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Yale Hosts UMass Friday Night

(photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)
(photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)


NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The Yale men’s lacrosse team opened the 2010 season with a win over Holy Cross at home. The Bulldogs, who received votes in the latest USILA national poll, get a true non-league test this Friday night at 7 when No. 12 ranked UMass comes to Reese Stadium looking to stay perfect in its first three outings.

The Minutemen own an 18-6 lead in the series against Yale, though the Elis have won two of the last three. Four of the six Bulldog wins have come at New Haven.

UMass got a career-high seven goals from Jim Connolly and 14 saves from Doc Schneider in an 18-6 win over Yale last February at Garber Field. Tim Balise added four goals and an assist. Six different Bulldogs hit the net and Andrew Brown stopped 11 shots in the Yale goal.

Matt Gibson had four goals and two assists and Brian Douglass had three tallies and one assist as Yale beat Holy Cross 14-7 at Reese Stadium last weekend. The Blue had the advantage in almost every statistical category, including shots (40-32) and ground balls (35-25) while dominating on face-offs by winning 16 of 24. Jonathan Falcone made 10 saves, including a flurry of stops at the end of the game. Max Rodman, in his first game as Yale's top face-off man, had six ground balls while having the upper hand on three different Crusaders on draws. Brendan Gibson added three goals for the home team, while Matt Miller, Colin Still, Michael McCormack and Kirby Zdrill also found the back of the net for the Blue.

UMass, which got snowed out of last weekend’s trip to Ohio State, opened the season with a 15-10 won over Sacred Heart before unloading on Hartford, 20-10. The Amherst boys lead the nation in total goals. The offense has been headed up a pair of midfielders in senior captain Bobby Hayes (7-2-9) and junior Ryan Hantverk (6-3-9). Fellow middie Anthony Biscardi (4-4-8) and attackman Art Kell (5-2-7) are also among the leaders while Feb. 22 CAA Rookie of the Week Will Manny leads the team with five assists.

Four Ivy League teams are among the 20 in the latest USILA national rankings: Princeton is No. 7, Cornell is 8, Harvard is 15 and Brown is 19. 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.

Yale head coach Andy Shay is in his seventh season and brings a 36-45 overall record into Friday’s contest. Shay, a two-time captain at LeMoyne College, was part of two UMass NCAA Quarterfinals teams as an assistant coach before coming to Yale. Shay worked for Greg Cannella, who is in his 16th year as the Minutemen’s head coach. Cannella (133-84) has taken his squad to seven NCAA tournaments and has seven wins from those appearances.

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… The UMass game is the first of two home night games for the Blue this season; the other is April 24 vs. Bryant… Yale’s only night road game is April 13 at Providence.

Six-foot-five freshman middie Bryan Walker is the tallest Eli…The heaviest Bulldogs are sophomore defenseman Michael Sweeney and Walker, both 220 pounds. Defenseman Brett Newgaard of UMass will be the biggest player on the field at 6-foot-6, 230 pounds.

The first two Bulldogs recruited from Canada exclusively for lacrosse are newcomers Kirby Zdrill and Deron Dempster… There are no Canadians on the UMass roster.

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, Harvard, Brown and Dartmouth in the lastest NEILA poll.


release filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director

image by Don Clark