(Photo Courtesy of Yale Athletics)
The Yale Bulldogs (9-4, 3-3 Ivy League) joined in on the upset olympics as they took down the top-seeded Cornell Big Red (11-3, 6-0 Ivy League) 22-15 in the Ivy League semifinals on Friday evening.
Friday’s contest was a complete flipping of the script from the March 18 meeting between these two where Cornell blasted Yale 20-10.
Chris Lyons led the way for Yale with 11 points off seven points and four assists. Leo Johnson had seven points off six goals and one assist. Matt Brandau had six points off two goals and four assists.
Jared Paquette made 19 saves to anchor the Yale defense.
A five-goal run that began with a Chris Lyons score at the 4:43 mark of the first quarter and ended with a strike from Leo Johnson with 12:37 left in the second quarter pulled Yale out to an 8-3 lead and would be its first big run of the day. The Bulldogs later scored five straight from late in the third through the fourth quarter to help them pull away and eventually seal the deal.
Cornell never led the entire game and were only able to tie it once following a CJ Kirst score in the opening frame. The Big Red answered Yale’s big first-half run with four straight scores that included two from Kirst to pull with one, 8-7. It would be the closest Cornell would come the rest of the night as the Big Red’s deficit never dropped below two after that and in the second half a three-goal deficit is as close as things would get.
Yale outscored Cornell 10-7 in the final two frames of play and 14-8 following Cornell making it an 8-7 contest midway through the second frame. Additionally, Jared Paquette made 13 of his saves during that 38:14 stretch and Yale went 17-for-25 (68%) at the faceoff dot as the Bulldogs were able to win the possession battle for the majority of the contest.
The Bulldogs’ defense held CJ Kirst (5G) to just one goal in the second half of play.
Leo Johnson closed out the contest with a pair of late scores to add to his total and get Yale to 22 which is its highest goal total of the season.
Yale moves to play Princeton in the Ivy League championship game on Sunday.
Princeton Outlast Penn
In a defensive battle, the No. 3 Princeton Tigers (7-6, 4-2 Ivy League) defeated the No. 2 seed Penn Quakers (7-6, 4-2 Ivy League) 9-8.
Friday night’s contest proved to be a defensive battle where the goalies shined as Michel Gianforcaro made 15 saves for Princeton while Emmet Carroll made 16 saves for Penn. At the half, Gianforcaro had six saves while Carroll had recorded 10.
Christian Ronda led Princeton with four points off three goals and one assist,
Coulter Mackesy (2G) was the only multi-goal scorer during the first half of play, netting his second of the day with 1:37 remaining in the second frame to pull Princeton ahead 4-3 at the break. Mackesy’s score would be the last for either team for nearly over a 15-minute stretch of gametime as neither side could break the seal in the third quarter until Tynan Walsh beat the buzzer with three seconds left in the frame to tie things up at 4-4 for Penn.
The fourth quarter was different, however, as the Tigers and Quakers combined for nine goals. The deciding factor was Princeton netting five to Penn’s four. The Tigers put together a three-goal run in the middle of the frame that ended with a nifty score from Sean Cameron to make it an 8-6 Princeton lead.
Sam Handley dodged from X, turned the corner, and snuck one through the wickets to pull the Quakers within one (8-7) with 4:02 left. Princeton, however, would answer fairly quickly with a Christian Ronda score. Penn made it interesting once more in the final scores with a Ben Smith score capping a transition sequence and making it a 9-8 game. Princeton won the ensuing faceoff and was able to run away with the win.
Penn saw Sam Handley led the way with four points off two goals and two assists. James Shipley had three assists.
Princeton moves to face Yale on Sunday in the Ivy League title game.