LOOKING FOR FIRST HOME WIN IN 2017
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale men's lacrosse team looks to return to its winning ways on Tuesday night with a non-league contest against a state school from the region. The No. 15 Bulldogs (1-2) host the 0-4 UMass Minutemen at Reese Stadium in a 7 p.m. game airing live on the Ivy League Digital Network. The game was originally slated for 4 p.m. but has been changed to a night contest.
The Bulldogs came back to Reese Stadium last weekend to take on the Bryant Bulldogs. After building a 4-1 lead early in the second quarter, the Elis were unable to break Bryant's zone defense, and the Bulldogs from Rhode Island scored eight of the final 10 goals in an upset victory. Eric Scott and Matt Gaudet combined for two goals each, while Ben Reeves had four assists in his return to the lineup.
Yale is 7-18 in the all-time series against UMass. The Bulldogs have won three of the past four contests, however, while the most recent matchup was played in 2010.
The Elis currently sit at the No. 15 spot in the USILA/Nike Division I Coaches' Poll after their loss against Bryant. They also are No. 20 in the Maverick Media Poll. The Bulldogs have been ranked in the Top 20 for each poll since the beginning of last season, and are currently the second highest ranked team in the Ivy League.
The UMass offense is led by Dan Muller and Buddy Carr, who have combined for 11 points this season. The guys from Amherst also have 11 different goal scorers and average over 30 shots per game. D.J. Smith has made 47 saves between the pipes. UMass has played two teams that the Elis will be facing in 2017, Harvard and Albany.
The Elis had one of the top scoring defenses in the nation last year, and they are looking strong again so far. Last Sunday, the defense held its ground for most of the game, limiting Bryant to fewer than 10 goals, and only allowing one score in the first 20 minutes of the game. Phil Huffard and Hoyt Crance split time in the crease, combining for seven saves. The team also notched eight caused turnovers, the most of any game this season.
The Bulldogs found the back of the net six times last weekend. Of the goals scored, five were assisted, including four from Ben Reeves, who was back in the lineup. Yale put up 32 shots against Bryant, including 21 in the first half, and its 33.3 shooting percentage is the fourteenth highest in the nation. Their 50% conversion rate on the EMO is also first in the Ivy League.
IVY LEAGUE PROJECTIONS
The Bulldogs were also given the top spot in the 2017 Ivy League Men's Lacrosse Preseason poll, as they edged out Brown. Yale received 6 of 12 first-place votes. The Elis and Bears are followed by Penn, and Harvard to round out the top four. Currently, the Bulldogs sit behind Penn in the national rankings, while Princeton, Harvard, and Brown also received votes.
2017 ELI INDIVIDUAL SEASON-BESTS
Assists: 5, Joseph Sessa vs. Villanova
Saves: 15, Phil Huffard vs. Villanova
CTs: 4, Eric Scott vs. Bryant
Face-off wins: 15, Conor Mackie vs. Villanova
filed by Andrew Del Vecchio '19, Yale Sports Publicity