afternoon at Reese Stadium.

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The Elis were hoping to carry the momentum from last weekend’s 10-2 win over Air Force, against the Crimson.

After the victory against the Falcons, attackman Michael Karwoski ‘09 said that the Bulldogs were coming off with more confidence going into the Harvard game.

The Elis led by two goals twice in the first half, at 2-0 and 5-3, but were shut out by the Crimson throughout the second half. After a promising performance before halftime, Yale was unable to get too many good looks on goal. The Eli offense never had much room to shoot, as Cantab defenders constantly crowded the attackmen. Despite getting off ten combined shots in the third and fourth quarters, the Bulldogs only forced Harvard goalie Evan O’Donnell into two saves, both in the third quarter.

Tyler Casertano ’08, Jerome Arnold ’10, Jonathan Koenig ’08, Bryce Pyle ’09 and Brendan Gibson ’10 provided the first half offense for the Elis with a goal each, while Casertano also added the team’s only two assists.

The loss came on Yale’s Senior Day and left the squad winless this year in Ivy League competition. Despite the intense game, captain and defenseman Pat Grimm ’08 acknowledged the disappointment of the loss coming on such a special day.

“Yesterday was an emotionally charged day that resulted in a hard-fought game,” he said. “The outcome was certainly hard to swallow, especially for all the seniors.”

The Elis got off to a promising start, fueled by the pre-game recognition of the squad’s 10 seniors. After Greg DuBoff ’08 controlled the opening faceoff, Casertano got the Bulldogs on the score sheet first, scoring on a close-range shot off a teammate’s missed attempt less than two minutes into the game.

Arnold doubled the home team’s lead three minutes later. After a quick succession of passes, Arnold slotted home a mid-range attempt off a Casertano assist. His euphoric reaction following the goal showed just how much the team wanted to win the rivalry game. The Crimson halted the Bulldogs’ momentum by answering back with two goals of their own with 6:27 and 2:01 left in the first, respectively. After Koenig had regained the lead for the Elis with 18 seconds left in the first quarter, the teams scored two each in the second period, giving Yale a 5-4 edge going into halftime.

Harvard took advantage of Yale’s mistakes in the third quarter to score two goals and get their first lead of the game. The Cantab’s first strike came with 10:46 left, after one of Yale’s 22 turnovers. The go-ahead goal with 9:50 remaining in the period was an attempted save by goalie George Carafides ’08 that barely trickled into the net after he bobbled the shot. The Crimson added to their lead with three more goals in the final quarter. Still, the Bulldogs were only down two with over eight minutes left, and some hope remained. But they were unable to find the net, and the Crimson added two more scores in the final minutes to make what had been a close contest seem like a comfortable victory.

The Elis close out their season as they travel to the University of Maryland next Saturday.