Bulldogs Look to Rise in the Ivy

Yale Has Potential For Ancient Eight Run

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A 2010 season that includes the inaugural Ivy League Men's Lacrosse Tournament should be one of great progress for the Yale Bulldogs, coming off a 5-8 season. Experienced depth at midfield and on attack should help the Blue compete for a spot in the league's post-season event. The Blue returns one of the Ancient Eight's best offenses (six of the top 10 scorers were newcomers in 2009) and Yale's Class of 2013 was ranked among the top 15 by Inside Lacrosse.

Here's who the Elis are planning to see at each position.

ATTACK

Five members of the attack played box lacrosse in Canada last summer which should help the Bulldogs this season. Senior captain Brendan Gibson (23-12-35), an honorable mention All-Ivy pick last spring, headlines a strong mix of returnees on attack.  His younger brother, Matt Gibson (20-11-31), the quarterback of the Yale offense, was second in assists on the 2009 squad. Two players with limited duty last season, junior Jack Flaherty and sophomore Ben Gifford, could play a major role this year, while the Blue has great potential in its new attack personnel. Freshmen Andrew Cordia (St. Stephen's/St. Agnes), was ranked the No. 26 attack recruit by Inside Lacrosse Magazine and played in the U-19 World Championships for the Iroquois Nationals. Deron Dempster (The Hill Academy) and Kirby Zdrill (Westminster School) were impressive in fall play. The last three freshman classes have produced offense, and expectations are just as high for this one.

 

MIDFIELD

The Elis have more depth at this position than any other. Senior Matt Fuchs (6-9-15) has started for three years on the first unit and is the team's top outside shooter. Classmate Jerome Arnold (1-0-1) should also play a role in the Yale offense. Senior Nick Tsouris (14 GB), one of the premier shut-down middies in the game, is back after being picked pre-season all-league. Another senior, Max Rodman, could be the Blue's top faceoff man.  Junior Brian Douglass (12-7-19), a two-year starter on attack, was among the top Eli scorers last season. Third-year player Alfonso Costa is the emotional leader of the defensive midfielders. Numerous sophomores figure into the 2010 plans. Gregory Mahony (17-2-19) was named Ivy League "Breakout Stud" by Inside Lacrosse and is the leading returning scorer among the middies. Matt Miller (7-3-10) had two goals against both Brown and Fairfield. Colin Still (4-3-7), Michael Pratt (2-2-4), who started every game as a defensive middie in 2009, Mark Dobrosky (2-0-2) and Robby Berner (faceoffs) are the other sophomores. Newcomers Michael Lipin (St. Andrews), who scored three goals in the Connecticut Cup last fall and was Inside Lacrosse's No. 40 ranked midfield recruit after winning three state high school championships, Jamey Silveira (Palatine), faceoff man Cole Yeager (Radnor) and Bryan Walker will also battle for playing time.

 

DEFENSE

Junior Patrick Coleman (36 GB) has started every game in his Yale career and has become a team leader. Classmate Chad Costello (3) could also be a key long stick and wing on the faceoff. Other juniors, Alex Forrey (9), Lucas Aronson and Nicholas Leppla fortify this unit. Steve McLachlan, also a junior, was in the mix before suffering a season-ending injury. Sophomore Michael Sweeney and three freshmen defensemen, Peter Johnson (Blake School), Michael McCormack (West Islip), the No. 20 ranked defensive recruit by Inside Lacrosse after winning the 2009 New York State Championship, and Phil Gross (Upper Arlington), Ohio's Defensive Player of the Year, could also have an impact.

 

GOAL

Johnathan Falcone (11.43, .496, 5-7) started all but one game last year and returns for his junior season as an experienced choice. Sophomore Andrew Brown (14.87, .333, 0-1) saw enough time as a rookie to step it up in 2010. Newcomer Peter Spaulding (The Calverton School) played well in the fall and could help as well.

 

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director

 

Nick Tsouris image by Sam Rubin '95