Mackie Perfect on X, Sessa Has 5 Points
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – A stingy Yale defense and a perfect faceoff performance by Conor Mackie guided the No. 10 Bulldogs to a fourth straight victory today, an 8-3 decision over Fairfield at Rafferty Stadium.
The Eli defense, which limited the Stags to a dozen shots over the last three quarters and 23 overall, had its best day of the year while allowing the fewest goals since beating Sacred Heart 19-3 in 2016.
Mackie, who recorded his first perfect day on the X, won three faceoffs in each of the first three quarters before doubling his numbers in the fourth.
"Our faceoff group had a great week of practice," said Mackie, who won all 15 faceoffs and had a game-high 11 ground balls. "We wanted to focus on our fundamentals and take it one draw at a time. The coaches also did an awesome job breaking down the matchup and showing us what we needed to do to be successful."
Three of the last four meetings went to overtime, and this one looked to be heading that way through the first three quarters, in part due to the play of rookie goalie Jack Starr. The Washington, D.C., native made 4 saves in the first and third frames before his teammates took control of the contest. He finished with 10 stops.
The Bulldogs didn't waste any time in testing Fairfield goalie Sean McKee. Mackie won the opening faceoff cleanly and passed to Jackson Morrill, who moved it over to Matt Gaudet. The sophomore attackman fired the ball into the upper corner just 7 seconds into the game.
The Yale defense did its job in the first quarter, limiting the Stags to just an EMO tally with under a minute left, despite the home team's 11-4 advantage in shots.
The visitors got another lead before Fairfield evened it heading to halftime. Lucas Cotler converted a Tigh pass with a laser shot from 25-feet away at 8:53 of the second.
Sessa followed that by running through middle of the defense and taking a feed from Reeves to put Yale up 3-2 with 10:57 left in the third. That may have been the best-looking goal of the day, but the next one was the most impressive. It came with time running out in the third and Yale still clinging to the 3-2 lead. Morrill's shot got pipe and Sessa jumped to grab the rebound away from McKee while smacking the ball into the back of the cage with 8.7 seconds left. It turned out to be the dagger in Fairfield's hopes.
Reeves opened the fourth by bouncing a shot past McKee for a three-goal lead and Tigh later scored a pair from the left side to put the game away.
Christopher Keating was back in the lineup after missing the Bryant game with an injury… Jack Starr has 4 of the 5 starts in net after getting his third victory… Yale opens Ivy play a week from today at Cornell, which is 3-2 after beating Penn State 9-7 today at a neutral site… The Elis held the Stags to a season-low in goals and shots.
By Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD/Sports Publicity Director – firstname.lastname@example.org