Yale Looks For 10th Straight Win
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Two of the most storied programs in the history of college athletics meet in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament. Yale (11-4), ranked No. 11 in both polls, travels to No. 4/5 Notre Dame (11-2) this Sunday for a 5:15 p.m. E.S.T. face-off. The Bulldogs, Ivy League Tournament Champions, put their nine-game win streak on the line against a Fighting Irish squad that had their 10-game win streak snapped in the Big East Tournament. The game at Arlotta Stadium airs live on ESPNU/ESPN3.
UP FOR GRABS
The winner of the Notre Dame-Yale contest takes on the winner of the Virginia-Princeton game in the quarterfinals on Sunday, May 20, at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. Virginia is the tournament's fifth seed, while Princeton is unseeded.
VS. NOTRE DAME
They have played each other in many sports, numerous times. There has only been one men's lacrosse contest, and it came at a neutral site on March 13, 1983. Yale took that contest 17-5 in Baltimore.
A season full of accomplishments rolls on. Yale has its…
Yale has played in three (1988, 90, 92) NCAA Tournaments and are 2-3 overall. Two of the five NCAA games have been hosted by Yale. The furthest the Elis got was the 1990 semifinals (OT loss to Loyola) at Rutgers Stadium.
Yale in NCAAs
Date Opponent Site Result Round
May 18, 1988 Virginia Yale 10-9 (2 OT) loss 1st
May 20, 1990 Princeton Yale 17-8 win Quarterfinal
May 26, 1990 Loyola Rutgers 14-13 (2 OT) loss Semifinal
May 10, 1992 Navy Navy 9-3 win 1st
May 16, 1992 Syracuse Syracuse 17-8 loss Quarterfinal
BULLDOGS WIN IVY CHAMPIONSHIP
Yale defeated the regular season league champs on their turf on May 6. Deron Dempster had three goals, tournament MVP Matt Gibson registered six points and Jack Meyer had nine saves as the Bulldogs captured their first post-season event with a 15-7 win over Princeton. The Elis jumped out to a 4-0 lead, held off two Tiger surges and exploded for six straight tallies to avenge a March loss at New Haven.
YALE IN IVY TOURNEY
The Bulldogs are 2-2 in Ivy Tournament play. Yale was a No. 3 seed for the second time; the first was in 2010 (7-6 loss, Princeton). The Elis were No. 4 a year ago (11-7, Cornell). Yale, Princeton and Cornell have made the tournament all three years.
YALE IN POST SEASON
The Bulldogs have played nine post-season games (4-5) including five in NCAA Tournaments and four in the Ivy League Tournament. Yale is 2-3 in NCAA games and 2-2 in Ivy appearances.
Play in the 16-team NCAA Tournament begins on May 12. The first and second rounds are all at campus sites, the semifinals and championship game are May 26-28 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The field includes seven conference champions with automatic qualification: Ivy League (Yale), American East Conference (Stony Brook), Big East Conference (Syracuse), Colonial Athletic Association (Massachusetts), Eastern College Athletic Conference (Loyola (Md.), Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (Canisius) and Patriot League (Lehigh). The remainder of the field was selected at large: Colgate, Denver, Duke, Johns Hopkins, North Carolina, Maryland, Notre Dame, Princeton, and Virginia.
Notre Dame, which lost 8-7 in the inaugural Big East Tournament to St. John's in the semifinals on May 3, won the Big East regular-season title with a 6-0 mark and makes its 17th trip overall (7th straight) to the NCAA Championships. The Irish are 9-16 all-time in NCAA play and have earned one of the eight seeds five times. Last season, Notre Dame also garnered the tournament's No. 4 seed and defeated Penn, 13-6, in the first round. The Irish fell to Duke, 7-5, in the quarterfinals. The primary reason the Irish are in contention for a national title this spring is the play of junior goalie John Kemp, who leads Division I in goals against (5.88) and save percentage (.642).
The Bulldogs drove back from New Jersey after the Ivy Tournament last Sunday night and quickly gathered at Buffalo Wild Wings in New Haven to watch ESPNU's selection show. "We were all excited just to hear our names called," said captain Michael Pratt. "We've been watching this show for two years and we've been on the opposite side. We're excited to play Notre Dame, we've got another week together, and we'll see what happens on Sunday."
GETTING THE LEAD
A season of close games and OT thrillers changed dramatically at the Ivy Tournament. Yale jumped out to big leads on both days en route to large victories. The Blue scored the first five goals against Cornell and then hit the net four straight times against Princeton.
Yale is riding a nine-game win streak. The last Eli squad to win that many games in a row was in 1990, when the school record was established at 14. That squad, led by captain Dean Charpentier '90 and midfielder Jon Reese '90, captured its first 14 games before falling to Harvard in the regular season. The Blue had a six-game streak in 1992 and five-game strings in 2011, 2010, 2002 and 2000.
SEASON OF STREAKS
The Blue opened with a pair of wins before dropping four straight, including the first two league games. Yale bounced back with its longest win streak in 22 years.
April 28 was the final home game for 10 Yale seniors who have been part of 36 victories, three Ivy League Tournament appearances (2010-12), one regular-season league title (2010) and an Ivy Tournament championship (2012).
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. 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. It is also unprecedented for an Eli squad to have three straight (Brown, Stony Brook, Bryant) OT contests.
Yale and its opposition have each attempted 29 shots in extra sessions this year. However, opponent goalies have had to make four more saves (14-10). Jack Meyer has all of Yale's play in the net for OT. Yale's OT goals have been scored by Deron Dempster (Brown, 4th OT), Greg Mahony (Stony Brook, 1st OT), Matt Gibson (Bryant, 2nd OT).
The Elis are ranked in the USILA poll for the fifth straight week. Yale has moved from No. 20 to 19th and from 15 to 11. This is the ninth 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. The Bulldogs are also No. 11 in the latest IL/Nike Poll.
BULLDOG HONORS 2012
Matt Gibson (Point Lookout, N.Y.) leads the team with 29 assists and 56 points (18th in Division I, 3.73 PPG) as one of the most exciting players in the country. His season point total is the most by a Bulldog since Brian Hunt had 58 in 2001. His 27 goals are his season-high. His eight assists against Cornell in the Ivy semifinal tie him for the school record (Jason O'Neill, 1990, Adelphi). He is currently 12th in the country with 1.93 assists per game. Gibson, a first-team All-Ivy pick this year, 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 fourth on the Yale career points list with 167. 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: (15), 27-29-56
Gibson on Yale Career Lists
• Points: 4th (167)
• Goals: 7th (93)
• Assists: 7th (74)
M Michael Pratt, the captain of the Bulldogs and an honorable mention All-Ivy pick this year, has meant so much more to this team than any stats he has accumulated. Pratt, who has seven goals and 52 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 at Yale) after the 2011 season, was third on the team with 42 ground balls while chipping in four goals and 10 caused turnovers.
Greg Mahony (20 goals, 28 points, 15 GP), a first-team All-Ivy pick this spring, is one of Yale's top offensive weapons. He 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. His 74 career goals are 15th at Yale. 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 .634 face-off mark, continues to dominate on the X. He has been one of the keys to Yale's win streak, and his performance in league play has been crucial. Levings, a 2012 honorable mention All-Ivy pick, was even better (.701) in league games, taking 80 of 114 battles, including a career-best 17 wins in 22 face-offs against Penn and Harvard. Against the Crimson, he won the first six face-offs and nine of the last 10, which earned him New England (NEILA) Player of the Week honors. He has 10 double-digit win outings this season and is 10th in ground balls (6.4) in Division I. Levings, who honed the skill as the backup to Cole Yeager last year, had .726 win percentage with 84 attempts.
Conrad Oberbeck, a freshman from Greenwich, Conn., has a goal in 10 of the 15 games and leads the Yale class of 2015 with 20 goals and 26 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 second-team All-Ivy pick Michael McCormack is fifth (2.27) in the country in caused turnovers. He had a season-high five CTs at Providence and at Dartmouth. Junior Peter Johnson, a first-team All-Ivy pick this spring, ranks 16th Division I with 1.8 CTs. Both Bulldogs were Ivy All-Tournament selections.
Junior Deron Dempster is among the hottest Yale offensive players in the country with 31-2-33 over the last nine games after sitting out two straight contests with an injury. The Orangeville, Ont., native had 13 goals last spring and improved to a team-best 33 this season. He ranks 14th in Division I with 2.54 GPG. His shooting percentage (.635), now tops in Division I, sky rocketed during the Ivy Tournament when he scored on 11 of 12 shots and earned all-tournament honors. Dempster, who registered the best Yale offensive performance since 1990 (10 goals, Jon Reese vs. Army), found the net eight times on nine shots (his first 7 were goals) in the semifinal against Cornell.
Sophomore Jack Meyer (8.45, .498) has been the starter in goal since game four at Lehigh (12 straight starts). He had his best and longest day as a collegiate goalie against Princeton (14 saves) on March 24. Meyer earned Ivy All-Tournament goalie honors with 22 saves over two games. He has 108 saves overall in 14 games this season. He ranks 12th 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. Meyer, a baritone who has been singing for eight years, almost chose music over playing lacrosse at Yale. He took voice lessons and entertained the idea of going to a music conservatory (got into Oberlin, Johns Hopkins and Carnegie Mellon programs) before coming to Yale. Before coming to New Haven, Meyer sang in the all-state chorus (solo) and was elected to the All-Eastern Seaboard Choir.
Yale is 3-3 against ranked teams this year with wins in its last three (Ivy Tourney, Bryant). The Elis earned their first win over a ranked opponent when it beat No. 19 Bryant on April 20. Yale is 1-1 at home, 1-2 on the road and 1-0 in neutral site games. The Blue played three straight (Lehigh, Cornell, Princeton) against ranked opponents earlier in the year and fell by six goals combined, the last two were one-goal games, including a five-OT affair with the Tigers. Lehigh was the other ranked opponent this spring.
Here's how Yale looks compared to the other Division I teams and Notre Dame.
Category: Yale – Notre Dame
Scoring: 11.2 (13th) - UR
Defense: 8.9 (16th) – 5.9 (1st)
Face-off: .603 (3rd) - UR
Shot Pct: .306 (19th) - UR
Ground Balls: 33.2 (10th) - UR
Caused T.O.: 8.4 (11th) - UR
LAST TIME IN YALE LACROSSE
A Yale Player in a Game had…
5+ Goals... Deron Dempster (8-0-8 vs. Cornell, May 4, 2012)
5+Assists… Matt Gibson (0-8-8 vs. Cornell, May 4, 2012)
75% Face-Off Success*… Dylan Levings (17/22, .765, vs. Harvard, April 28, 2012)
Double-digit Ground Balls… Cole Yeager (14 at Georgetown, April 23, 2011)
Double-digit Saves… Jack Meyer (13 vs. Cornell, May 4, 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.
Yale, Princeton and Cornell each had six players named to the 2012 All-Ivy League team. The Bulldogs had three first-teamers (A Matt Gibson, M Greg Mahony, D Peter Johnson), one second-team pick (D Michael McCormack) and a pair of honorable mentions (M Michael Pratt, FO Dylan Levings). It was not only Yale's most first-team picks since the 1990 squad placed five, it was the first time the school had a top-unit selection since 2003 (Ned Britt).
The March 24 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, second 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.
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. The Ivy Tournament has been played three times and Yale owns the most recent title.
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.