Bulldogs Look For Road Win

Bulldogs Look For Road Win

Yale Faces Another Test at Albany

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NEW HAVEN, Conn.  – The Yale men's lacrosse team heads North to take on No. 19/20 Albany on Saturday at noon at John Fallon Field.



The Bulldogs hold a 5-3 lead in a series that began in 2000. Yale won the first four contests, but lost the next three before breaking the streak last season (13-7) at Reese Stadium. Five of the eight games have been played at New Haven.



The Blue dominated on all fronts en route to a 13-7 win. The Bulldogs, led by Matt Gibson '12 (2-4-6), Conrad Oberbeck (3 goals) and Brandon Mangan (2-1-3), outshot Albany 38-28. The defense forced 20 turnovers, including a team-high four by Peter Johnson, and enjoyed a 43-26 advantage in ground balls, while Dylan Levings won eight of 12 faceoffs.



The Bulldogs dropped their season opener 10-9 to St. John's (2-0) in a back-and-forth battle that was tied heading into the final minute. Senior Kirby Zdrill hit the net a career-high three times, junior Brandon Mangan scored two goals and had four points, and sophomore Sean Shakespeare penned two goals of his own. The Blue shot 48 times, compared to 23 St. John's attempts, but had trouble overcoming their first game kinks.



Albany is coming off a 20-19 loss last Saturday at Drexel. Leading 7-1 after the first quarter and 10-5 heading into the second half, Albany allowed Drexel to score 15 goals in the next 30 minutes and take home the victory. The loss came after Albany opened the season by topping Syracuse at the Carrier Dome in double overtime. In what they may consider the biggest win in Albany lacrosse history, the 16-15 victory brought the Great Danes its first-ever win over their in-state rivals and handed the Orangemen their first season-opening loss since 1996.



The class of 2013 boasts 31 career wins, the most by a class heading into its senior year since 1993.  The class of '91 has the most (46) wins in Yale lacrosse history.



Senior attackman Kirby Zdrill (Edmonton, AB), who saw action in only one game last year, had a big opening day, leading all Bulldogs with three goals. The veteran has played in 20 games in his career.



D Michael McCormack (West Islip, NY.), who led Eli defensemen with 55 ground balls and 34 caused turnovers last season, returns as captain. McCormack was second-team All-Ivy League and first-team All-New England last season after averaging 2.16 caused turnovers per game, good for sixth nationally. He has been selected for pre-season All-Ivy League and All-America squads by insidelacrosse.com.



Senior Peter Johnson (Minnetonka, MN), a first-team All-Ivy and honorable mention All-American, caused 1.81 turnovers (16th in D1) per game last season. Johnson has been selected as pre-season All-Ivy League and All-America by insidelacrosse.com.



Junior Dylan Levings (Massapequa, NY.) won 13 of 22 faceoffs and scooped up nine ground balls in last weekend's season opener. Last year Levings stepped onto the X 297 times, and his .632 win percentage was No. 4 in the nation. A huge factor behind Yale's success, Levings was even better (.701) in league games. Against Harvard last year, he won the first six face-offs and nine of the last 10, which earned him New England (NEILA) Player of the Week honors. He had 10 double-digit win outings last season and was ninth in ground balls (6.63) in Division I.



Junior Brandon Mangon (Wantagh, NY.) started off this season with the same fire he ended last spring, finding the net twice and assisting on two others in the opener against St. Johns. Yale's active career goal leader started 28 games over his first two years, earning Ivy Honor Roll twice last spring before catching fire in the postseason and tallying seven goals. Not afraid of pressure, he drained a game winning overtime goal against Princeton his freshman year.



Conrad Oberbeck, a sophomore from Greenwich, Conn., opened the season with two goals. Last season, he scored a goal in 10 of the 16 games last year, and finished atop the Yale class of 2015 with 20 goals and 26 points. He received Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors on March 12 for his five goals in two games. Oberbeck, an attackman, played at Brunswick School before coming to New Haven.



Sophomore goalie Eric Natale (Westminster, Md.) started last weekend's contest against St. John's and stopped seven shots in a 10-9 loss. Last season, he started two games (both wins) and played five games overall. He made two saves in a 2012 start against St. John's and stopped six shots in a win over Albany.



Junior Jack Meyer (Manhasset, NY) began 2012 as the backup, but got a chance to win the job and started the final 13 games last season. His best and longest day as a collegiate goalie came against Princeton on March 24, during which he had 14 saves in a 5 OT contest at Reese. Meyer excelled in the post season, earning All-Ivy Tournament goalie honors with 22 saves over the two victories. He finished with 118 saves last season and ranked 14th in Division I with 8.70 saves per game.  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.



Sophomore M James Tjarksen is the son of a former Yale football player, Michael Tjarksen '86… Junior M Jackson Logie's dad, Scott Logie '85, played hockey at Yale… Freshman Jonathon Reese is the son of Jon Reese '90, the school's all-time leading lacrosse scorer and captain of the 1989 Football team.



Three Yale players have been named to the 2013 Tewaaraton Award Men's "Watch List." Brandon Mangan, Michael McCormack and Peter Johnson have all been included on the pre-season list for the top male lacrosse player in the U.S.



The eight New England head coaches voted prior to the start of the season and here's what they came up with.


1. Massachusetts

2. Yale

3. Fairfield

4. Bryant

5. Harvard

6. Brown

7. Hartford

8. Dartmouth



Brandon Mangan (A), Michael McCormack (D), Peter Johnson (D) and Dylan Levings (FO) have all been named pre-season All-New England. 



A season full of accomplishments, Yale had its…

-           most (11) wins since 1992

-           longest (9) win streak since 1990

-           most (3) first-team All-Ivy picks since 1990

-           first Ivy Tournament title

-           third straight Ivy Tournament appearance

-           third straight 10+ win season



In the opening semifinal of the Ivy League playoffs, tournament MVP Matt Gibson '12 dished out eight assists while Jack Meyer stopped 13 Big Red shots to lead Yale past Cornell 14-10. The Bulldogs then defeated the regular season league champs, Princeton, 15-7 on their turf to win the title. Once again, Gibson led the way with six points, while Jack Meyer secured nine saves to send the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament.



After last season's NCAA berth, Yale has played in the NCAAs four (1988, 90, 92, 2012) times and are 2-4 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.



Both Michael McCormack and Peter Johnson were selected in the seventh round of the 2013 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft. The Rochester Rattlers bit on McCormack at 51, the Charlotte Hounds barked at Johnson for the 52nd pick. Former Yale standout Matt Gibson '12 was named the 2012 MLL Cascade Rookie of the Year after leading all rookies with 33 points, including 18 goals. Taken with the 33rd pick of the 2012 draft, Gibson's strong performance helped lead the Long Island Lizards to the playoffs.



Andy Shay, who in 2012 finished his ninth season of his first collegiate head coaching job, has engineered a 31-13 mark over the last three seasons and has three consecutive 10-plus win seasons. He also directed the Bulldogs to three straight Ivy League Tournament appearances, a 2012 Ivy Tournament Title, a 2010 regular-season Ivy League Championship and Yale's first NCAA appearance in 20 years. His position was endowed after the 2012 season and he is now the Ryan and Forst Family Head Coach. 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 that campaign. Shay, whose defenses have been ranked in the nation's top 10 the last three seasons including 2012, coached his eighth consecutive top 10 ranked face-off unit. Shay (66-58 overall), 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 under Greg Cannella. During his tenure, the Minutemen won two ECAC championships and three New England titles. UMass posted an impressive 37-9 overall record in his last three seasons.



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.



Here are the names that might be challenging for you to pronounce.

No.       Name                           Pronunciation

20         Michael Bonacci              bo-notch-ee

26         Alirio DeMeireles            ah-lerio  da-meer-les

16         Mark Glicini                    gle-SEE-nee

30         Harry Kucharczyk           ka-char-ZICK

34         Jackson Logie                low-gee

22         Brandon Mangan            MAN-gan

37         Eric Natale                     nuh-TAL-ee

 1        Reilly Naton                   nay-tin

17         Alex Otero                     OH-tear-o

38         James Tjarksen              JARK-son

47         Kirby Zdrill                    ZA-drill

filed by Wes Moyer, Yale Sports Publicity Intern