Bulldogs Alone in First With 3-0 Mark
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The Bulldogs are alone atop the Ivy League men's lacrosse standings with a 3-0 record after winning a fourth straight game today. Ben Reeves, who scored a career-high five goals, helped Yale score six straight times in the second half on the way to a 14-12 win over Penn at Franklin Field.
The Elis (5-3, 3-0 Ivy), for a second straight week, trailed 1-0 before opening up the offensive flood gates that led to a victory. The first run was four straight to take the lead for good in the first quarter. However, the last run, during nearly an 11-minute span of the second half, was the one that put the game away.
The Quakers closed to within 7-6 late in the third, but the Bulldogs responded with six straight goals before having to hold on defensively at the very end. Reeves, who leads the team with 20 goals and 36 points, notched three of his goals and four points over that game-winning span. The All-American attackman has a dozen goals and 22 points in the three league games.
Reeves took just six shots and appeared to score from five different areas on the field, while some of his attempts from a variety of angles took everyone in white jerseys by surprise.
"Ben's been getting better and better and healthier and healthier. It's what we expect. He's one of if not the best player in the country. We're very fortunate to have him," said Yale head coach Andy Shay.
The Quakers had more shots and fewer turnovers, but the Bulldogs had the quicker steps for ground balls (32-21), which helped Conor Mackie win 17 of 30 face-offs.
Freshman Matt Gaudet had another excellent offensive day with three goals and four points. He scored Yale's first goal of the day in highlight fashion. Reeves found him open in front of the crease and Gaudet got checked from behind. While falling to the ground with his back to the net and four defenders around him, the attackman from Hamilton, Ont., flicked a shot through his own legs and over the goalie's shoulder at 12:03 of the first.
"They had to respect all of our offense. We've got a lot of players [who can score] and that opens up a lot of shots for everyone on the team," said Reeves.
It was only time before the home team got its offense clicking, so a big offensive day was needed to register a crucial road win. Reeves ran in from the corner and fired a laser to the top corner of the net with 2:28 left in the fourth quarter to end a streak of three straight Penn scores and give the Bulldogs a 14-9 lead.
"They made a lot of great plays towards the end of the game. We closed it out though," said Reeves.
At the other end of the field, Phil Huffard was making his first start in four games. The junior made eight of his 14 saves in the first half and then turned aside three big shots in the third as the Blue seized the momentum and the contest.
"We felt comfortable out there for most of the game. Obviously at the end, we'd like to have a few of those possessions back, but you have to give credit to Penn," said Huffard. "There are a lot of lessons we can learn in game management and just composure as a whole. We're still growing as a team. It's early in the season."
Reeves moving up three places on the school's career goals list with 90, which ties him with Ned Britt '04. Reeves passed Seth Goldberg '05 and Tom Fagan '72 with his five goals today… Tuesday's game at St. John's is a 3 p.m. start. It had been listed on the Yale site as a night game… Yale got its only penalty of the day with three seconds left in the game.
By Steven A. Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director – firstname.lastname@example.org