MEN’S LACROSSE: Bulldogs look to close regular season strong
The Yale men’s lacrosse team opened its final week of the regular season by defeating Quinnipiac University before a matchup against Harvard.
The No. 9 Yale men’s lacrosse team (9–3, 3–2 Ivy) enters the final week of its regular season looking to ready themselves for a deep postseason run.
The Bulldogs began the week on Tuesday with a 20–13 win over Whitney Ave. rivals Quinnipiac (2–10, 1–4 MAAC). The win saw Yale’s offensive leaders flex their muscles in the first half to race out to a 15–6 halftime lead before many of the starters got a lighter second half in a week that will see the Bulldogs play two games in only five days.
Despite the opportunity to let up against one of the weaker opponents the Elis have played this year, the team’s focus never wavered.
“Quinnipiac always gives us a great game,” star attackman Matt Brandau ’23 said before the game. “And we’re anticipating that again tomorrow.”
What Brandau couldn’t have known was just how great of a game it would be for him as an individual.
Brandau posted a monstrous stat line against the Bobcats with a career-high 11 points. He also tied his career high with seven goals. With the seven goals, Brandau surpassed the 100 goal mark, bringing his career total to 103 goals.
The Bulldog’s star now ranks first in Division I in points-per-game with an eye-popping 6.50.
The junior attackman is only the eighth Yale player to reach 100 goals and now ranks seventh all time in career goals for the Bulldogs. Regardless of how the 2022 season finishes, Brandau will look to continue climbing the Bulldogs record books, as he still has a full senior season to play.
The Bulldogs’ win sets up a dramatic season finale against No. 12 Harvard (8–3, 3–2 Ivy) with a spot in the Ivy League Tournament to play for.
In one of the most competitive conferences in the nation this year, qualifying for the four-team Ivy Tournament will come down to the final weekend as there currently stands a five-way tie for first place in the Ivy League standings.
Out of the seven Ivy League teams, six are nationally ranked by Inside Lacrosse. Cornell, Harvard, Yale, Penn and Brown currently all sit at 3–2 in Ivy League play.
“I don’t know, I don’t know. I got to get someone else to do our schedule I think,” head coach Andy Shay said of his team’s difficult schedule. “I think it’s made us, you know, have a stronger attention to detail and grow up as fast as we can.”
The Crimson enter the game coming off of perhaps its biggest win of the season, a 19–16 stunner over No. 7 Princeton.
For the Bulldogs, the keys to the game are clear. The Harvard offense is powered by its two top attackmen. Freshman Sam King leads the Crimson with 40 points this season, while senior Austin Madronic leads the team with 25 goals.
On the defensive end, the Crimson are led by senior goalie Kyle Mullin who boasts a 0.522 save percentage and has played some of his best lacrosse as the season progresses.
“It’s an epic rivalry in every sport in Division I athletics. Going down there, it might be their senior day as well,” Harvard head coach Gerry Byrne said to the Harvard Crimson. “I think that it is just another chance to get better, another chance to compete, and maybe give us a chance to keep on playing.”
The Bulldogs and Crimson will face off on April 30 at 2 p.m. at Reese Stadium. The game will also be televised on ESPNU.