No. 9 Elis Host Last Non-League Contest
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The Yale men's lacrosse team has won five straight games and has placed itself in the driver's seat to take one of the four spots in the inaugural Ivy League Post-Season Tournament. The Elis, who are coming off a dominating performance at Brown last weekend that moved them up to ninth in the latest laxnews.com poll, host the Bulldogs from Bryant University (8-5) Saturday night at 7 in the last non-league game of the Yale season.
Yale and Bryant, new to Division I, have met in many sports, but this will be the first in men's lacrosse.
DOGS BITE BEARS
Eight different Yale players hit the net including Matt Gibson, who led the team with three tallies and five points, and Matt Miller (3 goals). Matt Fuchs (3 points) and Gregory Mahony had two each, while Brian Douglass, Max Rodman and Michael Pratt also found the net. Brown had the advantage in shots (44-33) and ground balls (36-24), but the Elis turned Brown over often, including five times in the opening 15 minutes, and converted those defensive plays into goals. Johnathan Falcone had another big day in goal for the Blue with 14 saves. He made five stops in the third quarter and had three in each of the other frames.
Yale's nine wins are the most under head coach Andy Shay and the most since the 2003 Bulldogs went 9-5 overall. This is the fourth nine-victory campaign since the Elis enjoyed their best-ever season, 12-4 in 1990.
Yale is ninth in this week's laxnews.com poll and No. 13 in the latest USILA rankings. It is Yale's best ranking in the USILA poll since 1992.
Five Yale players have hit double digits in goals. Junior A Brian Douglass has a team-high 28 and ranks 15th in Division I with 2.55 per game. Sophomore A Matt Gibson (25 goals) leads the Elis with 43 points and is 13th in the country with 3.91 points per game. Senior captain Brendan Gibson has 16-14-30. Sophomore M Gregory Mahony has 15-1-16 after notching two goals at Brown. Matt Miller (11-3-14) reached double-digits last weekend with his first three-goal game of the year at Brown.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Junior goalie Johnathan Falcone has every decision in the Yale net and has a .523 save percentage. His 8.69 GAA is 13th in Division I. He has had double-digit saves in four of the last five games. Falcone had a season-high of 15 saves at Dartmouth, while he has held opponents to single-digits in three of the last four outings.
Senior M Max Rodman is 13th in the country with a .572 face-off mark. He had a season-high 33 face-offs against Penn, while his low was the next day with 11 against Detroit. Rookie Cole Yeager (.632) got an opportunity to take over against Detroit and won nine of 13.
Junior LSM Patrick Coleman leads the Blue with 42 pick-ups. Freshman D Michael McCormack is second with 35. These two defenders have helped the Bulldogs hold their last two opponents to a combined eight goals.
Yale is 10th in faceoffs (.565), 13th in team defense (8.7), 14th in ground balls (33) and 20th in scoring offense (10.8) among Division I squads.
Yale sophomore Matt Gibson was named March 8 co-Ivy League Player of the Week after an 11-point weekend in a pair of victories. Gibson led the Elis to a 13-12 win over No. 12 UMass on March 5 with a career-high 5-3-8. He earned NEILA Player of the Week on April 11 after five goals in the 8-3 win at Dartmouth. Junior Brian Douglass got the Ivy nod on April 5 after a 13-goal, 14-point weekend set against Penn and Detroit. Freshman Peter Johnson was named Ivy Rookie of the Week on April 11 after helping the Blue hold the Big Green to three goals.
Bryant, which is not eligible for NCAA Championship competition until 2013, will be a part of the Northeast Conference, which will play its first men's lacrosse season in 2011. Travis Harrington had 3-2-5 in win over Sacred Heart last Saturday to earn NEILA Player of the Week honors. He had two more goals on Tuesday in a 7-6 loss to Holy Cross. The Bulldogs have won two of three and are averaging just under nine goals. Max Weisenberg has a team-high 24 goals and 33 points while Jameson Love has a 6.39 GAA.
The first Ivy League tournament is set for May 7-9 and includes the top four teams. The No. 1 seed will host No. 4, with No. 2 and No. 3 playing each other at the same venue. Princeton (4-0) is currently first, followed by Cornell (3-1), Yale (3-2) and Brown (2-2). Harvard and Dartmouth are both 1-3 with Penn (1-4) just behind. A Princeton win over Harvard at Boston on Saturday at 1 p.m. would put the Bulldogs in their first post-season event since 1992.
Five of the seven Ivy League teams are currently listed in the USILA top 20 poll. Two schools, Cornell and Princeton, are in the top 10. Yale, Brown and Harvard are also ranked.
ON THE BENCH
Yale head coach Andy Shay is in his seventh season and brings a 43-47 overall record into Saturday'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.
Yale assistant Graham Niemi, a former Maryland standout, served as head coach of Team Finland at the 2009 World Championships… Andy Shay has coached the Irish National team… Eli assistant Ryan Polley played basketball and lacrosse (2nd team All-America) at Merrimack.
Three Yale players have points in every game, Brendan Gibson, Matt Gibson and Brian Douglass. Douglass has a goal in 10 of 11 games, while the Gibson brothers both hit the net in nine 11.
Brendan Gibson, Yale's senior captain, is more than just a leader and motivator. The offensive-minded attackman has a point in 33 straight games – the fourth longest active streak in Division I – dating to March 25, 2008. He has 57-33-90 over that span.
The Blue averages 36.9 shots per game… Yale's five-game win streak is the longest since 2002 under head coach Mike Waldvogel… Yale has a .768 clear percentage… The Elis have averaged 763 fans in five home dates at Reese Stadium… Yale has outscored and outshot opponents in all but the fourth quarter... Bryant and Yale will both be wearing pink socks on Saturday to raise awareness for cancer research. Areas will be set up around Reese Stadium to collect donations. Proceeds will go to breast cancer research at the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven.
The Elis seek their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1992. Yale has played in the NCAAs three (1988, 90, 92) different seasons and are 2-3 overall. The best run came in 1990 when the Blue beat Princeton in the quarters before falling in OT to Loyola at Rutgers Stadium in the semis.
The Bulldogs moved to No. 1 in the New England rankings with two wins last week.
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 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.
BULLDOGS VS. CANCER
The Yale lacrosse team is organizing a day to raise money for “Everyone Works for Jack!” This is an endeavor to support Jack McGetrick, the head lacrosse coach at Bellarmine University who is battling cancer. On April 24, the Bulldogs (players and coaches) will have a Noon to 1:30 youth clinic at Reese Stadium before hosting Bryant in a 7 p.m. game. A donation to the fund is suggested in lieu of admittance to the clinic. Everyone Works For Jack! is the intercollegiate men's lacrosse coaches association's initial effort to establish a coaches emergency fund that will be available to members of the coaching community when they are in financial need. McGetrick has been the head coach at Bellarmine since its inception in 2004. He spent 11 years as the head coach at the University of Hartford and was named 1997 national coach-of-the-year by the USILA. McGetrick has had a large influence on young boys and men playing youth, high school and collegiate lacrosse on and off the field. The IMLCA is now working to give back and help McGetrick during this time of need.
Yale is one of a few schools in the country wearing a Rose sticker on its helmets in honor of Paul Rose, a lacrosse coach at four different colleges, who passed away on March 27 after a long battle with cancer.
filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director