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Tigh’s OT Goal Sends Yale To NCAA Semis

John McCreary image
John McCreary image

Wild 3rd Meeting with Penn Is 19-18 Decision


E. HARTFORD, Conn. – The defending national champions are going back to NCAA Championship Weekend. The Yale Men's Lacrosse Team, which overcame 13 ties, three deficits and seven lead changes, earned a 19-18 overtime win against Penn in a wild NCAA Quarterfinal at Pratt & Whitney Stadium that will be remembered by both sides for a long time.

Jack Tigh's second goal of the game, at 1:28 of the extra session, sent the Bulldogs to Philadelphia for next Saturday's 2:30 pm semifinal against No. 1 Penn State at Lincoln Financial Field.

Tigh, a senior midfielder, on his team's second possession of OT, lost control of the ball in the middle of the field about 15 yards from the goal. He scooped the ground ball from his knees, split two defenders, turned to shoot between another pair of Quakers and launched a legendary laser past Reed Junkin's stick that will be remembered as one of the greatest goals in the history of the program.

"I tried to take him [a defender] top side, tripped over my feet - I'm not sure if it's because I'm not used to the grass, I don't know - I tripped over my feet, lost the ball, thought it was still in my stick, but saw it was right underneath me," said Tigh. "I scooped it up with one hand, got really lucky to split the double and found the back of the net."

The Elis (14-3) got the first possession in OT after a TD Ierlan face-off win and nearly ended it with a Matt Gaudet shot from close in. Penn turned the ball over after the save and the tournament's No. 5 seed had another chance.

"I was looking at Brian Tevlin and the other middies on the field and said, 'let's end this right now.' We were lucky to have the ball twice in the overtime and I said 'here's our chance; this is the time we have to capitalize right now.' I just tried to give them mental confidence and give myself mental confidence because this could have been the last shot."

The Quakers, who allowed a season-high goal total today, took a regular-season Ivy title from the Elis as well as a league tournament championship. The third consecutive one-goal decision this spring between the two squads went to Yale because eight different players found the net, sophomore goalie Jack Starr came up with big saves at critical times and Ierlan, who broke his own season ground ball record won 22 face-offs and had 19 ground balls.

Ierlan won nine of his first 10 and had seven ground balls while Yale's first five goals were scored by different players. Those contributions never amounted to more than a two-goal advantage (3 times), and the Bulldogs trailed four different times in the contest.

Jackson Morrill led the Yale offense with 4 goals and 3 assists, while Lucas Cotler enjoyed a career-best 4 tallies and 5 points.

Starr's great save at the end of the first quarter gave the Blue all the momentum heading into the second. He grabbed a point-blank shot and then fed Will Weitzel on a lead pass. The junior defenseman scooped at mid field and then raced in before bouncing a shot past Junkin with 2.8 seconds left for his first career goal and a 7-5 lead.

Penn rebounded on the X in the second quarter and won six straight while clawing back to take the lead. However, Morrill's one-touch conversion of a Matt Brandau pass was his third goal of the half with 1:36 left, and it knotted the score at 10. The Quakers would erase another two-goal deficit over the last three minutes of regulation to send the game into extra time.



Yale ended Penn's win streak at 12 games while extending its NCAA Tournament success to 6 straight… This was the third 2019 quarterfinal to go into OT… No. 3 Virginia plays No. 2 Duke in the first semi at Philly… Eight Elis have earned a spot on the 2019 Division I NEILA All-New England Team, including seven first-team picks. Jackson Morrill, Matt Gaudet, Jack Tigh, Chris Fake, Will Weitzel, TD Ierlan and Robert Mooney were on the first unit. Will Renz was a second-team selection…


Contact: Steve Conn, Yale Athletics