It was an all-too-familiar story for the men’s lacrosse team this weekend in Cambridge, Mass.

The Bulldogs (5-7, 1-5 Ivy) hung tough with No. 17 Harvard for much of the game Saturday but ultimately fell by a score of 13-8 at Harvard Stadium.

The team suffered from the same problems that have been plaguing it all season, head coach Andy Shay said.

“We had a tough time with ground balls, we had a tough time clearing the ball,” Shay said.

Middies Gregory Mahony ’12 and Michael Karwoski ’09, and forward Matt Gibson ’10 each scored two goals, while Johnathan Falcone ’11 made 12 saves in net.

Attackers Brendan Gibson ’10 and Brian Douglass ’11 also scored for the away squad.

The Crimson (7-5, 2-3) were led on offense by freshman attacker Jeff Cohen, who tallied five goals on the day. Cohen is fourth in the Ivy League with 31 goals scored on the season.

The Elis had a 2-1 lead heading into the second quarter, but a three-goal run early in the period put the Crimson back in control. This would be the first of three such runs for the Cantabs over the course of the game. The teams traded goals with around seven minutes left, and a goal from Matt Gibson with only a second remaining in the quarter cut the home team’s lead to 5-4 heading into halftime.

Harvard padded its lead with three scores to begin the second half, but the Bulldogs scored three of the next four over the course of the third period to make it a 9-7 game heading into the final quarter.

Yet this was as close as the away squad would get, as the Cantabs scored four of the game’s final five goals to notch their second conference win of the season.

Despite the difference in score, the Elis were by no means overwhelmed by Harvard on the stat sheet. Yale was outshot by Harvard 40-37 and picked up 19 ground balls, compared to the Crimson’s 25. They committed two more turnovers than Harvard’s 17, and converted on a slightly lower percent of their clearance attempts than their opponents.

“We made some mistakes at key points in the game, and they capitalized on them,” captain and defenseman Matt Aronson ’09 said. “A lot of little things went wrong.”

The Elis did, however, struggle to maintain possession of the ball, due in large part to their face-off struggles. Middie Kevin Discepolo ’09, one of the nation’s top face-off men, converted only eight of 23 draws, while Harvard’s Andrew Parchman converted 14 of 22 attempts.

Middie Nick Tsouris ’10 also noted a decrease in his team’s intensity as the game progressed, citing the heat in Cambridge as a possible explanation.

The Bulldogs end what Shay called the toughest schedule Yale has ever played on Saturday when they welcome No. 11 Maryland to Reese Stadium for a 1 p.m. contest.