March 1, 2014

Oberbeck Leads Yale to 9-8 Win

No. 12 Elis Move to 2-0

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Yale men's lacrosse team overcame a hot team looking for a third straight win with big games from some key players. Conrad Oberbeck had three goals and one assist and Colin Flaherty added three goals as No. 12 Yale edged Bryant 9-8 at the Bryant Turf Complex.

The Bulldogs, now 2-0, never trailed while holding multiple three-goal leads. The visitors jumped out fast with six in the first frame and one in each of the last three.

It was an impressive road victory made even more impressive by the way it was done. The Elis typically have the advantage when it comes to ball possession with senior face-off specialist Dylan Levings. Today he was battling Kevin Massa, someone with similar credentials and a hot hand. Massa won 14 of the 21 battles on the X.

Yale still managed to almost (55-29) double up Bryant in shots, while most of the other team stats were comparable.

"It's great, every time we play those guys it's one goal," said Andy Shay, the Ryan & Forst Family Head Coach. "They are tough as can be and they play hard.  Our guys had to be resilient to win the game."

Oberbeck, who established a Yale sophomore scoring record last spring, helped the Blue break away from a 2-2 tie in the first period. On consecutive possessions, he raced out from behind the Bryant net, reached back and fired over the goalie's shoulder to make it 4-2.

Bryant cut it to one, but the visitors answered after a steal by Alexander Otero. The senior midfielder from New Jersey got the ball to Jeff Cimbalista, who converted the pass to make it 5-3.

"Our shooting percentage wasn't as good as we would like it to be, but we think he's [Bryant goalie) one of the best goalies in the country, so we're not surprised," said Shay.

Yale upped the lead to three on a pretty, Brandon Mangan back-door pass to Oberbeck. Shortly after the NEC school cut the lead to two again, Flaherty got his second of the day. The Bulldog junior midfielder fired a shot from 40 feet out off the cross bar to make it 7-4.

The Elis final tally of the day turned out to be the winner. Mangan fed Flaherty, who went top shelf with just over five minutes left to give Yale a 9-7 lead.

Eric Natale, who had four saves in the first, finished with 10 stops overall. He kept his composure during a frantic final frame as the home team scored three times to make it a one-goal game.

"Our big game plan was to stop their transition goals. They're really good in transition and they have a really good face off guy," said Yale defenseman Michael Quinn."I think four of our goals were given up in transition, so I guess that's kind of a plus. The other four were settle things. But I think we tightened it down at the end of the game when we had to."

 

Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director

 

image by dspics.com

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