The Yale men’s lacrosse team had to come from behind twice in a low scoring win against UMass on Saturday afternoon.
The No. 4 Bulldogs (2–1, 0–0 Ivy) hosted the Minutemen (1–3, 0–0 Colonial) at Reese Stadium to follow up a one-score victory against then No. 2 Penn State last week. The Elis, no stranger to tight games, mounted a successful late-game comeback attempt to overcome a five-goal deficit. But the Minutemen tied it back up with just 0.04 seconds on the clock, forcing Yale into its second overtime in three games. This time, the Elis managed to walk away from the close encounter with the win, 12–11.
“I don’t think we were great details-wise the entire game,” head coach Andy Shay said. “I give our guys credit for sticking with it… we’re still a work in progress.”
The Elis, despite last week’s win, continued to look shaky in their opening quarter. The Minutemen stormed out to the game’s first goal and then two more before Yale could muster up an answer. By the end of the first quarter, UMass boasted a 4–1 lead against the defending national champions.
The Minutemen continued to play physically and, despite Yale’s best efforts, limited the Bulldogs on the board largely due to a standout performance from senior goalie Sean Sconone. Although the Elis improved to a 2–2 second period, faceoff specialist TD Ierlan ’20 ran into trouble in the quarter, winning just one of six opportunities.
Five minutes into the third quarter, the Minutemen owned an 8–5 lead, but the Bulldogs began to settle into their own offense and continued to put up shots despite Sconone’s tight coverage. Beginning with a man-up score from attacker Lucas Cotler ’20, the Elis put four in a row in the back of the cage to make it a one-score game heading into the final period.
In the fourth quarter, the Elis continued on their roll. Quick, precise shots led to the afternoon’s first tie-game; attacker Matt Gaudet ’20 found attacker Jackson Morrill ’20, who quickly stuffed it into the cage to knot the score at eight with 11 minutes left on the game clock.
Yale bounced back to pull ahead 11–9, but the Minutemen scored to cut the lead to one and then — with just 0.04 seconds remaining in regulation — equalized again.
In overtime, Ierlan lost the faceoff and put the Elis on defense, but Yale held off UMass long enough to regain possession and allow Gaudet scored the game-winner.
Yale has now started its season with three one-goal decisions.