No. 12 Blue Faces No. 4 Maryland

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(photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Looks for 6th Straight Win

 

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The No. 12/15 Yale men's lacrosse team (8-3, 3-2 Ivy), on a five-game winning streak, takes on No. 4/4 Maryland (8-2, 2-1 ACC) this Saturday in its final non-league contest of the season. The Bulldogs square off with the Terrapins at noon in a game that airs live on ACC Live and Terps TV.

 

VS. MARYLAND

Yale last played Maryland at home in 2009, falling 10-6. The Bulldogs won the first game but the Terps have taken the last seven.

 

LAST MONDAY

The Bulldogs, in what has become an Eli signature, turned in another come-from-behind victory topping Stony Brook 11-10 in overtime. Down a pair with four minutes left, Brandon Mangan halved the Seawolves' lead before Conrad Oberbeck sent it to extra time. In overtime, Harry Kucharczyk took on the role of hero and planted one into the back of the net. Overall, Mangan led the offense with his second consecutive three-goal, five-point performance, and surpassed the 100-point mark for his career. Nine other Bulldogs scored goals. The Blue outshot Stony Brook 47-26, and Eric Natale stopped 10 shots.

 

LAST FRIDAY

The Blue took its fourth-straight, topping Brown 11-8 for their second consecutive come-from-behind win.  Down one with eight minutes to go, Kirby Zdrill sent one past the goalie to tie the game. Two minutes later, Brandon Mangan followed suit and gave the Bulldogs the last lead they would need. Mangan ended the day with three goals and five points, Zdrill improved upon his nation-leading shooting percentage, scoring on three of four shots, and Ryan McCarthy dished out a team-high three assists. Eric Natale stopped nine shots, four in the second and five in the fourth, while Dylan Levings won 11 of 20 faceoffs. Harry Kucharczyk had an all-around great performance, scoring a goal, picking up five ground balls and causing three turnovers.

 

MARYLAND IN 2013

Maryland, Yale offensive coordinator Graham Niemi's alma mater, rattled off six straight wins by a combined score of 90-41 to open the season. The perennial powerhouse has since cooled off, winning only two of their next four matchups, including last Saturday's 7-4 loss at home to Johns Hopkins.

 

IVY LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

All-American candidate Brandon Mangan received his second Ivy League Player of the Week honor this week after scoring three goals and five points in the come-from-behind victory over Brown. The junior's third goal put the Bulldogs ahead for good with 4:39 to play in the fourth.

 

Colin Flaherty received last week's Ivy League player of the week award after a four-goal, six-point performance over a pair of Bulldog victories. The sophomore truly shined against Dartmouth, providing three fourth period scores to complete another Bulldog comeback.

 

Brandon Mangan's first Ivy League player of the week honors came after he led the Bulldogs with six points and four goals in the 7-6 overtime victory over No. 13 Penn.

 

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

In its first seven games, Yale faced five nationally-ranked opponents, including No. 19/20 Albany, No. 17/17 Fairfield, No. 11/13 Penn, No. 10/11 Princeton and No. 2/2 Cornell.

 

ELI PRECEDENT

Last season, the Bulldogs lost their first two Ivy League games, caught fire and won their next nine games en route to an Ivy League tournament title and their first NCAA tournament appearance in 20 years.

In 2010, the Bulldogs lost their first two Ivy League games, before winning out and capturing a share of the Ivy League title.

 

SENIORS

The class of 2013 boasted 31 career wins over its first three years, the most by a class heading into its senior year since 1993. Adding their eight 2013 victories thus far, the seniors hold the fifth most victories (39) by a Yale class in the 131-year history of Bulldog lacrosse.

 

CAPTAIN

D Michael McCormack (West Islip, NY.), an All-America candidate, has caused 14 turnovers and scooped up 39 ground balls this season. Last spring, he led Eli defensemen with 55 ground balls and 34 caused turnovers. McCormack, the captain, 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.

 

JOHNSON

Senior Peter Johnson (Minnetonka, MN), an All-America candidate, has been selected as a finalist for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award. The award is given to Division I student-athletes who show notable achievement in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. Johnson is first on the team this season with 23 turnovers. A first-team All-Ivy and honorable mention All-American, he 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.

 

LEVINGS

Junior Dylan Levings (Massapequa, NY.), an All-America candidate, won 17 of 19 faceoffs against Providence and 22 of 25 against Cornell this season.  He ranks fifth in the nation in faceoff percentage this season, taking 62.9% of his battles, and fourth in ground balls per game, with 8.40. Levings, a huge factor behind Yale's 2012 success, won 62.9% of faceoffs, and an 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.

 

MANGAN

Junior Brandon Mangan (Wantagh, NY.), an All-America candidate, leads the Bulldogs in points (49), goals (28) and assists (21), and is sixth in Division 1 in points per game with 4.40. The Wantagh native recorded his 100th career point against Stony Brook and has been named Ivy League Player of the Week twice this season. Yale's active career goal leader, Mangan 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. His biggest goal came early in his career, Mangan drained a game winning overtime goal against Princeton his freshman year.

 

OBERBECK

Conrad Oberbeck, a sophomore from Greenwich, Conn., scored six goals (one short of the school's sophomore record set in 1958) against Albany earlier this year. He is second on the team lead with 24 goals. Last season, he scored in 10 of the 16 games, 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.

 

Zdrill

Kirby Zdrill is the most efficient scorer in the nation. The explosive senior has connected on 61.8% of shots this year, placing him first in Division 1. The Edmonton, Alberta native is third on the team in goals scored with 22 and has hit the net in all of Yale's games played.

 

NATALE

Goalie Eric Natale (Westminster, Md.) ranks eighth in the nation in goals-against average (7.82). The sophomore has made a career-high 12 saves twice this season, once in the 15-8 win over Albany and again in the 12-8 victory against Fairfield.  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.

 

FLAHERTY

Sophomore Colin Flaherty scored the tying, go ahead and insurance goals in a 7-5 come-from-behind victory over Dartmouth.

 

YALE CONNECTIONS

Sophomore M James Tjarksen is the son of a former Yale football player, Michael Tjarksen '86 and Yale women's lacrosse captain and All-American Connie Ambler '88… 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.

 

3 ON WATCH LIST

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.

 

NEILA

The eight New England head coaches vote each week on the top teams in the region.

1. #12 Yale

4. Providence

5. Fairfield

3. Harvard

2. Brown 

6. UMass 

7. Bryant

8. Dartmouth

 

2012

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

 

IVY TOURNAMENT

Yale has played in all three Ivy League Tournaments and has an overall 2-2 record. The Elis, 2012 champions, are 1-1 against both Cornell and Princeton. The Bulldogs played at Ithaca twice (2010, 2011) and were at Princeton last May.

 

NCAA

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.

 

MLL

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.

 

HEAD COACH ANDY SHAY

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 (74-61 overall, 10th year), 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.

 

IVY TITLES

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.

 

PRONUNCIATIONS

Here are the names that might be challenging 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                    zuh-DRILL

 
 report filed by Wes Moyer '12, Yale Sports Publicity Intern
 

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