March 5, 2009

Matt Gibson OT Goal Lifts Bulldogs

March 5, 2009

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WEST HAVEN, Conn. - Matt Gibson's unassisted goal with 2:34 left in overtime gave the Yale men's lacrosse team an 11-10 win over Providence in the Bulldogs' home opener at Reese Stadium.

Gibson, who had two goals and one assist, used a Michael Karwoski (2 goals) pick on the side of the cage to break free and underhand a low shot past Robert Bryan (16 saves) for the winner.

The Bulldogs (2-1) scored six of the last eight goals and erased a three-goal deficit in the fourth quarter. Yale, with a 48-20 advantage in shots, got three goals and one assist from Brendan Gibson, two goals and three helpers from Matt Fuchs and a pair of goals from Brian Douglass.

"Down 8-5, we could have gotten tight and tentative, but our guys responded," said Yale head coach Andy Shay, whose squad had a 35-26 edge in ground balls. "I'm glad to see we didn't panic."

The Friars (0-3) zoomed back from a first-half deficit and looked like they might win their first game of 2009 behind strong goaltending from Bryan and some key faceoff wins by Colin Tigh.

Yale outshot Providence 13-2 in the first period, but there were only two goals scored. Friar attacker Bobby Labadini, who led the visitors with five goals, scored 19 seconds into the game and Yale did not get the equalizer until there were 25 seconds left. Brendan Gibson's spin move behind the net created an opening and the junior attacker came in alone on Bryan before slipping it low. The Blue had plenty of chances to get some separation, but eight of its 13 shots sailed off target.

The separation began in the second with Yale taking a 13-3 edge in shots. Douglass scored two and Fuchs added another to make it 4-1. However, PC managed to grab some momentum heading into intermission after calling a timeout with seven seconds left. Friar middie Mike Feldberg picked up a rebound after an Andrew Brown save and flipped it home with one second left to make it 4-2.

That was the start of a five-goal run for the visitors who took a 6-4 lead. Three of the tallies came off the stick of Labadini.

The Friars, who will join the Big East next year, fought to hold the lead for most of the third. Labadini's fifth goal tied things at 9-9 with 2:57 left in regulation. It also sent Brown (5 saves), the freshman Yale netminder to the bench in favor of Jonathan Falcone, who did not face a shot but earned the win.

Evan Helda's goal with 1:53 left made it two in a row for PC and gave them yet another lead. But Douglass tallied with 1:15 remaining to tie it at 10-10.

The Friars had the last opportunity in regulation but misfired with seconds left. Kevin Discepolo, who won 16 of 23 faceoffs, won the biggest one of the night, which led to the game-winning possession.

"PC played their hearts out. They deserve a lot of credit. We were lucky to get away with this one," said Shay.

The Bulldogs travel to Durham, N.C., this weekend for a Sunday game at Duke.

Recap filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director.

Video by David Dikranian

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