Bulldogs Face Big Red in Ivy Tourney

Patrick Coleman. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Patrick Coleman. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Pair of Ranked Teams Battle in Second Semifinal


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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's lacrosse team, winners of five of its last six games, has its biggest test of the 2011 season Friday night at Schoellkopf Field in the second semifinal of the 2011 Ivy League Tournament. The No. 19/20 Bullldogs (10-3), the tournament's fourth seed, face No. 2 and top seed Cornell (11-2) at 8 p.m. in Ithaca. The winner takes on the survivor of the 5 p.m. No. 15 Penn (8-5) vs. No. 17 Harvard (9-5) contest Sunday at noon for the automatic NCAA Tournament spot.

The Big Red has taken 12 straight and leads the series 44-23-1. Yale's last win was 7-6 in 1999 at Reese Stadium, while the last Bulldog win at Ithaca was an 11-10 OT decision in 1996. The Elis and Big Red have never played a post-season contest.

The Bulldogs have played six post-season games including five in NCAA Tournaments and one in the Ivy League Tournament. Yale is 2-3 in NCAA games and lost its only Ivy appearance last year to Princeton.

Yale and Cornell squared off in the Ivy opener for both schools, a 10-8 Big Red win at Reese Stadium on March 19. The Bulldogs held a 3-2 lead in the second quarter, but Cornell exploded with four unanswered goals in three minutes and took the lead for good with 4:26 left in the second. Junior midfielder Gregory Mahony led Yale with three goals. Freshman attackman Brandon Mangan had his second and third goals of the season, while Colin Still, Matt Miller and Deron Dempster finished with one goal apiece.

Yale's win streak ended at five games after suffering a 9-5 setback in the regular-season finale at Harvard before 2,395 at Harvard Stadium last Saturday. The Bulldogs never had a lead in a game they were outshot 38-36 and had five fewer ground balls. Harvard goalie Harry Krieger, who made 16 saves, was the star of the game, helping his squad win on its senior day. Jack Flaherty led the Blue with two goals. Other visitor scores came from Mark Dobrosky, Cole Yeager, and Matt Gibson. The Crimson defense did an excellent job stopping Yale's top scoring combination of Brian Douglass and Gibson, who were limited to one goal and 10 shots combined. Gibson had eight shots with limited good looks while Douglass, who had two shots, had his point streak end at 26 games. Johnathan Falcone stopped eight of 10 shots before suffering an injury and leaving the contest in the second period.

Cornell, down 6-1 midway through the second quarter against Princeton last Saturday, scored seven straight goals en route to a 9-7 victory at Ithaca. The win gave Cornell its 16th unbeaten Ivy season. Cornell's other wins this season have come against Hobart, Binghamton, Canisius, No. 13 Stony Brook, No. 15 Penn, Dartmouth, No. 17 Harvard, No. 1 Syracuse and Brown. The Big Red dropped games with No. 19 Army and No. 9 Virginia. The offense is led by junior Rob Pannell (34-37-71), senior David Lau (22-13-35), sophomore Steve Mock (27-1-28) and junior Roy Lang (22-6-28). Sophomore A.J. Fiore (8.58, .497) has started every game in net for the Big Red.

The Bulldogs are second in Division I faceoff win percentage (.654) and man-down defense (.808). Yale is third in caused turnovers per game (10.38), seventh in scoring margin (3.92), seventh in defense (7.31), and 11th in scoring (11.23)… Johnathan Falcone is sixth in the nation in GAA (7.07) and 12th in SP (.558)… Brian Douglass is 19th with 3.23 points per game and 24th with 2.15 goals per game… Cole Yeager ranks sixth in face-off win percentage at .644… Patrick Coleman is 13th in the nation with 1.85 caused turnovers per game, while Michael McCormack ranks fourth with 2.54 per game.

Brian Douglass had his 26 game point streak snapped against Harvard on April 30… Matt Gibson has 12-13-25 over the last seven outings… Dylan Levings is ranked 11th in insidelacrosse.com's freshmen rankings… Brian Douglass has a team-high 28 goals and 42 points and is Yale's active career goals leader with 75… Matt Gibson is second on the active career goals list with 63… Deron Dempster, who is tops on the team in shooting percentage (.591), has 13 goals and 16 points… Brandon Mangan leads all newcomers with 10 goals and 16 points… Dylan Levings (.714) and Cole Yeager (.644) lead the Elis in faceoff percentage.
LSM Patrick Coleman, a Ridgewood, N.J., native and former Delbarton School standout, is tops for Yale's non-faceoff men with 40 ground balls. He is second on the team with 27 caused turnovers. Coleman, who earned honorable mention All-Ivy this syear, is a three-year letterman for the Elis.

Brian Douglass (Waccabuc, N.Y.), a clutch scorer with an accurate shot, leads Yale in goal scoring for the second straight season. He enters the regular season finale with 28 tallies and a team and career-high 42 points. The senior attackman has notched at least two goals in 10 of the 13 games and is fourth among Ivy players in goals per game and fifth in points per game. Douglass, an honorable mention All-Ivy pick this spring, had six straight multiple goal games with 16 goals combined before being held scoreless against Harvard. He is Yale's active career goals leader with 75 while his 103 points are second.

A 2011 first-team All-Ivy pick, Matt Gibson (Point Lookout, N.Y.) is one of the most exciting players in the college game. Gibson, slowed by an early season injury, has six multiple-goal games this spring. He was a second-team All-Ivy pick last year and is Yale's active career points leader (108) with 63 goals and 45 assists.

As a rookie in 2010, Cole Yeager (Wayne, Pa.) got 20 chances to show what he could do (12 wins) on face-offs while learning from starter Max Rodman '10 (.570 in 2010). Yeager learned quickly and now leads the Ivies with a .644 percentage on the X. He also has a team-high 69 ground balls to go along with three goals.

All Bulldog players have played the last four games with the No. 17 written on their legs to honor the memory of former Yale hockey player Mandi Schwartz, who passed away this month after a long and courageous battle with leukemia.

Matt Gibson, whose dad Jim Gibson played hockey at Cornell, was the 2010 New England Player of the Year and has been picked as the 2011 pre-season choice. He was slowed by an injury earlier this season… Junior M Robby Berner is a member of the 2009-10 and 2010-11 Ivy League Champion men's squash team, which finished second in the nation… Freshman M Jackson Logie's dad, Scott '85, played hockey at Yale… Senior M Alfonso Costa walked on to the Yale basketball team this winter. Last summer, he earned a spot in the Garden Scholars Program, a highly competitive opportunity in which selected interns are paired with Madison Square Garden executives who they work one-on-one with throughout the summer. Costa will study at Oxford next year and hopes to become a United States Senator… Senior A Jack Flaherty, the son of a high school history teacher, spent last summer working an archeological excavation in Athens… Senior D Eric Gresham has a job in Patagonia (South America) with Patagon Journal, a publication that focuses on outdoor activities.

ESPN3.com airs both semifinal games of the 2011 Ivy League Championship and ESPNU will carry the Ivy League Championship game at Noon on May 8.

Johnathan Falcone, Yale's veteran goalie, has been named one of the 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in men's lacrosse. His character and notable achievements in the community, classroom and competition made him a viable candidate for the award. The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 20 candidates announced in February. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to determine the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote via the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award website or on the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Facebook fan page through May 10. Fan votes will be combined with media and coaches votes to determine the winner. Falcone, seventh in Division I with a 6.99 goals against average, owns a .571 save percentage, which is 9th in the nation. He is coming off an 8-save performance in a 9-5 loss against Harvard on April 30. The economics major with a 3.84 GPA is just as impressive off the field. Falcone, who spent a summer at the London School of Economics and Political Science, is a member of the Economics Undergraduate Student Advisory Committee. In addition, he was elected as secretary of Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity while being a significant contributor to "Bulldog Buddies," a Yale community outreach program that has students serving as mentors to New Haven Public School children. Lowe's will announce the winner May 28 at the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse semifinals in Baltimore.

Andy Shay, in his eighth season at Yale, has engineered consecutive 10-win seasons, a 20-7 record, two Ivy League Tournament appearances and a regular-season Ivy League Championship in the last two springs. He guided the 2010 Bulldogs to a 10-4 season that included a share of the Ivy League title and a spot in the inaugural league tournament. The Bulldogs' 2010 season marked the first post-season appearance since 1992 and the first Ivy championship since 1990. Shay's squad was ranked as high as No. 9 at one point during the campaign. He is 55-52 overall at Yale. Shay, named Yale head coach on June 25, 2003, helped guide the University of Massachusetts to the 2002 and 2003 NCAA quarterfinals as an assistant coach for four years. Prior to joining UMass' staff, Shay was an assistant coach at Delaware, where in 1999 he helped the Blue Hens capture the America East title with a 14-3 record and advance to the NCAA Tournament for only the second time in school history. Shay began his coaching career as the head coach at Morrisville (N.Y.) Junior College, and he compiled a 20-17 record in three years. Shay is a 1994 graduate of LeMoyne College where he was a four-year starting defenseman and served as team captain for two years. He was an All-Empire League selection as a senior when he led the team to a league title.
Yale's only hopes of a second straight regular-season championship rely on Cornell losing its final pair of Ivy games. The Blue, which shared a league title last year, has won six Ivy League Championships, including the first one handed out in 1956. The others came in 1969, 1988, 89, 90 and 2010. The outright titles were in 1956 and 1989.
Four (Cornell, Penn, Yale, Harvard) of the seven Ivy League teams were ranked among the USILA top 20 this week.
Six Yale players received 2011 All-Ivy League recognition on April 3 when the selections were released. The Elis had one first-team pick, a pair of second-teamers and three honorable mentions.

Yale's All-Ivy 2011 Players
Matt Gibson (A) - first team
Gregory Mahony (M) - second team
Johnathan Falcone (G) - second team
Brian Douglass (A) - honorable mention
Patrick Coleman (M) - honorable mention
Michael McCormack (D) - honorable mention

After a month of being at the top, the latest New England Coaches Poll has the Bulldogs at No. 2.

1. Harvard
2. Yale
3. Massachusetts
4. Hartford
5. Fairfield
6. Brown
7. Bryant
8. Dartmouth
Yale is 19th in this week's Nike laxnews.com poll and 20th in the latest USILA rankings.... Laxpower.com's computer rating has Yale No. 16, third best among Ivy schools.
The Yale roster includes players from 13 different states and two provinces:
California (4), Connecticut (5), Florida (1), Maryland (3), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), New York (10), New Jersey (5), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (3), Virginia (2), Washington (1), Alberta (1), Ontario (1)
Yale's 41-man roster is broken down evenly among the classes. There are 11 newcomers and 10 each of sophomores, juniors and seniors.
Newly renovated Reese Stadium, which was dedicated on April 9, 2011, is a state-of –the-art facility for both Yale lacrosse and soccer teams. The renovations completed last summer include increased stadium seating, an entry plaza, team rooms and a press box. Recent improvements included a FieldTurf surface and new lighting. Reese Stadium, formerly known as the Yale Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium, is named after former lacrosse players Jason Reese '87 and Jon Reese '90.


filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director