NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale men's lacrosse team remained undefeated in conference play after a 14-goal performance in a win over Penn in Philadelphia. The No. 19 Bulldogs (5-3, 3-0 Ivy) are looking for their fifth straight win as they travel to Queens, N.Y., to play St. John's (1-8, 0-1) in a 3 p.m. Tuesday contest that airs live on ESPN3.
The Elis held their position at the top of the Ivy League table with a solid 14-12 win over the Penn Quakers at Franklin Field in Philadelphia last Satruday. Ben Reeves led all scorers with a career-high five goals, while adding two assists. Matt Gaudet added three goals in the first quarter, while Lucas Cotler and Eric Scott each had two-goal games. Phil Huffard recorded 14 saves between the pipes for the Bulldogs.
Ben Reeves was named the Ivy League Player of the Week after his seven-point performance against Penn. He recorded five goals, a new career-high, and played a role in half of the goals scored by the Yale offense. Matt Gaudet was named to the Honor Roll for the second consecutive week after another three-goal performance. This is the second straight week that a Yale player has been named Player of the Week.
Yale leads the all-time series against St. John's, winning 10 of 11 games. The Bulldogs have won
the past three contests, and their only loss to the Red Storm came in the first game of the 2013 season. Last year, the Bulldogs needed to overcome a 7-1 deficit in order to take a 13-8 victory at Reese Stadium.
The St. John's Red Storm are coming off a 15-6 loss against Providence last weekend. Their lone win this season was against Siena, but they have faced a tough schedule, including games against Hofstra and Syracuse. Nick Heller leads the offense with 10 goals and three assists, and collectively the Red Storm are the sixth best scoring offense in the Big East.
After a brief hiatus, the Elis are back in the national rankings after winning four straight games. They are ranked No. 19 in the USILA National Poll, the second highest of any team in the Ivy League, and No. 20 in the Maverik Media Poll.
The Bulldogs scored 14 times last Saturday from six different players including four who scored multiple times. Ben Reeves led the charge with five goals and two assists. Eric Scott put up two goals, while freshman Matt Gaudet scored his fourth hat trick of the year. Yale put up 30 shots against Penn, and scored on nearly half of them. Ben Reeves is tied with Joey Sessa for the team lead in assists, averaging 2.29 per game, good for 8th in the nation.
2017 ELI INDIVIDUAL SEASON-BESTS
Points: 8, Ben Reeves vs. Princeton
Saves: 15, Phil Huffard vs. Villanova
CTs: 4, Eric Scott vs. Bryant
Face-off Wins: 26, Conor Mackie vs. Princeton
Four Bulldogs were named pre-season All-American by Face-Off Yearbook. Junior Ben Reeves was a first-team pick, Eric Scott and Camyar Matini were on the third team, while Tyler Warner earned an honorable mention.
ON THE X
Junior Conor Mackie, after a record-setting performance against Princeton, had another solid performance against Penn on the X, winning 17 of 30 face-offs. Mackie registered one of the best days ever for a Yale face-off man in the game against Princeton, winning 26 of 33 and scooped up 18 ground balls. He has taken all but three of the face-offs this season and has won 59 percent of his attempts, which ranks 15th in the nation. He is also fifth in the nation with 8.13 groundballs per game. Mackie tied the NCAA record for the fastest goal in a game when he scored just three seconds into the March 18 contest against Cornell.
SPREADING THE LOVE
Through seven games, 12 different Bulldogs have found the back of the net a total of 100 times on 291 shots.
The nine members of the class of 2017 have an overall record of 38-16, including two Ivy League Tournament titles and NCAA Tournament appearances. The most wins by a Yale lacrosse class is 46 by the 1991 and 1992 groups. The seniors include M Eric Scott, A Jeff Cimbalista, captain and D Brian Pratt, D Camyar Matini, D Henry Guild, M John Lazarsfeld, G Jack Berney, D Charlie Better and D Conor Resch.
Newcomers have been key to the Yale offense this spring. The class of 2020 has scored 35 times this season, including 16 goals from Matt Gaudet. The Ontario native has scored 13 the past five games, including a season-high four against Fairfield, and earned a spot on the Ivy League Honor Roll this week after his three-goal performance against Penn. Gaudet also leads the nation in shot percentage, converting on 61.5% of his shots. The offense has another 11 goals from Jackson Morrill. The Maryland native also has nine assists, and his six-point performance against Villanova earned him an Ivy League Rookie of the Week award. Lucas Cotler is also a presence for the Yale offense, scoring twice in the win over Penn, giving him six in the past three games and bringing his season total up to eight goals and an assist. Will Weitzel has been solid at the LSM position, backing up Brian Pratt, while Brody Wilson has spent time between the pipes this season, earning a 3-0 record. The new Bulldogs come from seven different states and a Canadian province, and Inside Lacrosse ranked this recruiting class as the eleventh best in the nation.
Ben Reeves continued his scoring tear this past weekend against Penn. He notched five goals, a career-high, while adding two assists. His season point total is now up to 36. In the past five games, he has scored 20 goals and added 11 assists. His season total of 36 (20-16) points rank first on the team. His 5.14 points per game ranks fourth in the Ivy League, and his 2.29 assists per game ranks tenth in the nation. He is already climbing up the ranks in the Yale Lacrosse record book, and currently sits eighth for all-time point scoring. Reeves made team history last year as the first Yale player named one of the five finalists for the Tewarraton Award, the highest individual honor in college lacrosse. He posted the third highest point total ever by a Yale player in a single season. His 79 points and 45 goals are both Yale sophomore records, and he was tied for second in the nation with 4.94 points per game. The Macedon, N.Y., native was named to the 2016 All-Ivy League First Team and the All-American First Team, and was also named the Ivy Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
Senior midfielder Eric Scott has been a consistent part of the Yale offense. He scored two goals for the second straight game on Saturday at Penn. He is third on the team with 14 goals, and ranks 11th in the Ivy League with 2.88 points per game. Scott is also one of 20 nominees for the Senior CLASS award for his notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. Last year, Scott had the best statistical year of his collegiate career with 19 goals and 17 assists, good for third on the team with 36 points. Scott was named a to the 2016 All-Ivy League Second Team, and was named a 2017 preseason third-team All-American by Inside Lacrosse. He is also listed as a preseason First Team All-New England selection by the NEILA. Scott was named to the first-team All-New England in 2015, and was fourth on the team in scoring with 28 points (22 G, 6 A).
Sophomore Joseph Sessa has been an essential asset to the Yale offense. He is a team sparkplug who has distributed the ball effectively. Sessa continued to facilitate for the Yale offense against the Quakers, notching two assists. He now has 16 assists, including a career-high of five against Villanova, and is 19th in the nation in assists per game. He has also added six goals so far, matching his 2016 season total, and his 22 points are the third-most on the team. Last year, he recorded six goals, including three against Bryant early in the season. Listed at 5-feet, 5-inches on the roster, Sessa uses his speed and athleticism to create opportunities.
Yale athletics teams have just one captain. Senior Brian Pratt, the voted leader of the 2017 Bulldogs, is a versatile asset at the LSM position. He has been key to the face-off unit so far this season, and played a solid defensive role. Despite a season-ending injury before the start of the 2016 season, he was still visible on field, leading the players onto the field before pre-game warmups. Pratt had 26 groundballs during the 2015 season for a defense that ranked among the top 10 in the country. Pratt, a political science major, interned at Barclays last summer.
Senior Camyar Matini, named to the 2017 Preseason All-America third unit, is a key ingredient in the Yale defense. He has recorded nine groundballs and five caused turnovers, already almost matching his total from 2016. Last season he recorded 11 ground balls and seven caused turnovers, despite missing five games due to injury. He was part of the 2016 starting lineup with Michael Quinn and Chris Keating, forming a tenacious defense that was in the top 10 in the nation. Matini is listed as a 2017 Preseason Second Team All-New England selection.
Junior Tyler Warner has played a key role as a short-stick defender for the Bulldogs. Often responsible for covering some of the best attackmen, Warner can also find balls on the ground and distribute in the offensive end. He was given an honorable mention for the 2017 Preseason All-American list as a defensive short stick midfielder. He was also named to the 2017 NEILA Preseason All-New England Team. He recorded 16 groundballs and six caused turnovers last year, and scored goals against both Penn and Sacred Heart. His tenacity showed in the 2016 Ivy League Tournament, when he and classmate Jason Alessi played a critical role in the defensive zone to secure another championship for the Bulldogs.
Two-sport Division I athletes are unique, even more so are key players for both teams. Junior midfielder Jason Alessi is the best male example at Yale, starting on defense for the football team, while making plays for the lacrosse team. Alessi brought his scoring streak up to four games after scoring a second-half goal against Penn. He has eight tallies on the year, along with 12 groundballs and a caused turnover. Alessi finished the 2016 season with 12 goals and 2 assists, including three multi-goal games. On the gridiron, the defensive back is the only player in Yale history to record a pair of punt returns for TDs over 80 yards. Alessi is listed as a Preseason Second Team All-New England selection by the NEILA.
More Yale lacrosse games are being aired on national television than in any previous year. The Elis host Brown on April 15, which can again be seen on ESPNU. An away contest at Albany later this season can also be seen on ESPN3, along with the regular season finale against Harvard. The game at Maryland earlier this season was also on ESPNU. The 2017 Ivy League Tournament will be aired on the ESPN Networks.
filed by Andrew Del Vecchio '19, Yale Sports Publicity