NEW HAVEN, Conn. - No. 18 Yale broke open a low-scoring first half with five third-quarter goals on its way to a 10-6 win over the Lehigh men’s lacrosse team on Saturday. Down six early in the fourth quarter, the Mountain Hawks (3-3, 1-0 Patriot League) responded with three straight scores to pull within 9-6, but it proved to be too little, too late.
“Yale beat us in every facet of the game,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. “There wasn’t a single facet they didn’t beat us in. I give Yale all the credit in the world for coming in ready to play. Not to take anything away from them, but we got out-worked, out-hustled and out-fought.”
The story of the game was both defenses, who kept each offense well under its season scoring average. They also combined to force 38 total turnovers as Yale finished with 20 and Lehigh had 18. The nation’s leading scoring team coming in, the Mountain Hawks held the Bulldogs eight goals under their season average.
Leading the defensive effort were starting defensemen Richard Bradley, Ty Souders and Blaise Fullen, who combined for five groundballs. Junior Roman Lao-Gosney and sophomore Mike Noone led the way with a pair of caused turnovers.
“I give our defense a lot of credit,” said Cassese. “They came up big in the first half. Dan Carr made a bunch of key saves to keep us in the game. With the amount of defense we were playing - due to losing faceoffs and turnover the ball over - our defense got worn down in the second half.”
Junior Cameron Lao-Gosney spearheaded Lehigh’s attack with a pair of goals, his fourth-straight multi-goal game, fifth this season and 15th of his career. Sophomores David DiMaria, Alex Drake and Dante Fantoni and junior Adam Johnston added the Mountain Hawks’ other markers. With the goals, both Fantoni and DiMaria upped their point streaks to 18 and 16 games, respectively.
Sophomore Dan Carr finished with seven saves, including four in the first half to keep Yale to only three goals after 30 minutes. Sophomore Ryan Snyder and senior Will Scudder struggled at the faceoff X, winning a combined 3-of-12, but freshman Ryan Buttenbaum made his collegiate debut and won 4-of-7 to give the Mountain Hawks a spark.
A low-scoring first quarter saw only two total goals, both by Yale. The Mountain Hawks responded in the second when DiMaria got them on the board at 6:12. Drake followed with the game-tying goal only 1:49 later, but Matt Gibson gave the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead with 1:48 remaining until halftime.
Yale scored three straight goals in the third quarter to open up a 6-2 advantage, but Cameron Lao-Gosney netted the first of his two at 2:48 to pull within 6-3. However, Brian Douglass and Cole Yeager responded with two straight in a five-second span to make it 8-3 after three quarters of play. After Douglass scored, Yeager won the ensuing faceoff and went all the way for the quick score.
Matt Miller made it 9-3 early in the fourth, but the Mountain Hawks wouldn’t quit. Johnston took a feed from DiMaria at 11:03 to make it 9-4. Cameron Lao-Gosney later netted his second at 4:04 before Fantoni added his first with 3:02 left, putting all the momentum in Lehigh’s favor.
The Mountain Hawks won the ensuing draw and had a chance to pull closer, but couldn’t put any more past Yale goalie Jonathan Falcone. The Bulldogs added an insurance tally with 13 seconds remaining for the 10-6 final.
Final shots stood tied at 28 while Lehigh held a 29-28 edge in groundballs. Carr made seven saves between the pipes while Falcone finished with 13.
Lehigh returns home next Saturday (Mar. 19) to host Presbyterian at 12 p.m. at the Ulrich Sports Complex.