Bulldogs-Big Red in Ivy Semifinal

Colin Still (photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)
Colin Still (photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Looks For 8th Straight Friday at 5 p.m.


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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's lacrosse team (9-4, 4-2 Ivy) has made the Ivy League Tournament for the third straight year and face No. 13 Cornell (9-3, 4-2) Friday at 5 p.m. at Princeton's Class of 1952 Stadium. The No. 14 Bulldogs, winners of seven straight to end the regular season, look to avenge a one-goal loss to the Big Red at Ithaca in March.



The No. 3 seed Elis and No. 2 Big Red play in the first semifinal. Top-seed Princeton (10-3, 6-0, ranked 9/10), hosting its first Ivy Tournament, and No. 4 Brown (7-7, 3-3) square off at 8 p.m. Both semifinals air live on ESPN3, Sunday's noon championship contest is on ESPNU. The winner of the tournament earns an automatic berth in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.



Cornell took an 8-7 game in March at Ithaca in the Ivy League opener for both schools. The Bulldogs had the edge in every category except the final score in a game that was tied six times. Matt Gibson, Brandon Mangan and Conrad Oberbeck each had two goals while the Blue had a 33-30 advantage in shots and jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the first quarter with three consecutive tallies from those Bulldogs. Cornell also got a pair of goals from three (Connor English, Chris Langton, JJ Gilbane) different players. However, the biggest score came from Roy Lang with 5:17 left that put the home team up for good. Jack Meyer made six saves for Yale, while Andrew West had 13 at the other end.



The Big Red leads the series 45-23-1. Yale's last win was 7-6 in 1999 at home, while the last Bulldog win at Ithaca was an 11-10 OT decision in 1996.



Yale closed out the regular season last Saturday afternoon at Reese by sending 10 seniors out with a 10-8 win over Harvard and a seventh straight win. Junior Deron Dempster and sophomore Brandon Mangan each tallied three goals and Jack Meyer made 12 saves, but face-off specialist Dylan Levings earned top star status. The sophomore Eli won 17 of 22 and had nine ground balls.



The battle for first place and tourney host was seen live on ESPNU last Saturday night at the Class of 1952 Stadium. Alex Capretta scored five times to give Princeton the outright Ivy title. Matt Donovan scored four goals for Cornell while Connor English scored twice and Doug Tesoriero won 14-of-25 face-offs and had 11 ground balls. Big Red goalkeepers Andrew West and AJ Fiore combined for six saves.



The Big Red has lost two straight… Princeton snapped Cornell's run of winning at least a share of nine consecutive League titles… Cornell is 1-1 with a pair of one-goal decisions in neutral site games this year… Matt Donovan (18-14-32) and Max Van Bourgondien (17-12-29) lead the team in scoring… Doug Tesoriero ranks 11th in Division I with a .595 face-off mark… Andrew West (8.16, .529, 8-3) has most of the work in the net this year and ranks 12th in Division I GAA.



Last Saturday was the final home game for 10 Yale seniors who have been part of 34 victories, three Ivy League Tournament appearances and one league title.



The Bulldogs seek their first Ivy Tournament win on Friday. Yale is a No. 3 seed for the second time; the first was in 2010 (7-6, Princeton). The Elis were No. 4 a year ago (11-7, Cornell).


The Bulldogs have played seven post-season games including five in NCAA Tournaments and two in the Ivy League Tournament. Yale is 2-3 in NCAA games and 0-2 in Ivy appearances.



Yale is riding a seven-game win streak. The last Eli squad to win that many games in a row was in 1990, when the school record was established at 14 consecutive wins. That squad, led by captain Dean Charpentier '90 and midfielder Jon Reese '90, captured its first 14 games before falling to Harvard during the regular season. The Blue had a six-game streak in 1992 and five-game strings in 2011, 2010, 2002 and 2000.



The Blue opened with a pair of wins before dropping four straight, including the first two league games. Yale bounced back with its longest win streak in 22 years.



The 12 overtime sessions this spring are the most ever by a Yale team. Yale played a five-OT game against Princeton, a four-OT contest against Brown, two extras against Bryant and went one extra frame against Stony Brook. The previous high for OT sessions in a season was six by the 1994 Elis. Yale is 3-1 in OT this year, and the four OT games are a school record. It is also unprecedented for an Eli squad to have three straight (Brown, Stony Brook, Bryant) OT contests.



Yale and its opposition have each attempted 29 shots in extra sessions this year. However, opponent goalies have had to make four more saves (14-10). Jack Meyer has all of Yale's play in the net for OT. Yale's OT goals have been scored by Deron Dempster (Brown, 4th OT), Greg Mahony (Stony Brook, 1st OT), Matt Gibson (Bryant, 2nd OT).



The Elis are ranked in the USILA poll for the fourth straight week. Yale has moved from No. 20 to 19th and now to 14. This is the eighth week of being ranked in 2012. Yale opened the season at 18 and moved up to 16 after wins over St. John's and Albany. The Bulldogs are No. 15 in the latest IL/Nike Poll.



Yale earned its first win over a ranked opponent when it beat No. 19 Bryant. The Blue played three straight games against ranked opponents earlier in the year and fell by six goals combined. The last two (Cornell, Princeton) were one-goal games, including a five-OT affair with the Tigers. Lehigh was the other ranked opponent this spring.



  • Brandon Mangan '14 (A): Ivy Honor Roll (Feb. 27); Ivy Honor Roll (March 27)
  • Conrad Oberbeck '15 (A): Ivy Honor Roll (Feb. 27, March 5); Ivy Rookie of the Week (March 12); Ivy Honor Roll (March 27)              
  • Matt Gibson '12 (A): Tewaaraton Award Watch List; insidelacrosse.com Pre-Season All-Ivy; Ivy Honor Roll (March 19); Ivy Player of the Week (April 9); Ivy Honor Roll (April 16); League Team; insidelacrosse.com Pre-Season H.M All-America; Ivy Honor Roll (March 5)              
  • Greg Mahony '12 (M): Tewaaraton Award Watch List, Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Candidate, Ivy Honor Roll (April 22)
  • Michael McCormack '13 (D): insidelacrosse.com Pre-Season H.M. All-America
  • Michael Pratt '12 (M): insidelacrosse.com Pre-Season All-Ivy League Team
  • Cole Yeager '13 (M): insidelacrosse.com Pre-Season All-Ivy League Team; insidelacrosse.com Pre-Season H.M. All-America
  • Deron Dempster '13 (A): Ivy Honor Roll (April 2)
  • Dylan Levings '14 (M); Ivy Honor Roll (April 30); Anaconda Sports/Lids
    Team Sports Player of the Week - NEILA (April 30)


M Michael Pratt, the captain of the Bulldogs, has meant so much more to this team than any stats he has accumulated. Pratt, who has six goals and 45 ground balls, has been a leader while playing in every game since arriving in New Haven. He was named to the 2012 insidelacrosse.com Pre-Season All-Ivy League Team. Pratt, who received the Winthrop Smith Award (team conditioning, inspiration, and team work at Yale) after the 2011 season, was third on the team with 42 ground balls while chipping in four goals and 10 caused turnovers.



Matt Gibson (Point Lookout, N.Y.) leads the team with 25 goals and 42 points as one of the most exciting players in the Ivy League. Gibson, the April 9 Ivy League Player of the Week, is a two-time honorable mention All-America selection and 2011 first-team All-Ivy pick who was named on the 2012 Tewaaraton Award Watch List. A 2010 second-team All-Ivy pick, Gibson is fifth on the Yale career points list with 153. He passed his brother, Brendan (141), the 2010 Yale captain, earlier this season. His 25 goals are one short of his season-high (2010), while the 42 points are two shy of his best in 2010.


Gibson by Season

Year: (GP), G-A-Pts (Notes)

2009: (13), 20-11-31 (6-point game vs. Penn)

2010: (14), 26-18-44 (HM All-America, NE Player of Year, 2nd Team All-Ivy)

2011: (12), 20-16-36 (HM All-America, 1st Team All-Ivy, All-NE)

2012: (13), 25-17-42


Gibson on Yale Career Lists

  • Points: 5th (153)
  • Goals: 9th (91)
  • Assists: 8th (62)


Greg Mahony (19 goals, 26 points, 13 GP) led the Blue with three goals and the OT winner at Stony Brook on April 16. Mahony, a midfielder selected for the 2012 Tewaaraton Award Watch List, is a two-time All-Ivy and All-New England selection who was taken by the Boston Cannons in the 2012 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft. His 73 career goals are 17th at Yale. He has a 3.44 GPA, is majoring in the history of medicine science (pre-med) and was selected as a 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award candidate.



Sophomore Dylan Levings, who ranks No. 2 in the nation with a .652 face-off mark, continues to dominate on the X. He has been one of the keys to Yale's seven-game win streak, and his performance in league play has been crucial. Levings has been even better (.701) against Ivy foes, taking 80 of 114 battles, including a career-best 17 wins in 22 face-offs against Penn and Harvard. Against the Crimson, he won the first six face-offs and nine of the last 10, which earned him New England Player of the Week honors. He has eight double-digit win outings this season and is 10th in ground balls (6.3) in Division I. Levings, who honed the skill as the backup to Cole Yeager last year, had .726 win percentage with 84 attempts.



Conrad Oberbeck, a freshman from Greenwich, Conn., has a goal in nine of the 13 games and leads the Yale class of 2015 with 19 goals and 26 points. He was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week on March 12 for his five goals in two games. Oberbeck, an attackman, played at Brunswick School before coming to New Haven.



Two members of the Yale defense have been leaders in taking the ball away from opponents. Junior Michael McCormack is third (2.46) in the country in caused turnovers. He had a season-high five CTs at Providence and at Dartmouth. Junior Peter Johnson ranks 17th Division I with 1.7 CTs.



Junior Deron Dempster is among the hottest Yale offensive players with 20-2-22 over seven games after sitting out two straight contests with an injury. The Orangeville, Ont., native had 13 goals last spring and improved to 22 this season. His shooting percentage (.550) that ranks fifth in Division I. 


Sophomore Jack Meyer (8.45, .483) has settled in as the Yale starter in goal. He had his best and longest day as a collegiate goalie against Princeton (14 saves) on March 24. Meyer, who had another big game last week with a dozen stops, has started the last nine games and has 86 saves overall in 12 games this season. He ranks 13th in Division I goals against average. As a newcomer in 2011, Meyer saw action in parts of three games (54 minutes). Freshman Eric Natale (8.94) started the first three games this season and has 13 saves. Meyer, a baritone who has been singing for eight years, almost chose music over playing lacrosse at Yale.  He took voice lessons and entertained the idea of going to a music conservatory (got into Oberlin, Johns Hopkins and Carnegie Mellon programs) before coming to Yale.  Before coming to New Haven, Meyer sang in the all-state chorus (solo) and was elected to the All-Eastern Seaboard Choir.  



Here's how Yale looks compared to the other Division I teams and Cornell.


Scoring: 10.7 (17th), Cornell (12.1, 7th)

Defense: 9.0 (18th), Cornell (8.5, 13th)

Face-off: .613 (3rd), Cornell (.547, 17th)

Ground Balls: 33.3 (9th), Cornell (33.5, 6th)

Caused T.O.: 8.6 (8th), Cornell (7.5, 25th)



A Yale Player in a Game had…

5 Goals... Deron Dempster (5-0-5 vs. Penn, March 31, 2012)

75% Face-Off Success*… Dylan Levings (17/22, .765, vs. Harvard, April 28, 2012)

Double-digit Ground Balls… Cole Yeager (14 at Georgetown, April 23, 2011)

Double-digit Saves… Jack Meyer (12 vs. Harvard, April 28, 2012)

Scored Off Opening F.O... Dan Kallaugher (6 seconds in vs. Lehigh, April 5, 2003)

*min. 20 attempts



Jack Flaherty '11 (Chesapeake Bayhawks) and seniors Matt Gibson (Chesapeake Bayhawks) and Greg Mahony (Boston Cannons) were drafted by MLL teams over the winter. Flaherty was taken in the supplemental draft while the current Elis got selected in the collegiate draft.



The Yale-Princeton game, which was 78 minutes and 21 seconds, was the longest ever for both schools. The five-OT thriller surpassed the previous Yale-high, a four-OT loss to Brown on April 4, 2001 at New Haven. The 2012 thriller is the second longest Ivy game (1973 Cornell-Penn went 80:00 in 5 OT). The NCAA Division I men's record is seven extra sessions by Virginia and Maryland in 2009.



Yale, third in the latest New England poll, has four players who were honored in the pre-season voting. Matt Gibson was picked as 2012 player of the year, while M Greg Mahony, D Michael McCormack and FO Cole Yeager were also first-team selections.



Senior M Robby Berner helped the Yale men's squash team end the longest win streak in the history of college sports when the Bulldogs beat Trinity in January? Freshman M James Tjarksen is the son of a former Yale football player, Michael Tjarksen '86? Sophomore M Jackson Logie's dad, Scott Logie '85, played hockey at Yale, while his mom, Connie Ambler ?88, played lacrosse and field hockey for the Bulldogs.  She was instrumental in building lax in her area of Wisconsin for boys and girls.



Andy Shay, in his ninth season at Yale, has engineered consecutive 10-win seasons (20-8), a 29-12 mark over the last three, three Ivy League Tournament appearances and a regular-season Ivy League Championship. He guided the 2010 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 63-57 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, which shared a league title in 2010, has won six Ivy League Championships, including the first one handed out in 1956. The others came in 1969, 1988, 89, 90 and 2010. The outright titles were in 1956 and 1989.



Reese Stadium, which was dedicated on April 9, 2011, 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.


filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director