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Bulldogs Take 5th Straight

Johnathan Falcone (Dave Burbank)
Johnathan Falcone (Dave Burbank)

No. 14 Elis Beat Hoyas 13-8

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Double-digit victory campaigns have been tough to come by for the Yale men's lacrosse team, but the Bulldogs have now accomplished that in consecutive seasons. The No. 14 Elis beat Georgetown 13-8 today on a hot afternoon at Multi-Sport Field to improve to 10-2 heading into next Saturday's season finale.

Brian Douglass had three goals and four points and Matt Gibson added two goals and two assists as four Bulldogs enjoyed multiple-goal outings. Gregory Mahony and Matt Miller each hit the net twice with Yale outshooting the home team 39-36. Andrew Cordia, Michael Pratt, Cole Yeager and Brandon Mangan also scored.

The offense was clearly a significant factor but the defense and face-off work may have been the true difference in the Blue's fifth straight win. Yale held Georgetown (5-7) to three first-half goals while goalie Johnathan Falcone played one of his best games with 13 saves. He did not allow consecutive Hoya goals until late in the fourth when the game was out of reach.

The Elis' first-half offensive output put the game away, but there were times when the Big East team could have seized momentum. One of those times was a third-quarter breakaway by Travis Comeau, who deked high and fired low before Falcone picked it out of the air for the highlight save of the game.

Meanwhile, Cole Yeager was at it again, winning 16 of 25 face-offs and scooping up 14 ground balls. The visitors had an overall edge (39-35) in ground balls while improving its record against Georgetown to 9-0.

The tone was set in the first quarter from the opening face-off. Yeager, among the top face-off men in Division I, easily went around his Georgetown counterpart.  Sixty-three seconds later Mahony made an excellent move to create space before firing low between Jack Davis' (13 saves) legs.

Falcone, who allowed one goal on the first nine shots he faced, made three saves on the Hoyas' first two possessions to make sure the momentum stayed with the visitors. His teammates fed off that. Cordia made it 2-0 when he grabbed a Jack Flaherty pass and fired a high shot over Davis.

Davey Emala put the Hoyas on the board at 7:05 when he knifed through the Yale defense and bounced one past Falcone to make it 2-1.

The Gibson-Douglass connection worked its magic on the next possession to give the Blue another two-goal lead. Douglass caught the pass while heading for the net straight on. He caught the pass and dove forward while sending a shot into the net. It was Yale's third goal on just six shots.

The seventh shot also brought a goal and a 4-1 advantage. It was Gibson's turn to get on the board at 3:02. The junior attackman notched his 15th goal of the season by making a spin move on his defender and releasing a lightning bolt from waist high into the upper corner for the last tally of the opening quarter.

If that goal wasn't impressive enough, his next would be. Gibson, using all of his strength, then powered through two defensemen to increase the lead to three on a shot that nobody in the stadium could figure out. The two Hoyas didn't allow the Bulldog to extend his arms but Gibson still managed to shoot from 10 yards out.

Miller drove to his right and released a lazor inside the far post at 10:32 to make it 6-2. He added a second late in the first half on a rebound of a Mahony shot.

Douglass showed in the first half alone why he is leading the Elis in scoring. His second and third goals helped build the margin to a six at intermission. He sprinted out from behind the net, dove and wrapped a shot around Davis before connecting with Gibson again on the following possession.

Yeager's dominance on the X (wins on 11 of 14 face-offs) allowed the Bulldogs to quiet the large home crowd. He also scored off a fourth quarter face-off to cap his superb day. Yeager and the Bulldogs had seven more first-half ground balls than the guys with the gray helmets and many of them came off 50/50 balls.

"He's a great player, a real competitor and he enjoys the challenge," said Yale head coach Andy Shay describing his sophomore face-off specialist during a halftime interview on the Mid Atlantic Sports Network.

This was a day of super athletic moves to set up Yale scores. Georgetown tallied to open the third quarter, but Mangan made a wonderful deke and sniper shot to prevent consecutive tallies by the home team.

Pratt, Yale's short stick defensive midfielder, dashed all hopes of a home team comeback in the final frame when he opened the fourth quarter by running out from the corner, taking a big hit and firing a shot past Davis to make it 11-5.

Goals by Mahony and Yeager finished out the Yale scoring, but the Elis didn't stop trying. The Hoyas changed goalies after hitting the net twice in the fourth to try to get more defensive pressure. The Bulldogs did not sit on the lead, the offense continued to put shots toward the cage before running out the clock.


BULLDOG BITES: Michael McCormack had four caused turnovers and four ground balls… This game was also show live on SNY, cable home of the New York Mets… Princeton's loss to Harvard today means the Blue has clinched one of the four spots in the May 6-8 Ivy League Tournament that will likely take place at Cornell… The Bulldogs finished the season 7-0 in non-conference play… Yale has won five straight games for a second straight season. The 2010 Elis did it in the middle of the season.


Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director