No. 15 Bulldogs Open Home Schedule

Yale at Reese Stadium Thursday, Friday Nights

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The No. 15 Yale men's lacrosse team opens the 2011 home schedule by hosting Presbyterian College and Mercer University this Thursday and Friday nights at 7 p.m. at newly renovated Reese Stadium.



The Bulldogs enjoyed a pair of six-goal leads but had to hold on for an opening day, 10-8 win at St. John's last Saturday. Yale outshot the Storm 40-28 and had a slight edge in ground balls (22-18) and face-offs (11-10). Senior attackman Brian Douglass led the Blue with three goals. Junior midfielder Colin Still chipped in two while classmate Matt Gibson, an attackman, had a goal and an assist. Spreading the ball around for Yale meant getting goals from seven different players. Senior Johnathan Falcone needed eight saves to record the win in net. He and the Elis got help from Cole Yeager's first game as the primary face-off guy. The sophomore midfielder won seven of 13 draws, while freshman Dylan Levings earned wins on four of eight attempts.



There will be a free video stream available on of Thursday's game. Other games with commentators will be included later in the season as part of a pay-per-view package.



Yale has won its last two home openers and is 4-3 under head coach Andy Shay.



The Presbyterian Blue Hose (0-2) and Mercer Bears (0-4) have a combined three years of Division I lacrosse experience prior to the 2011 season. Yale beat Presbyterian 14-5 at Richmond, Va., last March, but the Elis never faced Mercer.



Presbyterian, which went 1-9 last year, opened the 2011 season with a 19-4 loss at Delaware followed by a 16-10 loss against UMBC at home. Presbyterian, from Clinton, S.C., travels to Manhattan College on Tuesday before arriving in New Haven for their matchup against the Bulldogs. The Blue Hose have only been a Division I program since the 2007 season, when they entered the transitional year of membership into NCAA Division I after 15 years in Division II athletics. They are currently one of three teams (Presbyterian, Mercer, and Johns Hopkins) not affiliated with a Division I conference.



The 2011 campaign for Mercer is its inaugural one in Division I lacrosse. Mercer, a school of 8,200 students in Macon, Ga., becomes the first collegiate institution in that state to add lacrosse as a Division I program. The Bears fell to Ohio St. and Bellarmine on the road and VMI and Jacksonville at home. Mercer will be the youngest team Yale faces all season, 32 of the 35 players are freshmen.



LSM Patrick Coleman, a Ridgewood, N.J., native and former Delbarton School standout, led Yale with six ground balls in the opener last week. He is a three-year letterman for the Elis.



Matt Gibson, whose dad Jim Gibson played hockey at Cornell, was the 2010 New England Player of the Year and has been picked as the 2011 pre-season choice… Junior M Robby Berner is a member of the 2009-10 and 2010-11 Ivy League Champion men's squash team, which finished second in the nation after falling 5-4 to Trinity last Sunday in the national tournament… Freshman M Jackson Logie's dad, Scott '85, played hockey at Yale… Senior M Alfonso Costa walked on to the Yale basketball team this winter. Last summer, he earned a spot in the Garden Scholars Program, a highly competitive opportunity in which selected interns are paired with Madison Square Garden executives who they work one-on-one with throughout the summer… Senior A Jack Flaherty, the son of a high school history teacher, spent last summer working an archeological excavation in Athens.  



Yale, which shared a league title last year, has won six Ivy League Championships, including the first one handed out in 1956. The others came in 1969, 1988, 89 and 90. The outright titles were in 1956 and 1989.



Six Yale players were named to the 2010 All-Ivy League Men's Lacrosse Team, five of them returned this season. Attackman Matt Gibson and midfielders Nick Tsouris '10 and Gregory Mahony garnered second-team status. Goalie Johnathan Falcone and defensemen Michael McCormack and Peter Johnson were all honorable mention.



Five (Cornell, Princeton, Penn, Yale and Brown) of the seven Ivy League teams were ranked among the USILA top 20 this week.



Brian Douglass earned Ivy League Honor Roll status on Feb. 28 for his 3 goals against St. John's.



Yale is 15th in this week's Nike poll and No. 17 in the latest USILA rankings.



The Yale roster includes players from 13 different states and two provinces:

California (4), Connecticut (5), Florida (1), Maryland (3), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), New York (10), New Jersey (5), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (3), Virginia (2), Washington (1), Alberta (1), Ontario (1)



Yale's 41-man roster is broken down evenly among the classes. There are 11 newcomers and 10 each of sophomores, juniors and seniors.



Andy Shay's seventh year at the helm of the Yale men's lacrosse program in 2010 was his best. He guided the Bulldogs to a 10-4 season that included a share of the Ivy League title and a spot in the inaugural league tournament. The Bulldogs' 2010 season marked the first post-season appearance since 1992 and the first Ivy championship since 1990. Shay's squad was ranked as high as No. 9 at one point during the campaign. He is 46-49 overall at Yale. Shay, named Yale head coach on June 25, 2003, helped guide the University of Massachusetts to the 2002 and 2003 NCAA quarterfinals as an assistant coach for four years. Prior to joining UMass' staff, Shay was an assistant coach at Delaware, where in 1999 he helped the Blue Hens capture the America East title with a 14-3 record and advance to the NCAA Tournament for only the second time in school history. Shay began his coaching career as the head coach at Morrisville (N.Y.) Junior College, and he compiled a 20-17 record in three years. Shay is a 1994 graduate of LeMoyne College where he was a four-year starting defenseman and served as team captain for two years. He was an All-Empire League selection as a senior when he led the team to a league title.



Yale is coming off a four-way share of the 2010 Ivy League title with Princeton, Cornell and Brown.  The Elis went 10-4 overall and were 4-2 in league play before falling in the semifinal of the 2010 Ivy League Tournament at Ithaca.



Yale's 10 wins last spring were the most under head coach Andy Shay and the most since the 1992 team won 12 games. The Blue has won 10 or more games just seven times in the 95-year history of the program.



Four of Yale's 13 regular season opponents this year (Cornell, Princeton, Penn, Brown) are currently ranked in the latest USILA poll. They were both among the field of 16 in the 2010 NCAA tournament.



Newly renovated Reese Stadium is a state-of –the-art facility for both Yale lacrosse and soccer teams. The renovations completed last summer include increased stadium seating, an entry plaza, team rooms and a press box. Recent improvements included a FieldTurf surface and new lighting. Reese Stadium, formerly known as the Yale Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium, is named after former lacrosse players Jason Reese '87 and Jon Reese '90.



Here a few of the Yale names that might not seem so conventional:


Jared DePalma            (da-PALM-a)

Johnathan Falcone      (fall-KONE)

Alex Forrey                 (four-EE)

Jackson Logie             (low-gee)

Brandon Mangan        (man-gan)

Steve McLachlan        (mic-LOCK-lan)

Kirby Zdrill                 (za-DRILL)





 3         Brian Douglass (Sr)

33        Matt Gibson (Jr)

22        Brandon Mangan (Fr)


First Midfield

 6         Gregory Mahony (Jr)

15        Matt Miller (Jr)

 9         Colin Still (Jr)


Second Midfield

8          Michael Lipin (So)

41        Andrew Cordia (So) 

20        Jack Flaherty (Sr)


Longstick Midfielder

43        Patrick Coleman (Sr)


Shortstick Defensive Midfielder

10           Michael Pratt (Jr)

7          Mark Dobrosky (Jr)



28          Cole Yeager (So)

46          Dylan Levings (Fr)



29        Phil Gross (So)

31        Peter Johnson (So)

42        Michael McCormack (So)



12        Johnathan Falcone (Sr)

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
Matt Gibson image by New York Sportsbeat

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