PHILADELPHIA — The NCAA instituted an 80-second shot clock for men's lacrosse this season. The idea was to usher the game into a new era of high scores and offenses gone wild.
Defending NCAA champion Yale got the memo.
The fifth-seeded Bulldogs tied a tournament record with 10 goals in the first quarter and never trailed en route to a 21-17 semifinal victory over top-seeded Penn State Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field. The combined 38 goals also tied an tournament record, set in 1994.
“I’d like to think that it’s two teams that are very difficult to stop,” Yale coach Andy Shay said. “A game that fast, a game that intense, you just kind of hope you’re standing at the end of it.”
Long Islanders were well represented in the Bulldogs' balanced offensive onslaught. Jack Tigh (Garden City) had two goals and two assists. John Daniggelis (Smithtown East), Lucas Colter (Syosset) and Luke Eschbach (Smithtown East) each chipped in one goal and one assist.
But it was a teammate from Baltimore, Matt Brandeau, who stole the show with seven goals, a freshman tournament record, including four scores in the fourth to put the game away.
Yale (15-3) will look to win its second consecutive NCAA title here on Monday, when it meets third-seeded Virginia.
The Bulldogs exploded out of the gate and took a 10-2 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Nittany Lions hung in and cut their deficit to 12-9 by halftime.
“It speaks to the character of the guys in that locker room,” said Nick Spillane (Carey), who had one goal and four assists in the loss. “It’s not something you expect, to be down eight goals in the first quarter. But we’re built on a great group of guys. And that’s what I’m really proud of.”
Yale led 20-13 with eight minutes remaining in regulation, but Penn State scored four of the game’s final five goals to make the final margin close.
Penn State (16-2) became the first team in NCAA history to score 20 goals and allow 20 goals in a single game in the same tournament. The Nittany Lions had been ranked No. 1 for most of the year. Their only previous loss also came against the Bulldogs.
Grant Ament had three goals and five assists for Penn State. He finished the tournament with 25 points, which ties an NCAA record.