A team’s first loss is always tough. The way it happened for the Bulldogs, however, made it all the worse.

Trailing 14-6 with 1:35 left in the fourth quarter after posting only two field goals on the day, the Elis marched down the field to score a touchdown as time expired. With the crowd at the Yale Bowl on its feet, overtime was within reach. But quarterback Patrick Witt’s ’12 pass on the two-point conversion attempt was batted down by the Cornell defense, and Yale lost, 14-12.

Throughout the game, Yale (1-1, 0-1 Ivy) failed to take advantage of a strong performance by its defense as Cornell (2-0, 1-0) limited the Bulldogs to just two field goals for most of the game.

Cornell led throughout the afternoon, as the team scored a touchdown on its first offensive play — a trick double pass play to wide-open senior receiver Bryan Walters, who ran untouched 81 yards to the end zone.

The rest of the game was a defensive struggle: Cornell punted 15 times, Yale 12 times.

Among the few bright spots for the Elis was a 54-yard field goal by Tom Mante ’10, which tied the Yale and Ivy Legaue record and sent the Bulldogs into halftime trailing only 7-6.

Witt, who transferred from Nebraska, struggled in his second career collegiate start. The sophomore quarterback completed 21 of 54 passes for 180 yards but threw three interceptions and no touchdowns.