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The Ivy League featured two games this past weekend with Yale edging Penn 25-14 and Cornell outlasting Columbia 26-11. Yale got out to an early lead that never relinquished while Cornell overcame and early deficit to earn the victory.
Columbia got up on the Big Red with a pair of penalties to take a 6-0 advantage. Cornell responded however with a pair of tries and took a 12-6 lead going into the break. The teams traded tries before Cornell added one more late to seal the victory.
Yale jumped out to an early lead on Penn thanks to two scores from senior Luke Thomas. Thomas made a transition from the forwards into the backs and has really been developing his game.
“He has been beginning to become a bit more aware of his roll and a bit more instinctive in his decision making,” Yale coach Greg McWilliams said of Thomas. “He’s providing us a good dimension in the middle of the park.”
After his first score, Thomas intercepted a pass on his own goal line and ran it the length of the field for a 100-meter try. Rather than a tie game, Yale doubled its lead and never trailed in the match.
After Yale had a player sent to the sin bin, Penn converted a try to cut the lead to 10-7 but Charlie Hill added Yale’s third score to make it 15-7 going into the break. The Bulldogs got the first score of the second half to extend the lead to 20-7. Penn made it a one score game with 10 minutes play but Yale put the nail in the coffin with a Bryan Herbert try.
“We were happy to get that win and get the bonus point. It is pretty important,” added McWilliams. “I think it’s a game we could have lost last year but the boys did well and are working hard.”
McWilliams indicated that the team is still building and looking to improve upon a 2-5 finish in Ivy play last year. Helping the cause is a couple of freshman that are new to the game and been able to make an impact early on. Kohl Weisman and Joe Good have burst onto the scene and made a nice impact on the team.
“It is something I am not used to but they really have taken to the program well,” McWilliams said of his freshman. “It is just important for us to have these freshman that are providing energy.”
With it being so early in the season, everything is still wide open in the Ivy League. Perennial powerhouse Dartmouth suffered a pair of tough losses in consecutive weeks but remain the class of the conference. The Big Green have not lost a conference match since 2007.