FOXBORO, Mass. — The last time the Yale men’s lacrosse team could call itself a national champion, it was also the same year that the Brooklyn Bridge first opened to traffic, some 135 years ago. On the backdrop of that bit of history, the 2018 Yale lacrosse team made a bit of its own history in bringing back that championship feeling to New Haven.
Sophomore attacker Matt Gaudet completed a sterling championship weekend with four goals as the third-seeded Bulldogs earned their first-ever NCAA lacrosse national championship with a 13-11 victory over No. 4 Duke at Gillette Stadium on Memorial Day. According to its records, Yale was awarded a lacrosse “national championship” back in 1883, but today’s victory marks the first title since the formation of the NCAA over a century ago.
After scoring six goals in the Bulldogs’ semifinal victory over No. 2 Albany on Saturday, Gaudet completed his weekend with four goals on five shots to earn the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award. Fellow attacker and 2018 Tewaaraton Award finalist Ben Reeves added a goal and three assists.
Yale led the game wire to wire, with midfielder Jack Tigh scoring two unassisted goals in the first four minutes of the contest to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage. The lead went up to 3-0 after Gaudet’s first goal of the game with 9:13 remaining in the first quarter, assisted by substitute attacker Lucas Cotler.
Duke cut the Bulldogs’ lead to one midway through the second on a man-up goal by Brad Smith with 7:35 left in the second quarter, but never was able to even up the score with the Bulldogs. Yale scored four unanswered goals spanning the second and third periods to take control of the game, with Gaudet’s second goal of the game capping the run and giving the Bulldogs a 9-4 lead at the 10:14 mark of the third.
Yale goalkeeper Jack Starr made nine saves in the contest, including one in the final 30 seconds which sealed the championship for the Bulldogs. Duke attacker Justin Guterding scored two goals, finishing his career with an NCAA D1 all-time record of 212 goals.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Monday afternoon’s game, with all photos taken by our senior photographer, Robert Cole. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are six pictures in total.