Bulldogs Prepare For Visit From Brown

Conrad Oberbeck. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Conrad Oberbeck. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

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Yale Looking For Fourth Straight Victory

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The No. 15/17 Yale men's lacrosse team (6-3, 2-2 Ivy), currently on a three-game winning streak, gears up for an Ivy contest full of postseason implications this Friday against Brown (5-4, 1-2 Ivy). The third in a four game home stretch, the Bulldogs square off with the Bears at 7:00 p.m. in a game that airs live on Yale All Access on yalebulldogs.com.


Yale has won its previous three meetings against Brown, including a four-overtime thriller last April in Providence.


Yale secured its fourth of nine straight victories, 11-10 after four overtimes at Stevenson Field in Providence, R.I. Deron Dempster scored a pair of goals, including the shot that slew the Bears with 1:43 left in the fourth overtime, Matt Gibson '13 netted five goals, picked up six ground balls and caused a pair of turnovers, and Conrad Oberbeck added a pair of scores and an assist. Michael McCormack led the defense with seven ground balls and two caused turnovers. Dylan Levings won 18 of 28 faceoffs, and goalie Jack Meyer said no to eight shots.


The Bulldogs completed a fourth quarter comeback to dispel Dartmouth's bid for an upset 7-5. Colin Flaherty exploded in the fourth quarter, netting all three of Yale's scores, to keep the Bulldogs' quest for another postseason run alive. The Bulldog defense had their way with the Big Green offense all day, but truly shined in the fourth. Michael McCormack, Peter Johnson, Michael Quinn, Jimmy Craft and the other Eli defensemen created 11 turnovers and held the Big Green to just two shots in the final period. The victory moved the defending Ivy League tournament champions one step closer to a shot at defending their crown.


Brown (5-4, 1-2 Ivy) opened the season with a loss to Quinnipiac before hitting their stride with five straight victories. The Bears have recently fallen on hard times, losing their last three games by a combined 43-23 to North Carolina, Princeton and Penn.


Is a strong defense. After holding Dartmouth to five scores on Saturday, the Bulldogs have held each of their last three opponents under six goals and now rank eighth in the nation in scoring defense.


Colin Flaherty received the Bulldogs' second straight Ivy League player of the week award after a four-goal, six-point week, including three fourth quarter scores to complete the comeback against Dartmouth. The week before, Brandon Mangan also received Ivy League player of the week honors. Mangan led the Bulldogs with six points and four goals in their overtime 7-6 victory over No. 13 Penn.


In its first seven games, Yale faced five nationally-ranked opponents, including No. 19/20 Albany, No. 17/17 Fairfield, No. 11/13 Penn, No. 10/11 Princeton and No. 2/2 Cornell.


Last season, the Bulldogs lost their first two Ivy League games, caught fire and won their next nine games en route to an Ivy League tournament title and their first NCAA tournament appearance in 20 years.

In 2010, the Bulldogs lost their first two Ivy League games, before winning out and capturing a share of the Ivy League title.


The class of 2013 boasted 31 career wins over its first three years, the most by a class heading into its senior year since 1993. The classes of '91 and '92 are tied for the most (46) victories in Yale lacrosse history.


D Michael McCormack (West Islip, NY.) has caused 12 turnovers and scooped up 33 ground balls this season. Last spring, he led Eli defensemen with 55 ground balls and 34 caused turnovers. McCormack, the captain, was second-team All-Ivy League and first-team All-New England last season after averaging 2.16 caused turnovers per game, good for sixth nationally. He has been selected for pre-season All-Ivy League and All-America squads by insidelacrosse.com.


Senior Peter Johnson (Minnetonka, MN) has been selected as a finalist for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award. The award is given to Division I student-athletes who show notable achievement in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.

Johnson is first on the team this season with 18 turnovers. A first-team All-Ivy and honorable mention All-American, he caused 1.81 turnovers (16th in D1) per game last season. Johnson has been selected as pre-season All-Ivy League and All-America by insidelacrosse.com.


Junior Dylan Levings (Massapequa, NY.) won 17 of 19 faceoffs against Providence and 22 of 25 against Cornell this season.  He ranks fifth in the nation in faceoff percentage this season, taking 63.7% of his battles, and fourth in ground balls per game, with 8.56.

A huge factor behind Yale's 2012 success, Levings was even better (.701) in league games. Against Harvard last year, 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 had 10 double-digit win outings last season and was ninth in ground balls (6.63) in Division I.


Junior Brandon Mangan (Wantagh, NY.) leads the Bulldogs in points (39), goals (22) and assists (17), and is eighth in Division 1 in points per game with 4.33. Yale's active career goal leader started 28 games over his first two years, earning Ivy Honor Roll twice last spring before catching fire in the postseason and tallying seven goals. His biggest goal came early in his career, Mangan drained a game winning overtime goal against Princeton his freshman year.


Conrad Oberbeck, a sophomore from Greenwich, Conn., scored six goals (one short of the school's sophomore record set in 1958) against Albany earlier this year. He is second on the team lead with 21 goals. Last season, he scored in 10 of the 16 games, and finished atop the Yale class of 2015 with 20 goals and 26 points. He received Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors on March 12 for his five goals in two games. Oberbeck, an attackman, played at Brunswick School before coming to New Haven.


Kirby Zdrill is the most efficient scorer in the nation. The explosive senior has connected on 60% of shots this year, placing him first in Division 1. The Edmonton, Alberta native is third on the team in goals scored with 18 and has hit the net in all nine of Yale's games played.


Goalie Eric Natale (Westminster, Md.) ranks ninth in the nation in goals-against average (7.80). The sophomore has made a career-high 12 saves twice this season, once in the 15-8 win over Albany and again in the 12-8 victory against Fairfield, and has had five games with double-digit saves.  Last season, he started two games (both wins) and played five games overall. He made two saves in a 2012 start against St. John's and stopped six shots in a win over Albany.


Sophomore Colin Flaherty scored the tying, go ahead and insurance goals in a 7-5 fourth period come-from-behind victory over Dartmouth.


Junior Jack Meyer (Manhasset, NY), 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.


Sophomore M James Tjarksen is the son of a former Yale football player, Michael Tjarksen '86 and Yale women's lacrosse captain and All-American Connie Ambler '88… Junior M Jackson Logie's dad, Scott Logie '85, played hockey at Yale… Freshman Jonathon Reese is the son of Jon Reese '90, the school's all-time leading lacrosse scorer and captain of the 1989 Football team.


Three Yale players have been named to the 2013 Tewaaraton Award Men's "Watch List." Brandon Mangan, Michael McCormack and Peter Johnson have all been included on the pre-season list for the top male lacrosse player in the U.S.


The eight New England head coaches vote each week on the top teams in the region.

1. Yale

2. Brown 

3. Harvard

4. Providence

5. Fairfield

6. UMass 

7. Bryant

8. Holy Cross


Brandon Mangan (A), Michael McCormack (D), Peter Johnson (D) and Dylan Levings (FO) have all been named pre-season All-New England.


A season full of accomplishments, Yale had its…

- most (11) wins since 1992

- longest (9) win streak since 1990

- most (3) first-team All-Ivy picks since 1990

- first Ivy Tournament title

- third straight Ivy Tournament appearance

- third straight 10+ win season


Yale has played in all three Ivy League Tournaments and has an overall 2-2 record. The Elis, 2012 champions, are 1-1 against both Cornell and Princeton. The Bulldogs played at Ithaca twice (2010, 2011) and were at Princeton last May.


After last season's NCAA berth, Yale has played in the NCAAs four (1988, 90, 92, 2012) times and are 2-4 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.


Both Michael McCormack and Peter Johnson were selected in the seventh round of the 2013 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft. The Rochester Rattlers bit on McCormack at 51, the Charlotte Hounds barked at Johnson for the 52nd pick. Former Yale standout Matt Gibson '12 was named the 2012 MLL Cascade Rookie of the Year after leading all rookies with 33 points, including 18 goals. Taken with the 33rd pick of the 2012 draft, Gibson's strong performance helped lead the Long Island Lizards to the playoffs.


Andy Shay, who in 2012 finished his ninth season of his first collegiate head coaching job, has engineered a 31-13 mark over the last three seasons and has three consecutive 10-plus win seasons. He also directed the Bulldogs to three straight Ivy League Tournament appearances, a 2012 Ivy Tournament Title, a 2010 regular-season Ivy League Championship and Yale's first NCAA appearance in 20 years. His position was endowed after the 2012 season and he is now the Ryan and Forst Family Head Coach. 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 that campaign. Shay, whose defenses have been ranked in the nation's top 10 the last three seasons including 2012, coached his eighth consecutive top 10 ranked face-off unit. Shay (66-58 overall), 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 under Greg Cannella. During his tenure, the Minutemen won two ECAC championships and three New England titles. UMass posted an impressive 37-9 overall record in his last three seasons.


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.

Report filed by Wes Moyer, Yale Sports Publicity