No. 17 Yale Nips No. 19 Harvard in Regular-Season Finale

“I told the guys during halftime not to come on the field if they were not going to give it their all in the second half,” said Yale captain Brendan Gibson. “It worked, you see how we played.”

That's not all the inspirational leader said during the intermission.

“Gibby (Brendan Gibson) said he didn't want this to be the last half of lacrosse in his college career,” said Yale goalie Johnathan Falcone (5 saves). “We just poured our hearts out for the seniors.”

Twenty-three of the game's first 31 shots came off Harvard sticks and possession time seemed like three-to-one at that point. Add to that a three-goal deficit, and Yale's post-season clincher was even more impressive.

“We played a full game of defense in the first 30 minutes. It was an unbelievable win,” said Shay, who was hugged by more people on the field after the game than the average groom at a wedding.

The Elis could have packed it in and patted each other on the back for a nice season when they were down three. Now they are heading to their first post-season game since 1992, the last time Yale went to the NCAA Tournament.

“We have had the mantra 'so what, let's get on to the next play.'” We focused on the things we could change in the game,” said Douglass.

* * * *

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Jeff Cohen scored four goals, while Kevin Vaughan dished out four assists, including three on goals by Cohen, but the 19th-ranked Harvard men's lacrosse team suffered a 9-8 loss at No. 17 Yale in the final game of the regular season.

With the defeat, the Crimson concludes the regular season 6-6 overall and 2-4 in the Ivy League, while the Bulldogs move to 10-3 and 4-2 in the Ancient Eight.

After trailing 2-0 for much of the first quarter, Vaughan, who led Harvard with six ground balls, found Cohen for the Crimson's first goal with 3:00 to play in the opening stanza. Despite a 2-1 deficit after the first 15 minutes of action, Harvard owned a sizeable lead in shots, 13-5.

In the second quarter, the Crimson successfully killed off a one-minute penalty before Jason Duboe knotted the game, 2-2, with a shot past Yale goalkeeper Johnathan Falcone at 13:49. Harvard's offense continued to surge as Vaughan and Cohen once again teamed up for a goal at the 6:51 mark, giving the Crimson its first lead, 3-2.

With 3:28 remaining in the half, Dean Gibbons notched a goal after receiving a pass from Peter Schwartz, as he made it a 4-3 contest in favor of the Crimson. Only 32 seconds later, Cohen tallied his third goal of the game off another pass from Vaughan, giving Harvard a two-goal cushion.

At the midway point of the game, Harvard held a 5-3 lead and owned a 23-9 advantage in shots.

The Crimson tacked on a goal by Travis Burr to start the third quarter at the 12:03 mark, pushing its lead to 6-3. After Yale scored back-to-back goals, Gibbons pushed Harvard's lead back to two scores, 7-5, with an unassisted tally at 3:08. The Bulldogs netted two more goals later in the third to make it a 7-7 contest entering the fourth quarter.

With 10:01 left to go in the final stanza, Cohen put the Crimson back on top, 8-7, after Jack Doyle fed Cohen with a pass for the sophomore attacker's fourth goal of the day. The Bulldogs netted the game's next two goals, pulling ahead, 9-8, with 5:48 remaining.

Harry Krieger stopped seven shots in the cage for Harvard, while Falcone turned aside five shots in the Yale net. Harvard, which outshot Yale, 37-27 for the game, was 0 for 3 on man-up opportunities and grabbed 23 ground balls, compared to 29 for the Bulldogs. The Crimson was also 10 of 13 on clear attempts.

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