May 2, 2009
WEST HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale men's lacrosse team finished off its 2009 campaign by giving No. 14 Maryland all it could handle before 1,256 at Reese Stadium in a crucial game for the Terrapins. Maryland, which needed a win to stay in the hunt for an NCAA Tournament invitation, broke open a 5-5 game early in the fourth quarter with five straight goals to beat the Bulldogs 10-6.
Maryland (9-6), with goals from nine players, had the advantage in shots (45-23) and ground balls (35-28), but the Bulldogs, who finished the season at 5-8, had four more faceoff wins but eight more turnovers.
Michael Karwoski, who finished the season with a team-high 29 goals and 40 points, had a game-best two goals and three assists while having a hand on five of the six Yale scores. His effort, combined with eight saves from Johnathan Falcone and a dozen faceoff wins from Kevin Discepolo, were the highlights on the home side.
Yale did execute 11 straight clears before finishing 18 for 21. The Bulldogs were in fact worn down, and it wasn't just the Terrapins who were doing that.
"We were unbelievably banged up today. Kevin Discepolo has been playing with the broken leg for the last four games," said Shay, who also got goals Brendan Gibson, Matt Gibson and Matt Miller. "They left everything out there. I would take this group over anyone."
The Terps, coming off an Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament semifinal loss to North Carolina last weekend, got on the board just 71 seconds in, but the Bulldogs grabbed the momentum back off a Maryland penalty. Colin Ford, a senior who has been a key member of the extra-man unit and was part of the pre-game ceremony celebrating the class of 2009, took a feed from Karwoski and scored from 15-feet out to even the score at 1-1 at 8:27.
"I will always have that memory of scoring our first goal against Maryland," said Ford. "There are a lot of emotions to deal with on senior day. We were psyched to be playing this game but we didn't really want the season to end."
The Elis were outshot 15-5 in the first, but got the last of the frame and the first of the second quarter. Karwoski's shot from 20-feet away with one second left nearly evened things at two after 15 minutes. However, on the opening faceoff of the second, Karwoski took the ground ball and went the distance before bouncing one past Brian Phipps (11 saves) just 11 seconds in.
Maryland got two straight scores in the middle of the second to go up 4-2, but the Blue answered with a pair to close out the half. Karwoski grabbed a ground ball in Yale's offensive zone and immediately found Matt Gibson open near the net. The freshman attackman hit the top corner at 4:18.
Miller, a rookie midfielder, picked up a ground ball in front of the UM net with time running out in the first half and flicked it past Phipps with 12 seconds left to even things by the intermission. Yale managed to go into the break at 4-4 despite being outshot 23-11.
Travis Reed's bouncer from the right flat at 4:15 of the third made it 5-4. Yale did score in the third, but it didn't happen until there were 37 ticks on the clock. That is when Karwoski fired a no-look bouncer from long distance through traffic to even the game at 5-5.
"The difference in this game could have been Maryland's time of possession in the third quarter. And up to that point we had not missed a clear," said Shay.
The size advantage may have been a significant factor after 45 minutes of action. Giant attackman like 6-foot-6, 260-pound Will Yeatman and Grant Catalino (6-5, 240) were setting picks, taking shots and causing general havoc, while 6-foot-7 defenseman Anthony Cotanzo helped protect Phipps.
Ryan Young started the five-goal outburst in the fourth by sprinting out from behind the goal and then tucking a shot behind Falcone. Joe Cummings, Adam Sear, Nick Ward and Danny Gallagher followed before Brendan Gibson ended the drought with 1:45 left.
"We played our hearts out," said Matt Aronson, the captain and one of 12 seniors playing their last game today. "Maryland has some great athletes and they are very deep. They wore us down at the end. I'm thrilled with the way we played, and I thought we could win it for a while. There were a few unfortunate bounces that went their way."
Recap filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director