Yale defeated Duke in a thriller at Gillette Stadium on Monday, 13–11, to win its first ever national championship in men’s lacrosse. It took a little while to sink in for head coach Andy Shay and when it finally did, he was doing an interview live on ESPN with Paul Carcaterra. It was a priceless moment.
Shay has been the head coach at Yale for 15 years but had never led the Bulldogs to a Final Four until this year.
The No. 3 seed Bulldogs were led in the championship game by sophomore attackman Matt Gaudet, who had four goals after scoring six in the semifinal against Albany on Saturday. Freshman goalie Jack Starr stood tall in net, making several tough saves, including one on a point-blank shot in the final ten seconds, to keep the Duke offense at bay.
Yale led wire-to-wire and went up 10–5 in the middle of the third quarter before Duke made a ferocious comeback attempt that ultimately came up short.
Yale is the first Ivy League school to win a national title in men’s lacrosse since Princeton in 2001.
It is Yale’s first national championship since the men’s hockey team’s win in 2013 and only its second title in men’s sports since 1953. The women’s fencing team’s back-to-back championships in 1984 and 1985 are the school’s only women’s titles. Its only other championships have come in golf and swimming.