NEW HAVEN, Conn. – It was a career night for sophomore Ryan Keenan (Oshawa, Ontario), but nationally-ranked No. 13 Yale University was too much for the Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team on Tuesday night. The Bulldogs topped the Bobcats, 14-11, at Reece Stadium in New Haven – renewing a rivalry that hadn't seen action since the 2002 campaign.
Keenan carried the load offensively for the Bobcats (5-8), factoring in seven of the team's 11 goals. He finished with a career-best six goals in the game, surpassing his five-goal effort which he did earlier this year against Monmouth. He added an assist to complete a seven-point night for the Oshawa native. It was his third career hat trick as well.
Quinnipiac also received goals from Matt Kycia (West Harford, Conn.), Pat Corcoran (Stratford, Conn.), Nate Nibbelink (Hampstead, Md.), Matt Diehl (Towson, Md.) and Kevin Diehl (Towson, Md.). Kycia added an assist while it was Kevin Diehl's first career goal for the rookie midfielder.
A rocky start to say the least, Quinnipiac fell behind early by a count of 7-1 after the first quarter. However, it was a position that Quinnipiac has been in before, and one that it could recover from. The Bobcats rattled off four goals in the second quarter, while holding the Bulldogs to just one to close the gap to three before the halftime whistle (8-5). Keenan had three of the four goals with Kevin Diehl joining Keenan in the scoring summary with his milestone marker.
After the break, Quinnipiac weathered another offensive spurt from the Bulldogs, erasing a four-goal deficit with three straight goals. The flurry came within a four minute span, beginning with Keenan's fifth goal of the game with 12:52 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Nibbelink connected some 30 seconds after that, and Kycia completed the stint with his eighth goal of the season. Quinnipiac trailed 10-9 with 8:24 seconds remaining in the frame.
However, Quinnipiac's attack went quiet and Yale slipped in two straight goals to extend its margin back to three, 12-9. The two teams would exchange goals through the remainder of regulation. Matt Diehl scored to pull the Bobcats within two, 13-11, with 4:31 seconds left, but Yale tacked on one more and escaped with the non-conference triumph.
Gill Conners (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) came up big on several occasions, amassing 13 saves between the pipes for the Bobcats. He upped his season total to 153 which moves him into sixth place all-time for the most saves in a single season. He had 195 saves last season which was good enough for third on the same list.
Michael Sagl (West Islip, N.Y.), who recently became Quinnipiac's all-time leader in assists, added three more to his career total (67). He moved into fifth place all-time in career points (125) and tied his career high of 25 assists in a single-season.
With the win, Yale (9-3) extended its winning streak to four straight games. Conrad Oberbeck and Brandon Mangan each had three goals for the hosting Bulldogs. Mangan added three assists. Eric Natale made three saves in his ninth win of the season.
Yale controlled the faceoff (18-11) and the turnover margin (10-16). The Bulldogs also went 2-for-3 on the man-up.
Quinnipiac is back in action on Saturday, April 26 with its regular-season finale. The Bobcats welcome Air Force for a 12 p.m. tilt at the QU Lacrosse Turf Field. Prior to faceoff, head coach Eric Fekete and Quinnipiac Athletics will honor the seven senior class members of the lacrosse program.
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