Defenseman Looks To Continue Team's Success
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Jimmy Craft, a defenseman who helped the Yale men's lacrosse team win an Ivy League Tournament Championship and reach the NCAA Tournament in consecutive years, has been named 2014 captain after a vote by his teammates.
Craft is a two-year starter for a team that went 12-5 and came within a game of its first national semifinal since 1990 this spring. The junior from Darien, Conn., was part of a spirited defense that held No. 1 Syracuse off the scoreboard for 43 straight minutes before eventually falling by a goal last Saturday at College Park, Md.
"Jimmy is a great choice to carry the torch," said Andy Shay, Yale's Ryan & Forst Family Head Coach, who is headed to ESPN this weekend to serve as a studio expert for this weekend's national championships coverage. "Jimmy plays as hard as anyone we have, and that fact was not lost on his teammates. He has played with three great examples (previous captains), and I'm sure he will lead effectively in his own way."
The 6-foot, 190-pound close defenseman helped the Blue rank sixth in Division I with 7.9 goals allowed per game. Craft had 39 ground balls and 17 caused turnovers in 17 games.
"This is a tremendous honor, but I am more excited about leading this team with the eight other seniors," said Craft, who had four ground balls in six different games including the NCAA Quarterfinal against Syracuse last Saturday. "We are such a tight-knit class. Everyone is ready to lead next year. Our goal is to take the next step for this program, which means winning the Ivy regular season and tournament."
Craft, who has also been a long-stick midfielder, has played in all 47 games since coming to New Haven and his numbers have progressed each season.
Craft was a three-year letterman at Brunswick School and captained the team his senior year. He was co-recipient of the team's defensive MVP honors as a junior close defenseman with 80 ground balls. Craft, the lacrosse team's rookie of the year as a sophomore, also played quarterback for the football team and was offensive MVP as a senior with over 2,000 yards and 25 touchdowns.
The new captain replaces another defenseman, Michael McCormack, who has already begun his Major League Lacrosse career with the Charlotte Hounds and will face former Yale star Matt Gibson '12 (Long Island Lizards) on Friday. It is very likely that the 2013 Yale captain will cover the Lizards' star attackman.
filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
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