Ivy League Recap April 29th

Yale 11, Harvard 10

Cambridge, Mass. – The Bulldogs have had great success in overtime games this spring, but today they were desperately trying to avoid an extra session in the regular season finale at Harvard. The No. 15 Yale men’s lacrosse team held off a late Crimson offensive rush to take an 11-10 game and finish the season with a 9-4 record heading into next week’s Ivy League Tournament.

With 30 seconds left, Harvard trailed by one, won the last face-off and had the ball for the rest of the game.

Yale sophomore goalie Eric Natale stopped Harvard’s overtime hopes. “They have a great offense.  They’re very slick, so they were able to get off two pretty good shots, but luckily I saved them and we got the win,” said Natale.

The Elis started slow but ultimately found their footing, ending Harvard’s chances of moving on to next weekend’s Ivy League Tournament.  Senior attackman Kirby Zdrill led the day with four goals, while Conrad Oberbeck and Brandon Mangan had two goals and one assist each.  Shane Thornton, Mark Glicini, and Sean Shakespeare added tallies as well.

Harvard came out strong, leading 3-1 after the first quarter.  The lone Bulldog goal came from Oberbeck, who ran the ball out from behind the net.  While crossing in front of the crease, he threw a couple of fakes before shooting low to score.

Sophomore Shane Thornton scored 18 seconds into the second quarter to cut Harvard’s lead to one at 3-2.  Minutes later, the Bulldogs went ahead for the first time when Zdrill faked his defenseman into thinking he had passed off the ball.  After his defender turned around, he ran to the front of the net and beat the goalie, bringing the game to 5-4.

“I got the ground ball after the shot.  The defense wasn’t settled so I was trying to make something happen.  I threw a fake and the guy happened to look away, so I jumped on the chance to take it to the net,” Zdrill said.

Harvard was quick to respond, scoring to make it 5-5 going into the half.  The Bulldogs came out firing in the third quarter, scoring five goals while only allowing Harvard two.  The last goal of the quarter came off an interception by senior Peter Johnson in the defensive zone.

“I never scored a goal in my Yale career and I think that one proves I wasn’t to be a goal scorer.  I picked the pass, went all the way down and tried to shoot low, but the ball ripped out of my stick and essentially bounced over the net,” Johnson said.

Luckily, Mangan was there to pick up the wide shot and give the attack time to set up.  After the attack was settled, junior Ryan McCarthy got his second assist of the game by passing to Oberbeck in front of the net to bring the score to 10-7 heading into the final quarter.

It was win-or-go-home for Harvard, and they played like it.  They outshot Yale 28 to 26, won 27 to Yale’s 26 ground balls, and won 18 of 24 face-offs.  They even scored two goals in the last two minutes, but ultimately, it was not enough to beat the Bulldogs, who capitalized on four of the Crimson’s six penalties.

“I think once we scored a couple goals, momentum allowed us to slowly chip away at their lead.  We played pretty solid in the second quarter and were able to go into halftime tied.  We erupted a little bit in the third quarter.  We were up by four at one point, but our credit to Harvard.  They came back and didn’t up at all throughout the whole game, even at the end.  It was great to pull out the win,” senior captain Michael McCormack said.

Johnson added, “I don’t think we were quite as tuned up as we were against Maryland.  They were a good team and definitely didn’t give up, but we bared down when we needed to and we got a win – that’s all that really matters.  It was the first win at Boston since 2007, so it’s a great feeling to have accomplished that for Coach Shay.”

Ryan & Forst Family Head Coach Andy Shay was proud of the grit his team showed: “We told the guys all week that was the challenge – that we hadn’t been able to win at Harvard Stadium since 2007.  They responded.”

While the Bulldogs had previously clinched their spot in the Ivy League Tournament, beating Harvard ensured them the No. 2 seed and a game against No. 3 Penn (Cornell and Princeton square off in the other semifinal next Friday).

“Looking forward, we need to have a good week in practice.  I don’t think we did everything great today, but I also don’t think we did a lot of things too poorly, so we have a big work week heading into the tournament,” McCormack said.


Freshman Brendan Caputo’s Overtime Goal Lifts Brown Laxers Over Dartmouth, 8-7

Hanover, New Hampshire – Freshman attackman Brendan Caputo (Westbury, NY) scored his third goal of the game with 1:19 left in the third overtime period to lift the Brown men’s lacrosse team to an 8-7 Ivy League win over Dartmouth in the final regular season game for both teams. Brown finished the season by winning three of its last four games, posting an 8-6 overall record, 2-4 in the Ivy League, while Dartmouth falls to 3-11 overall, 1-5 in Ivy play.

Neither team scored in the first two overtime periods in the thrilling match-up televised live by Fox College Sports. Both teams had numerous shots on goal, but the goalie play was outstanding, with Bears’ freshman goalie Jack Kelly (West Islip, NY) making five saves, including three saves in the first overtime, and Dartmouth’s Bernie Susskind turning aside two shots.

Senior Alex Jones (Annapolis, MD) picked up a ground ball with two minutes left in the third overtime period and Brown called timeout with 1:52 left.  Caputo fired a shot wide with 1:20 left, but found the back of the next on an unassisted goal after 73 minutes and 41 seconds of play.

Brown rallied from a 6-3 deficit with 13:10 left in the third quarter on a bunch of goals by its freshman class.  Freshmen attackmen Henry Blynn (Villanova, PA) and Caputo each scored twice, with Caputo scoring at the 7:44 mark of the fourth quarter to give the Bears a 7-6 lead.

Dartmouth’s Adam Fishman sent the game into overtime with his second goal of the game with just 4:49 left in regulation.

Both Blynn and Caputo scored three goals for the Bears, with Caputo also adding an assist.  Jones and senior long stick middy Roger Ferguson (Washington, DC) also scored for the Bears.

Kelly came up big in the Brown goal, making a career high 19 saves, including the five saves in overtime. Susskind was also solid in net for the Big Green, making 17 saves. Both goalies saw numerous shots, with the Bears out-shooting the Big Green by a 47-45 margin.