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Bulldogs Clinch Ivy Title, Tournament Host

Reeves Had 10 Points in win over Brown (Stephen Fritzer image)
Reeves Had 10 Points in win over Brown (Stephen Fritzer image)

Reeves Leads Yale to 18-12 Win Over Brown

 

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A career-best day for All-American Ben Reeves was a huge factor in the Bulldogs clinching a share of the 2017 Ivy League Regular Season Championship and his school's first home league tournament appearance.

The junior attackman scored five goals and handed out five assists in No. 15 Yale's 18-12 victory over Brown before 2,146 at Reese Stadium on Senior Day. Reeves' career-high, 10-point outing enabled the Elis to increase their win streak to seven games while moving to 5-0 in Ivy play for the first time since 1990.

Yale, which completes league play at Harvard on April 29, can notch its first perfect Ivy campaign since 1956, the first year of the league competition.

The Elis, who never trailed today, broke open a 7-7 halftime tie with three straight goals over a three-minute span early in the third quarter and never looked back. It all started with a 10-man ride that caused a Brown turnover and led to a highlight-style feed by Reeves, who faked his defender to the ground before taking off for the net and then sending it over to Jack Tigh.

"We are getting better every day, but there is still a lot of work to do," said Reeves, who leads the team with 28 goals and 56 points.

Tigh put Yale up 8-7 and then Phil Huffard, who had 15 saves, made two huge stops that set up a nice, Jason Alessi to Eric Scott tally. Scott, playing the supporting role in hero of Senior Day, found the net four times (with five points) in his final regular-season home contest.

"We tried to focus on fundamentals," said Scott, who has 21 goals and 33 points this spring. "Offensively, we wanted to make their goalie work harder, whether it was shooting or offensive sets. The whole offense played well today."

Junior Conor Mackie won 15 of 26 face-offs today, and his most significant success on the X may have been the ensuing matchup. The clean win resulted in a Jackson Morrill (4 assists) to Lucas Cotler (2 goals) connection that put the Blue up by three.

The win capped a great celebration of nine seniors, but a newcomer showed a national television audience he and his teammates are primed for another NCAA Tournament. Matt Gaudet, who operated in more traffic than a construction worker in rush hour on I-95, managed to receive enough passes and deke Brown goalie Phil Goss enough to score four goals on seven shots.

The Ontario native got to know the Bear defenders well. Yale captain Brian Pratt and his defense, especially rookie Aidan Hynes, got to know Brown attackman and 2016 Tewaaraton Award Winner Dylan Molloy very well. Molloy scored two of his three goals consecutively to even the game before the half, but the Elis held him to just one score the rest of the way.

"We settled in defensively," said Yale Head Coach Andy Shay, whose team plays at Albany next Saturday night. "We felt like we could wear them down defensively if we kept playing the way we were, and we managed to do that."

The Bulldogs, who have appeared in every Ivy Tournament, host their first league event on May 5-7 at Reese Stadium. Shay and the Bulldogs took advantage of the great atmosphere at home today to register a milestone victory.

"Both sides [of Reese] were filled and it was an electric atmosphere. You had two incredible players [going against each other] and a great game," said Shay, who notched his second regular-season Ivy title today.

 
 

By Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director – steven.conn@yale.edu