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NCAA Lacrosse Tournament: Yale Uses Second Half Surge to Drop Penn State

The Bulldogs erased a 5-1 halftime deficit to win, 10-7.


The first 30 minutes of play was all blue and white; the final 30 minutes of regulation were also all blue and white. The only difference between the two halves was which school's official colors were putting a boot to the other's teeth.

In the first half, Penn State unloaded on Yale: Playing with an eight opportunity margin over the first two quarters, the Nittany Lions broke open an early 1-1 tie to stretch their lead to 5-1 at the half. Penn State didn't lose a draw in the first half, going 7-7 at the dot and making the legend of Dylan Levings look nothing more than an imagination theory. It wasn't just the possession gap that defined that first half of play for the Nittany Lions, though: Penn State's defense came to play -- Austin Kaut (The Blonde Satan) ended around 54 percent of Yale's offensive opportunities with a save while generating a save percentage of 87.50. Kaut's field defense was doing work as well, generating five caused turnovers -- the entirety of Yale's turnovers over the first 30 minutes -- and forcing the Elis to pick their spots to try and beat arguably the nation's best keeper. The end result was a Yale offensive effort that was on pace to generate just eight goals over a 100 opportunity basis while shooting just 9.09 percent and losing about 38 of their opportunities via a turnover. The game was looking like a complete and total blowout in favor of the eighth-seeded hosts. Then the Bulldogs rode the surge of their halftime orange slices and completely decimated Penn State.

The second half was a spectrum opposite from the first two periods: The Elis held a seven-opportunity advantage over the final two quarters; were about 23 goals over a 100 opportunity basis better than the Nittany Lions; shot 39 percent against Kaut and saw the keeper only hold a 43.75 save percentage in the second half; and tightened up on a Penn State offense that was seemingly getting a lot of what it wanted early in the game, generating caused turnovers all over the place (the Bulldogs dispossessed the Nittany Lions on about 43 percent of the offensive opportunities that Penn State had in the second half). The result was a 9-2 run over the final 30 minutes of play with Yale holding Penn State scoreless for two important stretches -- for 9:05 in the third quarter (while the Elis pumped in two) and 19:42 that started at 5:55 of the third quarter and ended at 1:13 of the fourth quarter (while the Bulldogs pumped in seven) -- that ultimately determined the outcome of the game.

The Elis now move on to face the winner of Bryant-Syracuse in College Park, Maryland.

Here's a truncated tempo-free box score:

Yale-Penn State: Truncated Tempo-Free Box Score
Metric Yale Penn State
Offensive Efficiency (per 100 Offensive Opportunities) 24.39 16.67
Offensive Opportunities 41 42
Shots per Offensive Opportunity 0.83 0.86
Offensive Shooting Percentage 29.41% 19.44%
Turnovers (per 100 Offensive Opportunities) 39.02 45.24
Caused Turnovers (per 100 Defensive Opportunities) 28.57 29.27
Unforced Turnovers (per 100 Offensive Opportunities) 9.76 16.67
Team Save Percentage 58.82% 58.33%
Saves per 100 Defensive Opportunities 23.81 34.15