Inside Lacrosse Photos: Myles Tintle
NEW HAVEN, Conn. —No. 4 Yale beat No. 3 Cornell 16-11 in front of a packed house of 2,716 fans at Reese Stadium on Saturday.
The Bulldogs won thoroughly, gaining an edge in pretty much every facet. The pivotal numbers were at the face-off X (where TD Ierlan rebounded from a 3-for-6 start to finish 24-for-30 on the day and picked up 17 groundballs), the Bulldog defense (which limited Big Red star Jeff Teat to one goal and one assist) and Yale’s young offensive contributors (freshman attackman Matt Brandau finished with six goals and two assists, and sophomore midfielder Brian Tevlin notched two goals and two assists).
A bright spot for the Big Red was freshman goalie Chayse Ierlan, who finished with 15 saves while playing against his brother’s new team.
TD Iealan spoke candidly about what it was like to see his brother roaming the opposing net.
“Honestly, it was pretty tough. Tougher than I expected,” TD Ierlan said. “I thought as soon as the game started, I’d kind of forget about it, but I guess it’s just natural habit… To see goals go in on him, it was pretty tough. Luckily, half the time I was figuring out what I was going to do with my stick heads and I missed them. But, it was tough to see him get scored on and, it kind of sounds bad, but in the fourth quarter there were a couple of times I had to catch myself when I was kind of cheering when he made a save, I was like, “Geez.” But it was definitely really tough. I feel for him, I know he’s going to want space, I thought he had a solid day. Our offense was clicking and for a freshman to come into an environment like this… As much attention as it got, me vs. him, I think he handled it really well. I know he’ll be really good, and I know he’ll be chirping me come tomorrow, so…”
Signing autographs for young fans postgame, Ierlan said his mom remarked after the final whistle that she was glad he passed up on one opportunity to dive into his brother’s crease.
Ierlan’s slow start was one of the game’s most interesting developments, and he gave credit to Big Red face-off specialist Paul Rasimowicz, who finished 6-of-27 and picked up four groundballs.
“One thing Paul does really well, after the face-off, he’s good with getting groundballs, he doesn’t really whiff,” TD said. “I just tried to stick with it, and eventually they were going to fall and luckily our offense and defense could bail me out when we weren’t playing well.”
“[TD is] one of those kids that he’s so good at everything that if you find an advantage, usually he has an answer for it down the road,” Cornell coach Peter Milliman said of why the Big Red’s early face-off success faded. “So I think there were some adjustments, a lot fo them were made by him finding a way to continually make the right play. He’s good.”
Cornell’s offense has been top five in the country based on offensive efficiency and scored on 40.7% of its possessions Saturday. Attackmen Clarke Petterson (4G, 2A) and John Piatelli (4, 1) led the way, but Yale sophomore defenseman Chris Fake drew the Teat matchup and held him to a season low.
“I think Chris Fake wanted that matchup early on,” Yale coach Andy Shay said. “I was talking to Chris on Monday or Tuesday and then half way through my sentence, I decided to stop talking because I could see the look in his eye that he just wanted this matchup. I don’t think he was very pleased with how the Ivy League Tournament went last year. Knowing Chris Fake, when he takes it personally, he’s going to have a good day. And it certainly wasn’t just him, but I think Chris — when push came to shove, he proved he gets the accolades for a reason.”
Milliman attributed Yale’s defense success to execution over tactics.
“About as straight-up as it’s ever been,” he said of the Bulldogs’ approach to Teat. “There was no surprise there. I didn’t think they would come out with any sort of tricks. They just player their defense and make you beat them. We couldn’t.”
Brandau, who came into the game with five goals and four assists, showed out on the big stage, growing into the Under Armour All-American hype that positions him as a complement and heir to Jackson Morrill’s role as the leader of the Bulldog offense. He was covered by a shortstick initially, and scored Yale’s third goal on man-down before adding two more in the second quarter as the Elis built a 10-5 halftime lead.
“I try not to, but I mean… I don’t really know how to answer that,” Brandau said of whether he takes it personally when he’s shortsticked. “They were double-poling the face-off, we have a great face-off guy, so it’s pretty easy to just brush it off because I know they were trying to just stop TD.”
“Matty just kind of started taking the ball to the rack,” Shay said. “He’s worked very hard, and I think for him it’s just a confidence thing. He’s got to know that he’s one of the better attackmen out there and certainly today I think he proved it. They switched the matchup, No. 25 [Fleet Wallace] to him, and I think that’s a sign of respect.”
Tevlin was basically Yale’s lone answer from the midfield, accounting for four of the unit’s six points. Check out Sunday’s Weekend Roundup for an amazing and revelatory story about what’s next for Tevlin.
Up next, Cornell (4-2, 0-1) hosts St. Bonaventure on Tuesday then Penn on Saturday. The Bulldogs (4-1, 1-0) are at Princeton on Saturday.