Yale Scores First 10 But Has to Hold on to Edge Penn

NEW HAVEN, Conn. The sidelines were lined with fans to see a wild, rollercoaster lacrosse game today at Reese Stadium. The Yale men, led by Brian Douglass' seven goals, scored the game's first 10 goals before holding on for its first Ivy League victory, a 16-14 decision over Penn before the largest (1,100) crowd of the season.

Douglass, a junior attackman from Waccabuc, N.Y., enjoyed a career (7 goals, 8 points) offensive day and has now hit the net a team-best 18 times this spring. Three of those tallies came in the 10-goal run to start the game.

Yale head coach Andy Shay was so focused on each possession and where his players were positioned, he didn't recall that his squad had reeled off 10 consecutive. "We really had a 10-0 lead," he asked. "We were winning face-offs, playing smart, sharing the ball and finishing well... and [Johnathan] Falcone played great," Shay said explaining the best start his Yale team has ever had.

The Bulldogs, 5-2 overall and 1-2 in Ivy play, had a 12 of the 16 shots taken in the first quarter but led by just 3-0. Douglass scored unassisted on a run from behind the net at 13:16 and then, after the Elis killed off a man-advantage, took a feed from Jerome Arnold at 8:34 and made an easy deposit.

"We had great communication today. Our offense was clicking, our defense played great and Johnathan Falcone was great in goal," said Douglass. "We all look for each other and know where everyone will be."

That's why 12 of Yale's 16 goals were assisted. The Bulldogs moved the ball as well as they have all season, and great passing turned into high percentage shots, which was bad news for Quakers' goalie Joe Hegener (11 saves).

Falcone, who had nine saves in the second half, finished with 14 and a number of point-blank stops. In addition, many of the Penn scores over the last 30 minutes were from close-range.

Captain Brendan Gibson's wrap-around tally following a Penn turnover put the Bulldogs up 3-0 and on their way. He finished with three goals and six points, while his younger brother Matt had three goals and five points. The sophomore Gibson notched the most athletic goals of the day on consecutive possessions. He jumped and twisted his body in the air to give the Blue a 5-0 and then 6-0 lead in the second quarter.

The Yale defense was playing so well, Penn didn't hit the net until there was 1:45 left in the first half. That was the first of three straight for the Quakers and five of six as the visitors (4-6, 0-3) climbed back into the game. The closest the game got was three goals, but it was too late in the fourth quarter.

Both teams had four extra-man tallies but Penn managed to take the final shot (48-38), ground ball (39-37) and face-off (17-16) totals while successfully clearing all 22 attempts. The Quakers won these statistical categories in the last 30 minutes.

Corey Winkoff hit the net five times and handed out two helpers while Dan Savage had three goals as Penn outscored (12-6) and outshot (36-13) Yale in the second half.

"We were holding the ball in the fourth quarter and shouldn't have been," said Shay. "And that was my mistake. Falcone was huge in the third and fourth."

Matt Miller added two goals and one assist and Matt Fuchs had the other tally to help Yale end a two-game skid.

The Elis are back in action Sunday at 1:00 p.m. against Detroit at Reese Stadium.

2010-04-03



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