YALE HOSTS PENN, DETROIT
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The Yale men’s lacrosse team opened the season with four straight wins and a No. 17 national ranking. The Bulldogs ran into the Ivy’s best over the first two weeks of league play and are now 4-2 overall (0-2 Ivy) and looking to end a small skid. The Penn Quakers (4-5, 0-2), coming off losses to three straight top 10 teams, come to Reese Stadium for a 1:30 p.m. face-off this Saturday. An Easter Sunday special is on tap at Reese on Sunday when the Bulldogs host the first-ever meeting with Detroit Mercy at 1 p.m.
The series began in 1919 and Yale has a 45-26 lead, including 24-12 at New Haven. However, Penn has taken three of the last four games, including the last two at Reese Stadium. Yale has never played Detroit.
Yale trailed Penn by five in the first half and by three in the fourth quarter before making a run that netted a 14-13 OT victory at Franklin Field last March. Michael Karwoski had five goals and an assist, while Matt Gibson had three goals and three assists and Gregory Mahony scored three goals. Karwoski ended the game with an unassisted goal just 11 seconds into the extra session.
BULLDOGS ALMOST KNOCK OFF TIGERS
Six different players scored but the Bulldogs came up one shy of No. 5 Princeton, 7-6, last Saturday before the season’s biggest crowd at Reese Stadium. Max Rodman kept his percentage among the national leaders by taking 10 of the 16 face-offs. The Bulldogs had a 39-34 edge in shots, while also having a 31-26 advantage in ground balls. Goalie Johnathan Falcone made eight saves and came very close to helping his squad pull off the upset.
Three Yale players have hit double digits in goals. Sophomore A Matt Gibson has a team-high 12 goals, nine assists and 21 points. Junior A Brian Douglass is second on the team with 11 goals and 15 points. Senior captain Brendan Gibson has 10 goals and 15 points.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Junior goalie Johnathan Falcone, who has faced 164 shots this season, has a 9.11 goals against average (21st in Division I) with a .458 save percentage. He has every decision but Andrew Brown and Peter Spaulding have also seen time in net.
Senior M Max Rodman has won 78 of 127 (61%) of his face-offs this season and ranks fifth in the country. He has taken all but 10 of Yale’s face-offs this season.
Junior LSM Patrick Coleman leads the Blue with 21 pick-ups. A Brendan Gibson (18) and M Michael Pratt (17) close behind.
Yale is fourth in faceoffs, 13th in ground balls (33) and 17th in team defense (9.1) among Division I squads.
Yale sophomore Matt Gibson was named March 8 co-Ivy League Player of the Week after an 11-point weekend in a pair of victories. Gibson led the Elis to a 13-12 win over No. 12 UMass on March 5 with a career-high 5-3-8.
The Quakers, coming off a 12-6 loss at Cornell, are 0-5 against nationally ranked teams this year but had a four-game win streak against some talented unranked squads. Rob McMullen (15-1-16) leads Penn in goals while Corey Winkoff (9-16-25) tops the team in points. Joe Hegener (.492, .9.08) has six of the nine decisions in net, Chris Casey (.509, 10.57) as the others.
The Titans opened the year with six straight losses but have won the last two games, including an 11-8 contest last weekend against VMI. Joel Matthews leads the team with 25 goals and 32 points while A.J. Levell (.462, 13.07) has all the decisions in goal. UDM, a member of the MAAC, plays at Siena on Saturday before heading down to New Haven.
Four of the seven Ivy League teams are currently nationally ranked. The league of ancient schools has won 26 of 36 non-league games this season.
ON THE BENCH
Yale head coach Andy Shay is in his seventh season and brings a 39-47 overall record into Saturday’s contest. Shay, a two-time captain at LeMoyne College, was part of two UMass NCAA Quarterfinals teams as an assistant coach before coming to Yale. Mike Murphy is the first-year Penn mentor who went to Philadelphia after seven seasons as head coach at Haverford College.
Yale assistant Graham Niemi, a former Maryland standout, served as head coach of Team Finland at the 2009 World Championships… Andy Shay has coached the Irish National team… Eli assistant Ryan Polley played basketball and lacrosse (2nd team All-America) at Merrimack.
Yale is second among Ivy schools with 33 GBs per game and 38 shots… Gregory Mahony’s 14 shots vs. Lehigh are the most for an Ivy player this year… The Blue has outscored opponents 15-5 in third periods and have 26 more shots… Four Yale players have game-winning goals this year… Matt Gibson’s eight points against UMass are the third most by a Division I player this spring and ties for the most by an Ivy player in 2010… Fifteen Bulldogs have points this year, 13 have hit the net.
AROUND THE IVY
There were three non-league games on March 23 but just one Ivy win, Cornell’s 12-9 decision over Stony Brook. UMass slipped past Brown 11-10 while Duke beat Dartmouth 15-3. There were two other league games on March 27: Cornell doubled up Penn 12-6 and Harvard outlasted Dartmouth 13-11. The Red and Tigers have yet to lose a league game, while Harvard has one loss and the rest of the teams seek their first wins. The top four teams qualify for the first Ivy League post-season tournament in May.
The first two Bulldogs recruited from Canada exclusively for lacrosse are newcomers Kirby Zdrill and Deron Dempster.
The Yale roster includes players from 17 states and two provinces. The most are from New York (9), New Jersey (5) and Pennsylvania (4). None of the 11 members of the class of 2013 hail from the same state or province.
The renovation of Reese Stadium, scheduled for completion this summer, will provide a state-of –the-art facility for both Yale lacrosse and soccer teams. The renovations include increased stadium seating, an entry plaza, team rooms and a press box. Recent improvements included a FieldTurf surface and improved lighting. Reese Stadium, formerly known as the Yale Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium, is named after former lacrosse players Jason Reese '87 and Jon Reese '90.
filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director