Blue Looks for 7th Straight, Crimson Seeking Ivy Tourney
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The regular season comes to an end for Ivy rivals on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Reese Stadium in an important game for both. No. 19 Yale (8-4, 3-2 Ivy) hopes to head into the Ivy League Tournament with a seven-game win streak, while Harvard (6-7, 2-3) needs a win to clinch a spot in the four-team playoff that provides an automatic NCAA Tournament berth to the winner.
WHAT'S ON THE LINE
A Yale win would give the Bulldogs their longest win streak since 1990 and put them in the No. 3 spot for next week's Ivy Tournament. An Eli victory could end Harvard's season if Brown beats Dartmouth, but the Crimson could lose and still have the No. 4 slot. A Harvard win would give the Cantabs the third seed and push the Blue to fourth.
Harvard ended Yale's win streak at five games with a 9-5 decision before 2,395 at Harvard Stadium a year ago. The Bulldogs never had a lead in a game they were outshot 38-36 and had five fewer ground balls. Jack Flaherty '11 led the Blue with two goals while Mark Dobrosky, Cole Yeager and Matt Gibson had the other Yale tallies. Johnathan Falcone '11 (8 saves) was outstanding in his final regular season start but left the game with an injury late in the second quarter while Harvard was up 2-1. Jack Meyer, who had just 19 minutes of collegiate experience, replaced the senior and made three saves. Harvard goalie Harry Krieger made 16 saves.
Yale owns a 57-35 series lead against Harvard but the Cantabs have won three of the last five.
BULLDOGS BEAT BULLDOGS
Yale ended No. 19 Bryant's 10-game win streak with an 11-10 win last Friday night at Reese Stadium when Matt Gibson (1-2-3) scored with 1.7 seconds left in the second overtime. The visitors erased a three-goal deficit over the last three minutes of regulation to force the OT. Greg Mahony led the Elis with three goals, Deron Dempster had two. Dylan Levings dominated the nation's leading ground ball man (Kevin Massa) and won 16 of 25 face-offs. Jack Meyer faced 40 shots and made 13 saves, the exact total for the Bryant netminder, who saw 41 attempts.
HARVARD FALLS TO TIGERS
Tom Schreiber had four goals and Tyler Fiorito made 15 saves as No. 13 Princeton beat Harvard 12-5 last Saturday at Boston. Kevin Vaughan and Daniel Eipp each scored a goal and added an assist, while Keegan Michel won 12-of-16 face-offs and paced the Crimson with four ground balls. Harvard had the edge in shots (40-35), ground balls (22-18) and face-offs (16-5), but the Tigers held on from an early lead for the easy win.
Harvard looks to snap a two-game skid… Jeff Cohen, who scored seven against Michigan on March 31 and ranks second in Division I in scoring this year, has 45 goals… The goaltending work has been shared by Harry Krieger (2-3, 8.08, .519) and Jake Gambitsky (3-4, 10.61, .471), who has had two more starts… Five different guys have taken face-offs, but Keegan Michel (.619) has the majority by far.
The winner of Saturday night's Cornell-Princeton game hosts the 2012 tournament. Princeton, which has clinched at least a share of the regular-season title, looks to host the league post-season event for the first time. Yale clinched a spot when it beat Brown on April 13, while Harvard and Brown are battling for the other bid. The Ivy League Tournament, which began in 2010 and has been hosted by Cornell (top seed) the last two years, includes Yale for a third time. The Bulldogs play either Cornell or Princeton at either Ithaca or Princeton on May 4 (5, 8 p.m., ESPN3). The other semi-final could include the Big Red, the Tigers, Brown or Harvard. The championship game is May 6 (noon, ESPNU). The tourney seeds will be determined Saturday night.
Yale is riding a six-game win streak. The last Eli squad to win that many games in a row was in 1992 (streak ended with loss to Syracuse in NCAAs). The school record is 14 consecutive wins by the 1990 team. That squad, led by captain Dean Charpentier '90 and midfielder Jon Reese '90, captured its first 14 games before falling to Harvard during the regular season. The Blue had five-game strings in 2011, 2010, 2002 and 2000.
The 12 overtime sessions this spring are the most ever by a Yale team. Yale played a five-OT game against Princeton, a four-OT contest against Brown, two extras against Bryant and went one extra frame against Stony Brook. Prior to the Princeton game, the Bulldogs had not gone to OT since 2009, a season with three, single-session OTs. The previous high for OT sessions in a season was six by the 1994 Elis. Yale is 3-1 in OT this year, and the four OT games are a school record.
The Elis are ranked in the USILA poll for the third straight week. The last two polls had Yale No. 20, but the Blue moved up to 19 this week. This is the seventh week of being ranked in 2012. Yale opened the season at 18 and moved up to 16 after wins over St. John's and Albany.
Yale earned its first win over a ranked opponent last week against No. 19 Bryant. The Blue played three straight games against ranked opponents earlier in the year and fell by six goals combined. The last two (Cornell, Princeton) were one-goal games, including a five-OT affair with the Tigers.
IVY THIS WEEK
Saturday's League Games: Dartmouth at Brown (3 pm) and Cornell at Princeton (7 pm)
BULLDOG HONORS 2012
M Michael Pratt, the captain of the Bulldogs, has meant so much more to this team than any stats he has accumulated. Pratt, who has six goals and 40 ground balls, has been a leader while playing in every game since arriving in New Haven. He was named to the 2012 insidelacrosse.com Pre-Season All-Ivy League Team. Pratt, who received the Winthrop Smith Award (team conditioning, inspiration, and team work) after the 2011 season, was third on the team with 42 ground balls while chipping in four goals and 10 caused turnovers.
Matt Gibson (Point Lookout, N.Y.) leads the team with 25 goals and 40 points and earned Ivy League Player of the Week on April 9 after leading the Blue to a pair of wins. He is a two-time honorable mention All-America selection and 2011 first-team All-Ivy pick who was named on the 2012 Tewaaraton Award Watch List. A 2010 second-team All-Ivy pick, Gibson is fifth on the Yale career points list with 151. He passed his brother, Brendan (141), the 2010 Yale captain, earlier this season.
Gibson by Season
Year: (GP), G-A-Pts (Notes)
2009: (13), 20-11-31 (6-point game vs. Penn)
2010: (14), 26-18-44 (HM All-America, NE Player of Year, 2nd Team All-Ivy)
2011: (12), 20-16-36 (HM All-America, 1st Team All-Ivy, All-NE)
2012: (12), 25-15-40
Gibson on Yale Career Lists
Greg Mahony (17 goals, 23 points, 12 GP) led the Blue with three goals and the OT winner at Stony Brook on April 16. Mahony, a midfielder selected for the 2012 Tewaaraton Award Watch List, is a two-time All-Ivy and All-New England selection who was taken by the Boston Cannons in the 2012 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft. He has a 3.44 GPA, is majoring in the history of medicine science (pre-med) and was selected as a 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award candidate.
Sophomore Dylan Levings, who ranks No. 4 in the nation with a .639 face-off mark, continues to dominate on the X. He has been one of the keys to Yale's six-game win streak, and his performance in league play has been crucial. Levings has been even better (.692) against Ivy foes, taking 45 of 65 battles, including a career-best 17 wins in 23 face-offs against Penn on March 31. He has seven double-digit win outings this season and is 12th in ground balls (6.0) in Division I. Levings, who honed the skill as the backup to Cole Yeager last year, had .726 win percentage with 84 attempts. Levings won 29 of 46 face-offs (.630 ) and scooped up 17 ground balls over two overtime Yale wins last week. Facing the No. 4 face-off man and the top player in ground balls in Division I (Kevin Massa, Bryant) on Friday, Levings won nine in a row on the way to 16 wins in 25 battles on the X.
Conrad Oberbeck, a freshman from Greenwich, Conn., has a goal in nine of the 11 games and leads the Yale class of 2015 with 19 goals and 25 points. He was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week on March 12 for his five goals in two games. Oberbeck, an attackman, played at Brunswick School before coming to New Haven.
Two members of the Yale defense have been leaders in taking the ball away from opponents. Junior Michael McCormack is third (2.58) in the country in caused turnovers and 50th in ground balls (3.9). He had a season-high five CTs at Providence and at Dartmouth. Junior Peter Johnson ranks 17th Division I with 1.8 CTs.
Junior Deron Dempster is among the hottest Yale offensive players with 17 goals over his last six games. The Orangeville, Ont., native sat out two contests (Cornell, Princeton) with an injury and came back to put a spark in the offense. Dempster, who had 13 goals last spring, has 19 this season and has a shooting percentage (.559) that ranks third in Division I.
Sophomore Jack Meyer (8.50, .468) has settled in as the Yale starter in goal. He had his best and longest day as a collegiate goalie against Princeton (14 saves) on March 24. Meyer has started the last eight games and has 74 saves overall in 11 games this season. He ranks 14th in Division I goals against average. As a newcomer in 2011, Meyer saw action in parts of three games (54 minutes). Freshman Eric Natale (8.94) started the first three games this season and has 13 saves.
Here's how Yale looks compared to the other Division I teams.
Scoring: 10.8 (16th)
Defense: 9.0 (21st)
Face-off: .601 (5th)
Ground Balls: 33.6 (8th)
Caused T.O.: 9.0 (8th)
LAST TIME IN YALE LACROSSE
A Yale Player in a Game had…
5 Goals... Deron Dempster (5-0-5 vs. Penn, March 31, 2012)
75% Face-Off Success*… Dylan Levings (17/22, .765, vs. Penn, March 31, 2012)
Double-digit Ground Balls… Cole Yeager (14 at Georgetown, April 23, 2011)
Double-digit Saves… Jack Meyer (13 vs. Bryant, April 20, 2012)
Scored Off Opening F.O... Dan Kallaugher (6 seconds in vs. Lehigh, April 5, 2003)
*min. 20 attempts
Jack Flaherty '11 (Chesapeake Bayhawks) and seniors Matt Gibson (Chesapeake Bayhawks) and Greg Mahony (Boston Cannons) were drafted by MLL teams over the winter. Flaherty was taken in the supplemental draft while the current Elis got selected in the collegiate draft.
The Yale-Princeton game, which was 78 minutes and 21 seconds, was the longest ever for both schools. The five-OT thriller surpassed the previous Yale-high, a four-OT loss to Brown on April 4, 2001 at New Haven. The 2012 thriller is the second longest Ivy game (1973 Cornell-Penn went 80:00 in 5 OT). The NCAA Division I men's record is seven extra sessions by Virginia and Maryland in 2009.
Yale, third in the latest New England poll, has four players who were honored in the pre-season voting. Matt Gibson was picked as 2012 player of the year, while M Greg Mahony, D Michael McCormack and FO Cole Yeager were also first-team selections.
Senior M Robby Berner helped the Yale men's squash team end the longest win streak in the history of college sports when the Bulldogs beat Trinity in January? Freshman M James Tjarksen is the son of a former Yale football player, Michael Tjarksen '86? Sophomore M Jackson Logie's dad, Scott Logie '85, played hockey at Yale, while his mom, Connie Ambler ?88, played lacrosse and field hockey for the Bulldogs. She was instrumental in building lax in her area of Wisconsin for boys and girls.
HEAD COACH ANDY SHAY
Andy Shay, in his ninth season at Yale, has engineered consecutive 10-win seasons, a 20-8 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 62-57 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, which shared a league title in 2010, 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.
CALLING THE ACTION
Evan Ellis 12 and West Haven High School lacrosse coach Patrick Reed call the action on Yale All Access. All Yale home games can be seen live on yalebulldogs.com and include a 10 minute pre-game show.
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