Yale-Harvard Saturday, The (Lacrosse) Game

Peter Johnson, Phil Gross and Johnathan Falcone (steve Conn image)
Peter Johnson, Phil Gross and Johnathan Falcone (steve Conn image)


No. 13 Bulldogs Have Shot at League Title, Tourney


NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The 9-3 and No. 13 ranked Yale men's lacrosse team (3-2 Ivy), winners of five of the last six, close the 2010 regular season by hosting archrival Harvard (6-5, 2-3) at Reese Stadium Saturday at 1 p.m. in a game that carries league title as well as post-season implications for both teams.



With a win Saturday and help from Cornell, Yale, which has yet to clinch a post-season berth, could have a share of the league title. Princeton, 4-1 in Ivy play, has already clinched at least a share of the crown but could lose the tournament's No. 1 seed by falling to the Big Red (3-2) Saturday at New Jersey. So while the Elis have hopes for a piece of their first Ivy crown since 1990, just making the inaugural Ivy Tournament would be a much-welcomed consolation.



Both Brown (3-2), which could also share the title, Harvard (2-3) and Dartmouth (2-3) are in the Ivy tourney (top 4) mix. The Bears and Big Green meet Saturday. Only Penn (1-5) has been eliminated from post-season opportunities.



Joe Pike made 11 saves and Jeff Cohen tallied five goals to guide No. 19 Harvard to a 13-8 victory before 3,023 fans at Harvard Stadium.  Matt Gibson, Gregory Mahony and Michael Karwoski each hit the net twice for Yale. On the other side, Jason Duboe contributed two goals and three assists, while Jesse Fehr added two goals. 



Yale owns a 56-34 series lead over Harvard but the Crimson has taken five of the last six. The Elis' last win at Reese Stadium was 6-5 in 2002.



The Bulldogs of Bryant got three goals from Max Weisbenberg and a strong (12 of 19) performance from face-off man Andy Hennessey that led to a 9-7 upset of the Elis before 987 at Reese Stadium last Saturday. Bryant (9-5), which dominated the possessions and hounded Yale's offense, never trailed in the first meeting of the two Bulldog squads while ending Yale's win streak at five games. Yale got a pair of goals from Gregory Mahony and a goal each from five other players on a night when nothing was clicking for more than a moment. Both teams had 27 ground balls, though Yale had more shots (27-23) and fewer turnovers (13-20).


Kevin Vaughan (15-4-19) tallied three goals and Dean Gibbons (25 goals) scored twice and added an assist as Harvard topped No. 6 Princeton 11-8 last Saturday before 2,827 fans on Senior Day at Harvard Stadium. The Crimson used a 4-2 run in the second quarter to grab a 6-4 lead, which they never relinquished in its first victory over the Tigers since 1990, a span of 19 straight games. The Crimson, which has lost three of its last four, enjoyed a 31-25 edge in ground balls, while going 16-of-18 on clear attempts.  Alex White (.554 F.O.), the Ivy League Rookie of the Week, collected a team-best eight ground balls and won 12-of-21 faceoffs.  Harry Krieger (10.95, .500) finished the game with 13 saves.  



Six members of the class of 2010 will be honored during a pre-game ceremony on Saturday. Jerome Arnold, Matt Fuchs, Trent Gause, Brendan Gibson, Max Rodman and Nick Tsouris will be joined by family to celebrate their careers at Yale.



Yale's Ivy League Championship teams from 1988, 89 and 90 will be honored at halftime of this Saturday's Yale-Harvard game. A large group of players from these teams will be at a Friday night dinner in the Kenney Center at Yale Bowl before having a pre-game cookout in parking lot B next to Coxe Cage/Reese Stadium. The three teams coached by Mike Waldvogel combined for a 38-11 overall mark and were each 5-1 in Ivy play. That included a 4-0 record against Princeton and sweeps (3-0) of Cornell. Scott Giese captained the 1988 Eli squad that went 12-4 and made the NCAA Tournament. The team leader of the 1989 Bulldogs was Keith Joseph, whose squad won 10 of 15 contests. Dean Charpentier, captain of the 1990 Yale team, led the Bulldogs to a school-best 16-2 record and an NCAA semifinal appearance.



Yale's nine wins are the most under head coach Andy Shay and the most since the 2003 Bulldogs went 9-5 overall. This is the fourth nine-victory campaign since the Elis enjoyed their best-ever season, 16-2 in 1990.



Yale is 13th this week's laxnews.com poll and No. 17 in the latest USILA rankings (see below). Yale's No. 13 ranking last week was its best in the USILA poll since 1992. Here is the latest USILA poll.


Rank                        Team                          Record            Points              Prev. Wk

                  1                Virginia                       13-1                 195(5)                2                   

                  2                Syracuse                     11-1                 194(5)                1                   

                  3                Maryland                     9-3                  181                   5                   

                  4                North Carolina            11-2                 164                    3                   

                  5                Duke                           11-4                 161                    4                   

                  6                Loyola                        9-2                   152                    7                   

                  7                Princeton                     9-3                   134                    6                   

                  8                Stony Brook                9-3                   123                  12                             

                  9                UMass                         8-4                   107                  16     

                  10              Cornell                        8-4                     99                    8                   

                  11              Towson                       6-5                     88                 14                           

                  12              Villanova                     9-4                     87                    9                   

                  13              Drexel                         9-4                    83                  11                  

                  14              Georgetown                7-5                     67                  10                     

                  15              Hofstra                        8-4                     50                  15       

                  16              Denver                        10-4                   48                  20                   

                  17              Yale                             9-3                     34                  13                   

                  18              Brown                         7-5                     29                  nr                    

                  19t             Notre Dame                7-5                     22                  nr                       

                  19t             Harvard                       6-5                   22                    nr                                                                                  

                  Also receiving votes:   Delaware, Army, Lafayette, Fairfield, Navy, Johns Hopkins


Six Yale players have hit double digits in goals. Junior A Brian Douglass has a team-high 29 and ranks 21st in Division I with 2.42 per game. Sophomore A Matt Gibson (26 goals) leads the Elis with 44 points and is 17th in the country with 3.67 points per game. Senior captain Brendan Gibson has 16-15-31. Sophomore M Gregory Mahony has 17-1-18 after notching two goals vs. Bryant. Classmate Matt Miller (12-4-16) also reached double-digits.



Junior goalie Johnathan Falcone has every decision in the Yale net and has a .510 save percentage. His 8.72 GAA, tops in the Ivy, is 14th in Division I. He has had double-digit saves in four of the last six games. Falcone had a season-high of 15 saves at Dartmouth, while he has held opponents to single-digits in four of the last five outings.



Senior M Max Rodman is 21st in the country with a .556 face-off mark. He took a season-high 33 face-offs against Penn, while his low was the next day with 11 against Detroit. Rookie Cole Yeager (.632) got an opportunity to take over against Detroit and won nine of 13.



Junior LSM Patrick Coleman leads the Blue with 44 pick-ups. Freshman D Michael McCormack is second with 38. These two defenders have helped the Bulldogs hold their last three opponents to a combined 17 goals.



Yale is 14th in faceoffs (.551), 13th in team defense (8.7), 17th in ground balls (33) and 24th in scoring offense (10.5) 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. He earned NEILA Player of the Week on April 11 after five goals in the 8-3 win at Dartmouth. Junior Brian Douglass got the Ivy nod on April 5 after a 13-goal, 14-point weekend set against Penn and Detroit. Freshman Peter Johnson was named Ivy Rookie of the Week on April 11 after helping the Blue hold the Big Green to three goals.



Yale has won four Ivy League Championships, including the first one handed out in 1956. The others came in 1988, 89 and 90.



The first Ivy League tournament is set for May 7-9 and includes the top four teams. The No. 1 seed will host No. 4, with No. 2 and No. 3 playing each other at the same venue.



Five of the seven Ivy League teams are currently listed in the USILA top 20 poll. Princeton and Cornell are in the top 10. Yale, Brown and Harvard are in the second half.



Yale head coach Andy Shay is in his seventh season and brings a 43-48 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. John Tillman, the former Navy assistant, is now in his third year as the Frisbie Family Head Coach for Men's Lacrosse at Harvard.



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.



Three Yale players have points in every game, Brendan Gibson, Matt Gibson and Brian Douglass. Douglass has a goal in 11 of 12 games, while Matt Gibson has hit the net in 10 of 12 and Brendan in nine of 12.



Brendan Gibson, Yale's senior captain, is more than just a leader and motivator. The offensive-minded attackman has a point in 34 straight games – the fourth longest active streak in Division I – dating to March 25, 2008. He has 57-34-91 over that span. His 93 career goals rank sixth at Yale, while his 137 points are eighth. Gibson's 44 assists rank 18th overall at the school.


Career Goal Scoring

1. Jon Reese                                          162         1987-1990

2. Adam Puritz                                     106         1985-1988

3. Tom Zaccagnino                             100         1994-1996

4. Mike Scaglione                                95           2000-2003

5. Mike Devlin                                      94           1979-1982

6. Brendan Gibson                              93            2007-Present

    Josh McHugh                                   93           1989-1992

8. Simon Duxbury                               92           1991-1994

9. Ned Britt                                           90           2001-2004

10. Tom Fagan                                       89           1970-1972

11. Seth Goldberg                                86           2002-2005

12. Ted Moran                                     84           1983-1986

13. Brian Hunt                                     78           1999-2001

14. Craig Lunde                                   74           1985-1988

15. Ken Lenskold                                70           1982-1985

16. Brian Walter                                  68           1988-1991

17. Scott Kenworthy                           65           2001-2004

      Timothy Bradford                         65           1964-1966

19. Chris Clark                                     64           1984-1987

20. Kim Dunn                                      63           1988-1991

      Daniel Brillman                              63           2003-2006

22. Shawn O'Rourke                          60           1994-1997




Yale leads the Ivies with 33 ground balls per game… Sophomore Mark Dobrosky's brother, Dave, is a senior on the Harvard team… The Blue averages 36.9 shots per game… Yale's five-game win streak was the longest since 2002 under head coach Mike Waldvogel… Yale has a .781 clear percentage… The Elis have averaged 800 fans in six home dates at Reese Stadium… Yale has outscored and outshot opponents in all but the fourth quarter… The first two Bulldogs recruited from Canada exclusively for lacrosse are newcomers Kirby Zdrill and Deron Dempster… Sophomore midfielder Robby Berner is a member of the Yale squash team and played in the No. 6 and 7 slots for the No. 2 team in the country.



The Elis seek their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1992. Yale has played in the NCAAs three (1988, 90, 92) different seasons and are 2-3 overall. The best run came in 1990 when the Blue beat Princeton in the quarters before falling in OT to Loyola at Rutgers Stadium in the semis.



The Bulldogs fell to No. 4 in the New England rankings. They bounced around from first to fifth since the season began. Here are the latest NEILA Rankings.

  1. Massachusetts    8-4
  2. Brown                7-5
  3. Harvard              6-5
  4. Yale                    9-3
  5. Fairfield             8-4
  6. Bryant                9-5
  7. Dartmouth          5-6
  8. Quinnipiac          6-5


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. Sophomore Robby Berner (Greenwich) is the only Yale player from Connecticut.



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.



Yale is one of a few schools in the country wearing a Rose sticker on its helmets in honor of Paul Rose, a lacrosse coach at four different colleges, who passed away on March 27 after a long battle with cancer.




filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director