The defending champs will look to do on Sunday the one thing they didn’t accomplish in 2018: win the Ivy League championship.
Pretty much a birth-right for Yale for much of the decade, the No. 2-seed Bulldogs topped No. 3-seed Cornell 15-10 at Columbia’s Robert Kraft Field on Friday to advance to play No. 1-seed Penn at noon on ESPNU.
The Bulldogs were led by three goals and three assists from junior Jackson Morrill, five goals and an assist from freshman Matt Brandau, 21-of-27 from the face-off X by junior TD Ierlan and 12 saves from sophomore Jack Starr.
Cornell got five goals from junior Jeff Teat and 17 saves from freshman Chayse Ierlan.
Like their March 16 win over the Big Red in New Haven, Yale was systematic in their command of the game on Friday night; coach Andy Shay’s team built leads of 3-1, 5-2, 7-3 and 12-4. From that point, the Big Red scored five of the next six goals to make things interesting with 6:30 remaining, but Jack Tigh nailed an extra-man goal and Brandau added his fifth off an assist from Morrill to seal the deal with just less than 4:00 remaining.
Cornell now waits to learn its NCAA Tournament fate. With a record of 10-5, Cornell has quality wins over RPI No. 6 Towson and No. 8 Notre Dame; their own RPI is No. 12, which has served as a threshold for at-large consideration in years past. With Loyola’s loss in the Patriot League Semifinals Friday, the bubble got smaller, and the Big Red must hope that Towson wins the CAA Tournament and, potentially, they get selected over Syracuse or Maryland.
Yale, on the other hand, saw its RPI rise to No. 2 and could significantly strengthen its resume with a win over RPI No. 5 Penn on Sunday, potentially securing the second-overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.