Yale Opens 128th Season Saturday Morning
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The 2010 Yale men's lacrosse season opens this Saturday at 11:30 a.m. when the Bulldogs host Holy Cross at Reese Stadium. This is the 128th year of the sport at Yale.
Yale has won eight of the nine meetings with Holy Cross and has outscored the Crusaders 130-48 since the first game in 1965. The one Holy Cross win was 7-6 in 2008. All but the 2007 meeting have been played at New Haven.
Yale won 13-8 last February at Reese Stadium and got three goals from Michael Karwoski and two each from Brendan Gibson, who had three assists, Brian Douglass and Matt Miller. The Elis outshot the Crusaders 36-29 and had the edge in ground balls (25-23) and face-offs (15-8).
The Bulldogs prepared for the season opener by scrimmaging at No. 18 Stony Brook and No. 11 Hofstra the last two weekends. Experienced depth at midfield and on attack should help the Blue compete for a spot in the Ivy's first post-season event. The Blue returns one of the Ancient Eight's best offenses (six of the top 10 scorers were newcomers in 2009) and Yale's Class of 2013 was ranked among the top 15 by Inside Lacrosse.
Holy Cross fell to St. John's 9-8 in its season opener. Trailing by four goals in the final quarter, the purple and white reeled off three straight goals and fell just shy of the equalizer. James Kennedy led the Crusaders with three tallies; Kenny Minor and Chris Smirti chipped in two goals each. The Red Storm had the edge in all stats including shots (41-32) and ground balls (30-19). Connor Sweeney made nine saves for the Crusaders.
Four Ivy League teams are among the 20 in the latest USILA national rankings: No. 7. Cornell, 9. Princeton, 17. Harvard and 19. Brown. The Ivy League, which will have its first-ever post-season tournament in May, and the ACC have the most (4) teams in the national rankings. The Big East and Colonial are next with three each.
ON THE BENCH
Yale head coach Andy Shay begins his seventh season at New Haven and brings a 35-45 overall record into the opener. Shay, a two-time captain at LeMoyne College, was part of two UMass NCAA Quarterfinals teams as an assistant coach before coming to Yale. Adam Pascal, in his sixth season as mentor of the Crusaders, was 2008 New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Coach of the Year. Pascal was a first-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bandits (NLL) but played with the Boston Cannons (MLL) after graduating from Middlebury College.
The renovation of Reese Stadium, scheduled for completion this summer, will provide a state-of -the-art facility for both Yale lacrosse and soccer teams. The renovations include increased stadium seating, an entry plaza, team rooms and a press box. Recent improvements included a FieldTurf surface and improved lighting. Reese Stadium, formerly known as the Yale Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium, is named after former lacrosse players Jason Reese '87 and Jon Reese '90.
Five Yale opponents are among the USILA Division I ranked teams... Six-foot-five freshman Bryan Walker is the tallest Eli...The heaviest Bulldogs are Michael Sweeney and Walker, both 220 pounds... The first two Bulldogs recruited from Canada exclusively for lacrosse are newcomers Kirby Zdrill and Deron Dempster... The Yale roster includes players from 17 states and two provinces. The most are from New York (9), New Jersey (5) and Pennsylvania (4)... None of the 11 members of the class of 2013 hail from the same state or province... The Elis are ranked fifth behind UMass, Brown, Harvard and Bryant in the lastest NEILA poll.