Yale Athletics

The 11th-ranked Yale men’s lacrosse team (2–1, 0–0 Ivy) trounced the University of Massachusetts Amherst (2–2, 0–0 A10) with a score of 18–9 on Friday.

After falling to No. 8 Penn State University 13–11 the weekend prior, the Bulldogs came into the weekend feeling they had something to prove, especially on the defensive side of the ball. 

“The biggest focus for the team heading into the UMass game was responding from our loss the week before with the added knowledge that every time we play UMass, they play us extremely tough,” defenseman Bryce De Muth ’23 said. “Defensively, we had given up seven goals in the first quarter against Villanova and eight in the first quarter against Penn State, which we took personally, and so we made putting together a full 60 minutes of focus a priority.”

That focus certainly paid off for the Bulldogs, as they stymied the Minutemen offense all afternoon and held their opponent to a single-digit goal total for the first time this season.

The defense was helped by another strong performance from goalie Jared Paquette ’24, who made 22 saves. Paquette currently averages more than 17 saves per game, which is best in the nation, and holds a .598 save percentage, the fourth-best mark in the country.

The offense also recovered from its tough day against Penn State to post 18 goals and 55 shots to keep consistent pressure on the UMass goal.

“I’m proud of the boys for bouncing back,” head coach Andy Shay said to Yale Athletics. “We haven’t won a ton of games in Amherst, and our guys knew that. I was pleased with our effort today.”

As has been the case for much of the past two seasons, the offense was driven by the outstanding play of senior attackman Matt Brandau ’23. Brandau posted four goals and four assists against the Minutemen, pushing his total to over 200 career points, a mark only three other Bulldogs have ever reached. Now sitting at 207 points in his storied career, Brandau ranks third on the all-time list for the Elis. 

Brandau will continue his chase to move up in the Yale record books, as Jackson Morrill ’20 sits second all-time with 220 points. Ben Reeves ’18 MED ’24 — Yale’s only Tewaaraton Award winner, given to the best player in college lacrosse — holds the top spot with 316 career points.

With nine regular season games remaining, in addition to the possibility of Ivy League and NCAA Tournament games, the record is not unreachable for the senior from Maryland, and he believes he’s put in the work in the offseason to have his best season yet.

“There’s the Yale method of training that likes to, well I can’t give away too much of the secret sauce,” Brandau said to Inside Lacrosse. “I was able to get some real heavy lifting in and tune my workouts to better prepare to be in lacrosse shape versus how I’ve been in the past.”

Brandau has scored at least one goal in every one of the 43 games he has played in for the Bulldogs. 

Spencer King is an Editor for the Sports desk. He has covered the Yale football and women's ice hockey teams. He has also previously covered the Yale men's lacrosse team and most things Bulldogs sports. Spencer is a junior in Davenport College and is majoring in Political Science.