After a disappointing loss to No. 14 Bucknell on Wednesday night, the No. 3 Yale men’s lacrosse team looked stronger than ever on Saturday as it cruised to a 17–7 win over Dartmouth.
The Bulldogs (8–2,4–0 Ivy) went on the road to face the Big Green (2–7, 0–3) in Hanover, New Hampshire, seeking their fourth conference win of the 2017–18 season. Led by sophomore standouts and attackers Matt Gaudet ’20 and Jackson Morrill ’20, Yale posted its highest score of the season, with eight different Elis contributing goals.
“Tuesday’s game was tough but after a game like that you have two options: learn from it or let it make you worse,” goaltender Jack Starr ’21 said. “After going over the game it was clear we were not playing our brand of lacrosse and the style we’re proud of. We made it a constructive experience and flipped the page to focus on Ivy play.”
Starting with the opening tally from attacker Jack Tigh ’19 just 28 seconds into the game, the Bulldogs found their rhythm and scored six unanswered goals in the first quarter. Gaudet, Morrill and midfielder Conor Mackie ’18 all found the back of the net within seconds of each other to give the Elis a 4–0 advantage under two minutes into the contest. Yale controlled the ball throughout the quarter thanks to Mackie’s dominance in the faceoff X, and Morrill and attacker John Daniggelis ’19 both notched goals late in the period to put the Bulldogs up 6–0 with 45 minutes left of play.
Dartmouth’s leading scorer, rookie George Prince, sneaked a shot past Starr early in the second quarter but the Bulldogs answered with Gaudet’s second of four goals on the day. Back-to-back scores from Big Green midfielder Jack Korzelius gave Dartmouth its biggest semblance of hope by cutting Yale’s lead to three. Tigh and Gaudet quickly dished two more goals to hand the Elis back their comfortable lead.
“Though we did give up a couple of transition and man down goals, we did a good job of cleaning up what we needed to when we were full strength,” defender Chris Fake ’21 said. “We often had heightened communication during the game as well as a lot of energy and attention to the small details for most of the game on Saturday.”
A combined 13 turnovers for the two teams led to a low-scoring third quarter while Prince and Korzelius carried their team’s offense by each adding another goal for the Big Green. For its part, Yale’s offense slowed down with only three out of 43 shots on the day coming in the third frame. However, midfielder Jason Alessi ’18 notched a goal with a minute left on the clock to put Yale’s score at double digits entering the last frame.
With Wednesday’s loss fresh in their minds, the Bulldogs continued to look to goal despite riding a five-point lead in the beginning of the fourth quarter. After Gaudet and Daniggelis both notched unassisted goals just 20 seconds apart to increase the lead to seven tallies, Yale was hungry for more. In less than four minutes, captain and attacker Ben Reeves ’18 found the back of the cage once and Morrill twice, sending the lead into double digits with roughly nine minutes remaining.
The Elis scored a man-up goal just a minute later when Reeves fired a pass to Morrill, who found the back of the net. Attacker Brendan Rooney ’19 etched his name on the score sheet, with another man-up goal assisted by Reeves two minutes later, giving the Bulldogs a 12-point advantage — their largest lead of the evening. Dartmouth managed to score twice in the final five minutes, but its efforts proved to be much too late, and the clock ticked out with a final score of 17–7.
Saturday’s contest provided a chance for more Bulldogs to see playing time thanks to Yale’s comfortable lead. Midfielders Jackson Burton ’20 and Jack Mattei ’21 gained experience in the faceoff X, going two for two and one for three on faceoffs respectively, and goalies Brody Wilson ’20 and Hoyt Crance ’19 saw time in the crease.
“It’s always great when we have the opportunity to get everyone in, especially in a league game,” Mackie said. “All those guys work their tails off in practice every day, so it’s exciting to have them see game time. For some of the younger guys it’s a great opportunity to get early experience as well.”
The Bulldogs will travel to Providence to take on Brown next Saturday.
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