FOXBOROUGH, M.A. — The Yale Bulldogs are this year’s NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse national champions, as they defeated the Duke Blue Devils, 13-11, in front of 29,455 fans inside Gillette Stadium. Yale became the first Ivy League school to win a national championship since Princeton won it back in 2001.
The Bulldogs got out in front early, which has been a theme this weekend. They scored the first three goals, two of them coming from midfielder Jack Tigh. Duke did hang around with Yale, unlike the other four games this weekend. Kevin Quigley scored the first Blue Devil goal with 3:26 left in the opening quarter, before Brendan Rooney scored on the extra man for Yale to start the second quarter.
Joey Manown and Brad Smith tallied goals for Duke to cut the Bulldog lead one, before Yale scored two of the final three goals of the half, including Tigh’s third of the half, to enter the locker room with a 6-4 lead.
All of a sudden, the third quarter turned into a fun offensive one for both teams. Yale started with another 3-0 run, thanks to goals from Ben Reeves, Brian Tevlin, and Matt Gaudet. After Justin Guterding and Gaudet exchanged goals for each team, Duke went on a 3-0 run of their own from Joey Manown, Peter Conley, and Quigley’s second. Yale ended that run with a Lucas Cotler snipe towards the top of the net to give Yale an 11-8 lead. After Guterding’s second, Jason Alessi had a high bounce shot off a Conor Mackie face-off win to end the quarter with Yale up three.
Gaudet’s fourth with 8:11 left in the game helped the Bulldogs extend their lead back to four. But Duke made a late push, with goals from Joe Robertson and Conley’s second. Yale won the following face-off, and managed to hold on to the ball for the majority of the end of the game.
Gaudet finished the game with four goals en route towards Most Outstanding Player honors. Tigh had three goals, all of them coming in the first half. Reeves finished with a goal and three assists and Lucas Cotler ended up with a goal and two dishes. Freshman goalie Jack Starr recorded nine saves and became the seventh freshman goalie to win a national championship, and the first since Dan Wigrizer did it for Duke back in 2010.
For the Blue Devils, Guterding finished his college career with two goals and one assist for a total of 351 points. He was two points shy of breaking Matt Danowski’s school record of 353. Conley, Manown, Robertson, and Quigley had a pair of goals as well. Danny Fowler made eight stops on the other end.
Yale joins fellow New England schools Merrimack (Division II) and Wesleyan (Division III) as national champions in men’s lacrosse. They also won their first national championships.
1. Matt Gaudet (Yale) – Most Outstanding Player
2. Ben Reeves (Yale)
3. Justin Guterding (Duke)
4. Chris Fake (Yale)
5. Jack Tigh (Yale)
6. Connor Fields (Albany)
7. Jack Starr (Yale)
8. Connor Kelly (Maryland)
9. JT Giles-Harris (Duke)
10. Jackson Morrill (Yale)
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