On Saturday, the Yale men’s lacrosse team won with offense. Just over 72 hours later, the Bulldogs put a tally in the win column courtesy of their defense.
After scoring a program-high 27 goals against conference foe Brown last weekend, No. 5 Yale (10–2, 5–0 Ivy) returned to New Haven to host Marist (3–11, 2–3 MAAC) in the first of a three-game homestand to end the regular season. Led by a standout six-point performance from attacker Brendan Rooney ’19 and lockdown defense throughout the night, the Elis dominated the Red Foxes 14–4 in a midweek blowout.
“Marist did a great job, they had a great defensive scheme and they [did a] good job on offensive, but after a little while we were able to find our groove,” captain and attacker Ben Reeves ’18 said. “We started moving the ball well on offense and finding open guys on the inside. This was a great test in the middle of the week and we’re going to use it to get better.”
Marist entered Reese Stadium on Tuesday night having lost by just two goals to No. 12 Bucknell, a team that beat Yale two weeks ago. But the Yale squad that showed up on Tuesday, playing on a similarly chilly night, bore no resemblance to the team that fell to Bucknell on the same field.
The pace of Tuesday night’s game started slowly as both the Red Foxes and the Elis traded turnovers. The Elis opened up scoring with a tally from attacker Jackson Morrill ’20 roughly three minutes into the first frame. Marist managed to answer with a goal from attacker Joe Tierney a little over four minutes later.
With both offenses stagnant and plagued with poor control of possession, Reeves ripped an unassisted goal past Red Fox netminder Brian Corrigan with four minutes remaining in the first quarter of an hour of play. Just two minutes later, midfielder John Daniggelis ’19 increased the Bulldog lead to two when he ripped a shot into the back of the cage after receiving a pass from midfielder Joe Sessa ’19. Daniggelis snuck another tally into the score sheet with 5.4 seconds left to make the score 4–1 at the conclusion of the first quarter.
“We were a little sticky to start but we ended up moving the ball later as the game wore on,” head coach Andy Shay said. “I think we did a better job of moving the ball. We held it a little too long in the first quarter, I’d say, but it loosened up and we got some inside looks.”
Just over five minutes into the second quarter, Reeves fired a shot past Corrigan to score his second goal of the night. Rooney would be the next Bulldog to find the back of the net after capitalizing on a pass from Reeves just under two minutes later. But again, Tierney responded for the Red Foxes by notching his second of the night and ending the five-goal Eli run.
However, Reeves and the Bulldogs had the last word of the half when he scored his 34th goal of the season and third of the contest to give Yale a comfortable 7–2 lead heading into halftime. The Bulldogs held the Red Foxes to just 13 shots in the opening 30 minutes, and goaltender Jack Starr ’21 handled most of the Marist attempts that found the cage, recording six first-half saves for a game total of 10.
After a Marist goal to open up the second half, Yale effectively took control of the game, scoring three unanswered goals throughout the the third quarter. Reeves and Rooney both added to their scoring totals with midfielder Lucas Cotler ’20 etching his name onto the scoresheet as well. The Red Foxes could not seem to keep a hold on the ball as the Bulldogs forced nine turnovers in the third frame and boasted a 10–3 advantage with just 15 minutes left to play.
The Reeves-Rooney duo continued to find success as Yale’s captain assisted the junior attacker for yet another goal to open up the final frame. Under a minute later, Reeves fed the ball to an open Morrill for his eighth point of the game, further extending the Eli lead. Not letting up, Rooney scored the next two goals of the night for a career-high five goals, cementing the final score at 14–4.
“I was just trying to focus on every play,” Rooney said. “I dropped a couple early and thought I should have made some, [so I just focused on] getting rid of every play whether it’s good or bad and just getting into the next possession, and that’s something we work really hard on as an offense and individually as well.”
Looking ahead, the Elis will hope to capitalize on Tuesday night’s momentum when they host No. 2 Albany on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Jane Miller | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cristofer Zillo | email@example.com