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Penn Wins in 3 OT Thriller

Matt Miller. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Matt Miller. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Loss Spoils Great Games by Miller, Yeager

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – A second consecutive late road comeback and overtime league game for the No. 15 Yale men's lacrosse team, but the Bulldogs could not make it two straight Ivy victories. Drew Belinsky found the net 45 seconds into the third overtime to give No. 13 Penn a 10-9 win on a cold and cloudy day at Franklin Field.

All games from here on out are big ones, but this had added significance with both teams trying to avoid a second league defeat. This was a contest of big runs for both teams.

The Bulldogs (5-2, 1-2 Ivy) opened up a lead in the first half with a three-goal run. Penn (5-3, 2-1), which trailed 6-3 in the second period, countered with a string of five (3 EMO) in the second half that nearly won it the game.

Matt Miller had three goals while Matthew Gibson (4 points) and Brian Douglass each had two as Yale put 36 shots on Brian Feeney (6 saves).

The Quakers, who had 38 shots, also had a slight edge in ground balls and had four fewer turnovers.

The loss spoiled another great day for face-off man Cole Yeager, who won 14 of 19 battles on the X while providing key possession opportunities.  The Elis won 16 of 23 overall with Dylan Levings splitting four attempts.

Corey Winkoff (5 points) got the home team off to a good start by finding the net 66 seconds in on a shot that trickled over the goal line after hitting Falcone. The early advantage lasted for almost seven minutes. That's when Gregory Mahony's shot from 10 yards out found the net to even things.

The Bulldogs grabbed their first lead about three minutes later. Douglass took a crossing pass from Gibson and sent a bouncer inside the far post.

After the Quakers tied the game late in the first quarter, the Elis went on a three-goal run over a minute and 50 seconds to take the momentum.

First, Gibson outworked a defender to score unassisted to start the second and give Yale 3-2 lead. Then, Miller, running down the left side, bounced one past Feeney 1:42 in. The lead went to three when Brandon Mangan took a Gibson feed from behind the goal and deposited it in the back of the net.

The teams traded pretty goals, including a typical Douglass move to put the Blue up 6-4. The senior attackman raced around the net and came out on the left side. He dove out and flipped the ball back inside the short side. Instead of Yale riding the momentum of the half's last tally, the home team re-grouped for its third-quarter explosion.

The Quakers scored five times in just under seven minutes of the third, and the Elis found themselves trailing in the fourth like they were at Princeton last Saturday.

The Yale defense dug in and stopped Penn on numerous attempts to make it a three-goal cushion. That proved big because the Blue scored three of regulation's last four goals.

One of those Yale goals was Gibson's second of the game. The junior attackman, with an extra man, made an amazing move around the defender by twisting his body and then firing a shot high on Bailey with 6:30 left to pull the Blue to within 8-7. Penn, however, answered again.

Johnathan Falcone, who had seven saves including three big ones in the third that could have turned the game into a Penn runaway, intercepted a pass to set up the second of Miller's three tallies on a bouncer from 15 yards out at 3:30.

Penn had an opportunity to run out the clock with a one-goal lead, but Winkoff was called for an infraction behind the Yale goal with 1:14 left. That's all Miller needed to send the game to overtime. He received the ball up top and ran past a few defenders down the middle before firing high past the Penn goalie with 37 seconds left.

Penn had the ball for most of the first OT. Yale defenseman Peter Johnson's attempt to stop a drive to the goal resulted in a "slash to the head" penalty with 1:30 left. Yale killed off the penalty and tried to clear the ball but turned it over. Winkoff thought he had won the game with 31 seconds left after a run down the left wing, but he was called for a crease violation and the game went to a second OT.

The Bulldogs had possession of the ball for most of the second four-minute set but missed on four shots and had to force a turnover as the clock ran out to prevent Penn from having a last-second attempt.

The Quakers won the faceoff in the third OT and called a timeout. Belinsky ran past the goal line extended and then cut back off the edge of the crease and slipped a low shot past Falcone with 3:15 left. That ended Yale's longest game since a four-OT affair with Brown in 2001.


Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director