Freshman goalie George Carafides made two difficult saves with less than a minute to play as the Yale men's lacrosse team held on for a 9-8 victory over No. 16 Princeton at Yale's Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium.
The Bulldogs (5-2, 2-1 Ivy) got four goals from senior Seth Goldberg, while five other players hit the net once, but the star of the game for the home team was faceoff man Dan Kallaugher, who won 17 of 20 draws including the last 13 straight.
Yale's patience on offense and faceoff domination were the difference in the upset of Princeton (0-5, 0-1), which faced four straight nationally ranked squads before today.
"Dan Kallaugher was unbelievable on faceoffs today. He allowed us to get the ball back every time," said Yale head coach Andy Shay, who said this was his biggest win as a head coach. "He was the best player on the field today. I have not seen a more dominating performance in a big game."
The Bulldogs controlled the ball for most of the first 10 minutes of the game and tallied the first two goals on their first three shots. One came from junior David Schecter who took a long shot that sailed into the upper corner to open the scoring at 13:33. Less than a minute later, sophomore Chris Kempner gave Yale the first of seven two-goal leads.
Sophomore David Levy, the recipient of great feed from defender Gray Eklund (4 ground balls), gave the home team its largest lead of the game late in the first period. Eklund stole the ball outside the Yale crease and then raced up field before hitting Levy, who nailed his second goal of the year at 5:06 to make it 3-0.
Tiger attackman Mike Gaudio tallied the first of his team-high three goals 53 seconds later and Princeton made it two straight to cut the margin to 3-2.
Yale, which never trailed, took a 6-4 advantage into halftime despite 10 turnovers in the first half. Dan Kallaugher, among the nation's leaders in ground balls and faceoffs, won nine of 12 draws to enable the Elis to retain the lead.
Two of Goldberg's goals came in the closing moments of the first two frames. His low, 12-foot shot with 1:43 left in the first on the extra-man put Yale up 4-2. But his second goal of the game really gave the underdog Bulldogs a lift. Diving toward the crease, Goldberg, who also had the deciding score, hit the back of the net with four seconds left in the second quarter.
"It is an unbelievable feeling," said Goldberg, who now has 31 straight games with a point . "We put it all on the line today and really tested ourselves. We proved we can play with the best teams."
Kallaugher finished the day with 17 faceoff wins in 20 attempts while scooping up a game-high nine ground balls.
"I anticipated them trying to neutralize me, but I just focused on doing my thing," said Kallaugher, who clearly recorded one of the great feats in Yale lacrosse history. "I was expecting to have a good day. The [real] grass was good for me. A good faceoff man benefits from the grass."
Princeton midfielder Jim O'Brien had the best chance to tie the game with 33 seconds left when he made a move around a Yale defender and came in alone on Carafides. The Yale goalie managed to stop O'Brien's shot from a few feet outside the crease. However, the Bulldog rookie, who earned his fifth win in net with 12 saves, had his biggest stop with 18 seconds left. Gaudio's point-blank shot bounced off Carafides and the Elis gained possession as captain D.J. Barry ran out the clock.
The Blue also had goals from juniors Colin Neville and Dan Brillman (3 points), helping Yale improve to 2-1 in the Ivy League with a game at Brown next Saturday.
This was Yale's first win over the six-time NCAA Champions since Eric Wenzel, who was in the stands today, led the Bulldogs to a 15-13 victory at Old Nassau in 2002. The Elis tasted victory at home over the Orange and Black for the first time since 1989.
"I'm proud of the guys. We challenged them early in the week to play a full 60 minutes after last Saturday's performance," said Shay.
Yale vs. Princeton