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No. 5 Bulldogs Knock Off Villanova in Season Opener

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

Lyons scores nine goals to lead potent Yale attack

Game Recap: Men's Lacrosse 2/19/2023 5:17:00 PM Tim Bennett

VILLANOVA, Pa. – In its season opener, it took the Yale men's lacrosse team about seven minutes to find its rhythm. From there, the Bulldogs were in midseason form. Sophomore Chris Lyons scored a career-high nine goals, and senior Matt Brandau added four goals and three assists as No. 5 Yale posted an impressive 20-14 victory over Villanova on a mild, mid-February afternoon at Villanova Stadium.

The Bulldogs trailed 7-4 after the first quarter and then proceeded to outscore the Wildcats 6-3 in the second and 7-2 in the third.

"It was nice to get a win against a strong opponent," said Andy Shay, the Forst Family Head Coach of the Bulldogs. "I thought we settled in defensively in the second half and that was the difference. Credit to Villanova, it was a hard fought game."

In all, eight Bulldogs had goals. Leo Johnson tallied a pair, while Patrick Hackler, Jack Monfort, Brad Sharp, Christian Johnson and Johnny Keib all scored once. Johnson and Carson Kuhl contributed three assists apiece.

Goalie Jared Paquette made 18 saves to earn the victory.

The two teams combined for 104 shots in the high-scoring affair.

Lyons' nine goals were the most by a sophomore in a game in school history and just one shy of Jon Reese's record of 10 against Army in 1990.

The 20 goals were the most in a season opener for the Bulldogs since a 21-2 win over CCNY in 1953.

Villanova scored the game's first goal less than a minute in, but Brandau answered at 13:07. Brandau has now scored in all 41 games he has played at Yale, the longest active goal scoring streak in the nation.

The Wildcats, who opened the season with a win over Penn State last week, used a pair of three-goal runs to take a 7-4 lead after 15 minutes.

Yale, though, tallied the first two goals of the second quarter and drew even at 10-10 when Christian Johnson scored with 1:40 left before halftime.

The Bulldogs' dominant third quarter started with a Brandau goal, the first of five straight goals for Yale. Lyons added three during the run. By the end of the period, the Bulldogs had a 17-12 advantage, and Villanova never got closer than four the rest of the way.

Yale returns to Reese Stadium for its home opener next Saturday. The Bulldogs host Penn State in a noon start.

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