ITHACA, N.Y. -- The Yale men’s lacrosse team was the only Ivy League unbeaten until today. The Bulldogs opened the 2010 league campaign with their toughest road trip of the season and fell at No. 10 Cornell 18-7. Scott Austin, Chris Langton and Ryan Hurley each had four goals and prevented the No. 17 Bulldogs from making any type of comeback at Schoellkopf Field.
First-half face-offs and turnovers were the difference in this one. Cornell (5-1, 1-0 Ivy), fired up after last week’s home loss to Virginia, won five of the first six face-offs on the way to a 5-1 lead at the first intermission and never looked back, taking its 10th straight Ivy opener.
Yale (4-1, 0-1) ended up having fewer turnovers (22-13) and winning 12 of the 27 face-offs, but the damage had been done in the first 15 minutes. The Bulldogs finished with more shots (39-35) but lost the battle of ground balls, 36-31, and were four off their league-best average.
Senior captain Brendan Gibson and his sophomore brother, Matt, led Yale with two goals apiece. Gregory Mahony, Matt Fuchs and Michael Pratt were the other Bulldogs to hit the net, while junior goalie Johnathan Falcone recorded five saves on the synthetic surfaced football field.
"I certainly think we could have played a lot better, but Cornell made us play that way. I think they played with fire and poise, and when we tried to match both, we couldn't. It shows us we have a lot of work to do," said Yale head coach Andy Shay.
Senior Yale midfielder Max Rodman, who won 12 of 25 face-offs, was matched up against Cornell's Austin Boykin (10/17), the No. 4 and 5 ranked players in Division I, respectively. Boykin had enough early success to keep the ball away from a Bulldog offense that ranked sixth in the country.
Langton, a midfielder, ran in from left side and slipped one past Falcone on the game’s first possession. Scott Pennell, who scored twice, came out from behind the net to make it 2-0 in the first minute before the visitors could get a shot.
Matt Gibson, who had five goals and three assists in Yale’s only other game (13-12 win over UMass) against a nationally ranked team this year fought through three defenders to score from 12 feet away on the right side and cut the lead in half.
AJ Fiore played the first half and made four saves while giving up three goals. Mat Martinez got the rest of the work and stopped nine shots, including five in the final frame.
Recap filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
Matt Gibson image by Rich Barnes