April 15, 2013

Blue Takes 5th Straight

No. 12 Elis Beat Stony Brook in OT

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Harry Kucharczyk scored one of his team's 11 goals in the game tonight, but it was the most important tally. The sophomore midfielder found the net with 1:24 left in overtime to give No. 12 Yale an 11-10 win over Stony Brook at Reese Stadium.

The Bulldogs (8-3), who have won five straight, overcame a 10-8 deficit with under five minutes left to grab their fourth home win in five contests.

Brandon Mangan, who led the Blue with three goals and five points while surpassing the career 100-point mark, scored to cut the margin to one and then Conrad Oberbeck scored with 1:56 left to send the contest to overtime. 

 

Sophomores Shane Thornton and Sean Shakespeare connected to give Yale the opening lead, although that would be their last until overtime.  Stony Brook responded 35 seconds later.  

At 9:45 in the second, Mangan, scored off a pass from Oberbeck, but the Seawolfs responded with four unanswered goals, leaving the Bulldogs trailing by four - their largest deficit - until freshman Michael Bonacci scored off a pass from Mangan with seven minutes left in the third to make it 7-4.  

 

Going into the fourth quarter, Ryan and Forst Family Head Coach Andy Shay knew the Bulldogs had a lot of work ahead of them: "We didn't have possession the whole second quarter, so possessions became more and more critical as the game went on.  We were killed off the wing, which was uncharacteristic.  We had to be better."

 

Luckily, Mangan and the rest of the offense never gave up: "Early in the first half, the shots weren't falling, but we know they will if we keep plugging away.  We never quit, which makes us a great team.  We found a way to keep fighting and come out with a win," said Mangan.

 

Junior Ryan McCarthy and Shakespeare scored early in the fourth to cut Stony Brook's lead to one, 7-6, with a little over 12 minutes left in the game.  Stony Brook responded, scoring two, to bring their lead to 9-6.  Freshman JW McGovern was able to capitalize on an extra-man opportunity, followed by another tally by Mangan, to bring the game to 9-8.  With 4:57 left, Stony Brook scored its last goal of the game.

 

Oberbeck's goal not only lifted the team's score, but also their spirits leading into overtime: 

"It was late in the game.  We were getting a lot of good pressure and good ball movement.  Brandon Mangan drove up the right side, took a shot, and the ball rolled over the net and happened to land at my feet.  No one was in front of me, so I instinctually picked up the ball and just threw it at the goalie's feet, hoping it would go in.  Thankfully it did and was able to pick the whole team up." 

 

Kucharczyk found his opportunity to end the game.

"I had fresh legs, so I was playing offense and defense.  I saw I had an offensive midfielder on me, who was trying to get off the field.  I started running toward the midfield to sub off when I realized he had no intention of staying on defense.  I saw him put his head down, so I just turned right around.  I didn't think it would be that easy - I thought I would create a 6 on 5 and pass it around to score, not have a wide-open opportunity for me to step down and shoot it.  I saw the opportunity and finally made one."

Kucharczyk was immediately relieved, saying, "We didn't think we were going to win that game with four minutes to go, being down by three.  We're happy just to be in overtime.  And that was a big win - it was a game we could've easily overlooked and it could've really hurt our season."

 

Senior captain Michael McCormack was proud of how the team ended the game: "The last few games, we've really had to gut out the win, and today was no exception.  The resiliency was great - it was nice to see certain guys able to step up.  Overtime wins are always nerve wracking, but I'm really proud of the team."

 

Shay credited Stony Brook for its amazing effort: "We have to give them a ton of credit.  They've had a bit of a tough stretch.  They're a young team and were without their best player, and they gave us everything we could handle and more.  I was very impressed at how hard of a game they played."

 

While the Seawolfs played hard, the Bulldogs played harder, outshooting them 46-27 and winning 33 to their 30 ground balls.  Junior Dylan Levings went 13 for 25 on the day and sophomore goalie Eric Natale chalked up 10 saves.  

 

The Bulldogs play No. 4 Maryland on Saturday at 1 pm at College Park, where they hope to put together a more complete effort to take on the challenge. 

 

McCormack is hopeful. "Today was not our best defensive effort.  I hope we can put a 60-minute game together against a great team in Maryland." 

 

filed by Lilli Janney '13, Yale Sports Publicity

 

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