Ball, Ramsey Outduel Cole in Fourth Quarter, Lead Yale to NCAA Quarterfinals


If you’re tired after just watching Saturday night’s game between Saint Joseph’s and Yale, you’re not the only one.

In a contest that felt like a full 60-minute sprint, Yale faceoff men James Ball and Nicholas Ramsey were able to outduel Hawks ace Zach Cole in the fourth quarter. That signaled a clear momentum shift from the first three quarters, giving Yale the edge in an 18-16 win at Reese Stadium.

Yale, the fourth seed in the NCAA tournament, heads to the quarterfinals next weekend in Hempstead, N.Y., to face a familiar foe in Princeton.

Saint Joseph’s, making its first NCAA tournament appearance in program history, was up for the challenge on the road against the No. 4 national seed. A 5-1 burst in the second quarter put the Hawks ahead 9-6 with 2:06 left before the half, but in a sequence emblematic of the pace of the contest, Yale quickly caught up and went into the break trailing by just one goal.

The second half was a continuation of that frenetic pace. Jack Monfort and Chris Lyons scored less than a minute apart to flip that one-goal Yale deficit into a one-goal Yale lead before Carter Page answered for SJU, tying the score at 10.

Page’s goal started a 56-second blitz in which four goals were scored — two by each team — the last of which by Brian Tevlin gave Yale a 12-11 lead with 9:03 left in the period. Leo Johnson added to Yale’s lead 90 seconds later, then Ball won a faceoff and scored seven seconds after that.

The Hawks, who certainly have quite a few more fans after their display, came back to tie the score at 15 when Matt Bohmer wrapped around his defender to score with 7:25 left in the contest.

Possession in the fourth quarter wasn’t as easy for SJU to come by as it was early on. Cole still finished with a 22-for-37 line, but Yale head coach Andy Shay expertly mixed and matched, alternating between Ball and Ramsey in the final 15 minutes so Cole couldn’t get into a rhythm.

Yale held a 5-2 faceoff advantage in the fourth quarter as a result.

It was one of Ball’s wins that led to the go-ahead goal, a freshman-to-freshman strike by Johnny Keib that was assisted by Johnson.

Ahead 16-15, Yale wasn’t finished. Ball won the next faceoff but turned it over. Bohmer ripped another shot, but it was saved by Jared Paquette (16 saves). A successful clear led to Matt Brandau’s 56th goal of the spring and a 17-15 lead.

Colin Reich cut the two-goal lead in half with 3:37 remaining, but Yale again had the answer. Tevlin assisted Johnson for the dagger with 2:14 left. Ramsey won the final faceoff of the game, allowing Yale to run down the clock to 43 seconds — and the Yale defense held firm to keep SJU away from the goal.


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