NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Fairfield University men’s lacrosse team erased a six-goal deficit in the second half to force overtime against host Yale on Saturday afternoon. But unfortunately for the Stags, it was the No. 15 Bulldogs who found the back of the net in the second extra session to escape Reese Stadium with an 11-10 win. Travis Ford had a career-high four goals for Fairfield.
In addition to Ford’s quartet of goals for the Stags (2-4), Colin Burke netted a hat trick to extend his team-leading totals to 10 goals and 16 points. Dylan Beckwith had a pair of markers, including the game-tying tally in the closing minutes of regulation, and Jake Knostman added one. Drew Murray, Jack Brennan and Dave Fleming each handed out an assist to round out the scoring.
Tyler Behring made 12 saves in the cage, including several highlight reel stops at point blank range. The First Team All-CAA netminder also scooped up three ground balls. The defense in front of Behring was guided by three caused turnovers from freshman Andrew Murrow.
After falling behind 5-0 after the first quarter of action, Ford put the Stags on the board three minutes into the second frame. The Bulldogs would add two more goals before Burke capped the first half scoring with a strike to send Fairfield into the locker room trailing, 7-2.
Matt Gaudet scored his fourth goal for Yale (2-3) to start the second half scoring, staking the Bulldogs to an 8-2 advantage. At that point, the Stags rattled off four straight tallies – two from Ford and one apiece by Beckwith and Burke - to trim the margin to 8-6. Jack Tigh’s goal in the final minute of the quarter extended the Bulldogs’ edge to 9-6 entering the fourth quarter.
In a span of less than five minutes in the last stanza of regulation, the Stags pulled even for the first time since the opening whistle. First Knostman rattled the cage for his fourth of the season, followed by back-to-back man-up goals for Ford and Burke to knot the count at 9-9 midway through the frame. Tigh put Yale back on top, 10-9, at the 6:25 mark of the period, but the Stags struck last in the quarter as Beckwith eluded his defender and converted with 3:11 remaining to level the score at 10-10.
After two possessions for each side came up empty in the first overtime, the contest headed into its second extra period. Again, both teams made a scoreless trip before Ben Reeves connected on the game-winner to give the decision to Yale, 11-10.
The Bulldogs were led by five points from Reeves, who netted a hat trick to go along with two assists. Gaudet also had a five-point outing, scoring four times prior to distributing the assist on Reeves’ game-winner. Brody Wilson made six saves to earn the win in the cage in his collegiate debut for Yale.
The game marked the third time in the last four meetings that Fairfield and Yale have gone into overtime, including the second straight meeting contested at Reese Stadium. The Stags’ last double-overtime game prior to this afternoon was a 12-11 win over CAA foe Delaware on April 18, 2015 at Rafferty Stadium.
Fairfield returns to Conway Field at Rafferty Stadium to host Cleveland State on Wednesday, March 15 at 3 p.m. on FairfieldStags.TV. Two days later, the Stags head to Happy Valley to meet No. 3 Penn State in a game that will be broadcast to a national television audience at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 17 on ESPNU.