Twelve straight goals from the men’s lacrosse team set the tone against UMass-Lowell.
The No. 15 men’s lacrosse team took defeated Division I newcomer UMass-Lowell by 19–4 in the season’s first contest on Saturday. After surrendering the game’s first goal, the Bulldogs (1–0, 0–0 Ivy) overwhelmed the visiting River Hawks (0–1, 0–0 America East) to put the game well out of hand by halftime.
“I was pleased that we got every guy in the game,” head coach Andy Shay said. “I was impressed with everyone’s focus for the 60 minutes.”
Yale scored six goals in the first quarter and another six in the second, highlighted by five goals and an assist for attackman Conrad Oberbeck ’15. Oberbeck’s starring role, along with first-half goals from six other Yale players, allowed the Bulldogs to spread around their playing time in the third and fourth quarters.
“I was able to find some success because of the unselfish play of my teammates,” Oberbeck said. “Many of our goals Saturday were assisted and were opportunities created by two or more players contributing to a play that resulted in a goal.”
Thanks to Yale’s commanding halftime lead, Shay opted to devote extended minutes to some of his younger and under-utilized players. Both Will Robinson ’18 and Ben Reeves ’18 tallied their first career points for the Bulldogs, and goalies Phil Huffard ’18 and Dylan Meyer ’18 saw extended time in the net during the second half.
Reeves was particularly impressive in his Bulldog debut, appearing to be an especially promising addition to the Elis’s offensive attack. Logging significant playing time from the game’s outset, Reeves tied Oberbeck for the team lead in points, depositing two unassisted goals to go along with four first-half assists.
In net, Meyer went almost a full quarter without surrendering a goal, although the team’s defense eased the pressure, allowing the River Hawks only two shots on goal over that time frame. Additionally, midfielder J. Conor Mackie ’18 helped maintain the Bulldogs’ complete control over the game, tying for the lead with five ground balls.
“A lot of freshman stepped up on Saturday and could be impact players for us down the stretch,” defenseman Mike Quinn ’16 said.
Although playing time for the youngest Bulldogs may adjust as the season progresses, Saturday’s dominant performance from the entire roster gave Bulldog fans a glimpse of the team’s future. The Bulldogs overwhelmed the River Hawks in every aspect of the game. Yale won 22 of 26 faceoffs and amassed 34 shots on goal to UMass-Lowell’s 10.
While the Bulldog coaching staff had little prior knowledge of what to expect from their newly-promoted opponent, the decision to schedule the team’s opening tune-up against the River Hawks proved worthwhile.
“The most we knew about them was that we knew they would be well coached,” said Shay.
Despite a lofty preseason ranking and their decisive season-opening win, though, the Bulldogs have yet to prove themselves in a meaningful contest.
The team’s next game, a showdown against No. 8 Maryland, should serve as a clear benchmark for the Bulldogs’ future success.
The Bulldogs host the Maryland Terrapins at Reese Stadium on Saturday. Face-off is scheduled for 12 p.m.