Coming off an OT loss to start the 2019 season last week, defending national champion and No. 6-ranked Yale got its first win of the year Saturday, upsetting No. 2 Penn State 14-13.
Yale certainly dominated what was touted to be a premier battle within the faceoff circle between TD Ierlan and PSU’s Gerard Arceri. The Bulldogs claimed a staggering 25-of-31 faceoff wins, all with the junior forward Ierlan in the circle.
Entering Saturday’s contest, Arceri led the nation in faceoffs, capitalizing on just under 80 percent of his battles through the Nittany Lions’ first three games. But Arceri struggled against Ierlan, besting the Bulldog on just 4 of 23 faceoffs.
#6 @YaleLacrosse beats #2 @PennStateMLAX 14-13. TD Ierlan 25-31 faceoffs, 22 ground balls, 1 goal. Highlights tonight on Lacrosse Now 9pm ET https://t.co/oJkK8CQ2nw & the LSN app pic.twitter.com/KNDcS8V9oz— Lax Sports Network (@LaxSportsNet) February 23, 2019
Yale owned an 11-8 lead heading into the final quarter, and scored the first two in the fourth to build a comfortable five-goal advantage.
Penn State is not ranked second in the country with a top-five defense for nothing, though. The Nittany Lions scored three straight goals, and five of the game's final six to make it a 14-13 game with 56 seconds left. PSU took 14 shots in the final frame — twice as many as it took in any other quarter.
But with the help of goalie Jack Starr, the Bulldogs successfully survived with a one-goal advantage as time ran out. Starr finished with seven saves on 20 shots faced.
It doesn't matter if Coach Shay gives the game ball to TD Ierlan, he's going to take it anyway.— Yale Lacrosse (@YaleMLacrosse) February 23, 2019
Penn State got the jump to start the game, nabbing two quick goals within the first two minutes. Yale responded with two goals of its own in under a minute, from Lucas Cotler and Jack Tigh.
The Nittany Lions popped ahead once again with a pair of goals, but Yale recovered to knot up the score 4-4 to end the first quarter. The Bulldogs continued to roll in the second quarter, scoring three of four goals to take a 7-5 lead at halftime.
MLAX: No. 6 Yale leads No. 2 Penn State 7–5 at the end of the first half. Faceoff specialist TD Ierlan '20 commanded the X in the first half, winning 12 of 14 faceoffs and allowing the Elis to take control of the contest after finding themselves down 2 goals early in the first.— YDN Sports (@YDNsports) February 23, 2019
Penn State’s top scorer Mac O'Keefe was a force to be reckoned with, adding onto his season’s 14 goals with another five scores in the Lions’ loss. The junior notched his fourth score of the game while Penn State was up a man in the third quarter, in an attempt to chase Yale’s lead, which stretched to 11-8 entering the final frame.
For Yale, Matt Gaudet and Brendan Rooney paced the way with three goals each.
Both teams return to action next Saturday. Penn State (3-1) hosts Penn while the Bulldogs (1-1) visit Massachusetts, looking to come away with a winning record.