For the second straight conference game, the men’s lacrosse team found itself hanging with a top-ranked Ivy foe late in the game at Reese Stadium. Yet in a similar scenario to Yale’s March 21 loss against No 3. Cornell, the Bulldogs (4-4, 1-2 Ivy) — who trailed 7-6 heading into the fourth quarter — ultimately fell to No. 5 Princeton on Saturday afternoon, losing 11-7.
Attackmen Brendan Gibson ’10, Matt Gibson ’12 and Brian Douglass ’12 and middies Matt Fuchs ’10, Greg Mahony ’12, Colin Still ’12 and Michael Pratt ’12 each scored once for the Bulldogs, while attacker Michael Karwoski ’09 added two assists.
Johnathan Falcone ’11 made 14 saves in net on the day, including seven in the third quarter, to keep the Elis in the game.
“We were really disappointed because we expected them, for being a No. 5 team, to be a lot better than they actually turned out to be,” middie Nick Tsouris ’10 said.
With the score tied 6-6, Princeton middie Rich Sgalardi scored with 27 seconds left in the third quarter to give his team a slight edge heading into the final period.
The Tigers (7-1, 1-0 Ivy) scored two goals within a span of just 35 seconds early in the period to take a commanding 9-6 lead. Princeton ended up scoring four of the five fourth-quarter goals to make what had been a close, hard-fought contest slip away from the Bulldogs.
“It’s a game of runs, and at the end they got a few more,” head coach Andy Shay said. “I don’t know if we were out of gas in the fourth, but they’re definitely a lot deeper, they always have been, and that’s just the way it goes.”
The Tigers jumped out to a 3-1 lead midway through the first period, but a string of three straight goals gave the boisterous home crowd plenty to cheer about heading into the second period on Alumni Day.
Princeton responded with two straight goals, but Still evened things up with a nice individual effort with 36 seconds left in the half. Still came out from behind the net on the right side of the field and turned in one fluid motion to bounce a shot past Princeton goalie Tyler Fiorito for his third goal of the year.
The teams traded goals midway through the third period before Sgalardi put his team in front for good.
For most of the game, the Bulldogs stuck with a potent Princeton offense, which came into the contest averaging over 12 goals per game. But in the end, Yale could not keep up when it mattered most.
“We were making a lot of good plays where we were getting the ball in close with quick shots and high scoring chances [early in the game],” Karwoski said. “We were moving the ball very well, but towards the end, it just felt like we didn’t get as many opportunities, and even when we did get the opportunities a few times, we didn’t finish them.”
The Bulldogs travel to Providence on Saturday for another tough test. They will square off against No. 13 Brown at 3 p.m.
“The guys played tough and went toe-to-toe, but unfortunately, it’s the last round that matters,” Shay added. “I’m certainly proud of the guys, and I think we’re getting better.”