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College Crosse NCAA Tournament Recap: Yale Beats Penn State 21-17

The Bulldogs return to the title game for the second straight year.

2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The defending champs are going back to the title game as Yale defeated Penn State 21-17 today in Philadelphia. It looked like it was going to be a rout early on, as Yale’s face-off dominance was on full display with TD absolutely owning the moment in the first half and especially the first quarter when he went 10 for 13 in his match-up with Gerard Arceri. TD’s blitz helped the Bulldogs jump out to a 10-2 lead after 15 minutes. That early cushion was just too much for Penn State to overcome, even with their powerful offense.

Aside from TD going off in the first half, Yale’s Jackson Morrill, Matt Brandau, & Matt Gaudet all scored two goals in that critical first period to help the Bulldogs jump out to a commanding lead on the Nittany Lions.

The second quarter was a much different affair as Penn State dug in deep and clawed back into the game. The Nittany Lions started the quarter on a 5-1 run, as Mac O’Keefe & Gerard Arceri both scored two goals each during the run to help Penn State cut Yale’s lead from eight after the first quarter to 12-9 by halftime.

The third quarter was more like the second than it was the first, but in the end Penn State just wasn’t ever able to really close the gap. The two heavyweights continued to land blows, preventing either one from going on a big run; Yale would go on a short one or two-goal run, only for Penn State to turnaround and go on their own one or two-goal run. While this was certainly better for Penn State than what happened in the first quarter, in the end they never made any ground, as the Bulldogs were able to keep them at a distance by trading goals with the Nittany Lions through the third to keep their 3 goal lead (16-13).

Yale opened up the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter like they did in the first quarter by unloading on the Nittany Lions. Yale got its first goal of the fourth from Luke Eschbach less than a minute into the final period. Then Yale got a couple big saves from Jack Starr preventing Penn State from closing the gap in the pivotal early minutes of the fourth. Up until 11:00 minutes left in the game, Jack Starr had only three saves all game, but in less than a minute he came up with two big saves on two separate possessions to keep Yale up by four goals and stall the Penn State offense.

After Starr’s stops it was the Matt Brandau show. Brandau was already pretty hot this game, as he had three goals so far in the contest, but he left the field looking like he suffered an ankle injury. However, when he returned he was absolutely electric. Brandau got things started with his fourth goal of the game with 9:34 left on the clock to put Yale up by 5, 18-13.

Brandau scored again 8 seconds later to extend Yale’s lead to six goals with 9:26 left in the fourth. Brandau wasn’t through yet, though, as he powered in his 6th goal of the game roughly a minute later with 8:13 left in the period to put the Bulldogs up 20-13.

Brandau capped the day off with his seventh goal giving Yale a 21-13 advantage with 5:21 left on the clock. That four-goal explosion by Brandau was devastating for Penn State, as he turned a manageable 4-goal deficit with 10 minutes to play into a 7-goal mountain with about five minutes left in the game. Penn State was able to close gap a little in the end, but by the final whistle, Yale still won by a comfortable four goal margin over the Nittany LIons.

Penn State was led in scoring by Grant Ament who finished with 8 points on the day (3Gs, 5As). Dylan Foulds (5Gs) & Nick Spillane (1G, 4As) both finished the afternoon with 5 points each. Mac O’Keefe finished today with a hat-trick.

Yale was led in scoring by Matt Brandau who finished with 8 points (7Gs, & 1A). Jackson Morrill had a big day with 5 points (3Gs & 2As), while Jack Tigh finished 4 points this afternoon (2Gs, 2As).

Yale will now play Virginia for the title on Memorial Day Monday.

Penn State Postgame Press Conference Clips

Yale Postgame Press Conference Clips