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Yale Plays NCAA First Round at Penn State

Yale Plays NCAA First Round at Penn State

Bulldogs Travel to University Park on Saturday

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The No. 11 Yale men's lacrosse team (11-4, 4-2 Ivy), winners of back-to-back Ivy League Tournament titles, earned its second straight berth in the NCAA tournament and heads to Univertisy Park, Pa. to take on the No. 8 seed, No. 12/13 Penn State (12-4, 6-0 CAA). The Bulldogs take on the Nittany Lions this Saturday at Penn State Lacrosse Field at 2:30 pm in a game that airs live on ESPNU.

The Bulldogs became the first school to win a pair of Ivy League tournament titles by dispatching Penn and Princeton on May 3 and 5 at Ithaca. Tournament MVP Dylan Levings kept the ball on Bulldog sticks, winning 19 of 23 face-offs and picking up 13 ground balls. An unselfish team to the core, nine Elis registered a goal, while Brandon Mangan, Kirby Zdrill and Conrad Oberbeck each netted a pair. The defense held an explosive Princeton offense
to eight goals with aid from Eric Natale, who turned in another gem with 10 saves.

The Bulldogs and the Nittany Lions have met twice in regular season games. In 1997, Penn State won 11-6 at Boca Raton, Fla. The Bulldogs avenged that loss and evened the series in 2003 with a 17-15 offensive contest.

The Nittany Lions earned their first berth in the NCAA tournament since 2005 with an at-large bid after losing in the finals of the CAA tournament 11-10 to Towson. Penn St. appeared in the NCAA tournament in 2003 and 2005, but didn't make it out of the first round. This season, the Lions turned in the most wins in school history (12), the longest winning streak (10) and their first undefeated conference campaign.

The winner of the Yale-Penn State contest takes on the winner of the Syracuse-Bryant matchup in an NCAA quarterfinal at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md. Syracuse is the No. 1 seed.

The 16-team field includes eight conference champions with automatic qualification: America East Conference (Albany), Big East Conference (Syracuse), Colonial Athletic Association (Towson), Eastern College Athletic Conference (Ohio State), The Ivy League (Yale), Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (Detroit), Northeast Conference (Bryant) and Patriot League (Lehigh). The remainder of the field was selected at large: Cornell, Denver, Duke, Loyola (Md.), Maryland, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Penn State.

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.

Yale in NCAAs
Date Opponent Site Result Round
May 18, 1988 Virginia Yale 10-9 (2 OT) L 1st
May 20, 1990 Princeton Yale 17-8 W Quarter
May 26, 1990 Loyola Rutgers 14-13 (2 OT) LSemifinal
May 10, 1992 Navy Navy 9-3 W 1st
May 16, 1992 Syracuse Syracuse 17-8 L Quarter
May 13, 2012 Notre Dame Notre Dame 13-7 L 1st

The Yale men's lacrosse team has won half of the Ivy League Tournament titles. After losing its first two Ivy Tournament games, the Blue has won four straight to become the first school ever to win two. The Bulldogs entered this season's tournament as the No. 2 seed, they were a No. 3 seed in 2012 and 2010 (6-7, Princeton) and a No. 4 two years ago (7-11, Cornell).

The first time the Bulldogs faced Princeton in 2013, Dylan Levings lost more face-offs than he won. Levings avenged that in the Ivy title game by winning 12 consecutive to open the contest and ending the day with victories in 19 of the 23 battles on the X. In the semis, Levings took 11 of 17 face-offs. In the tournament, the standout won 75% of the face-offs, creating a huge advantage for the tournament champions that led to their second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. On being named MVP, he felt it was an honor, but said, "it's cooler to be going back to the NCAA tournament. That's definitely much more exciting to me."

Conrad Oberbeck, Peter Johnson, Dylan Levings, Eric Natale, and Michael McCormack were 2013 all-tournament

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.

The Bulldogs have played 12 postseason games including six in both NCAA Tournaments and in the Ivy League Tournament. Yale is 2-4 in NCAA games and 4-2 in Ivy appearances.

Four Bulldogs earned 2013 All-Ivy League honors. Peter Johnson
received his second-consecutive first-team honor on defense.
Brandon Mangan and Michael McCormack were second-team
selection, while Kirby Zdrill was honorable mention.

The eight New England head coaches vote each week on the top teams in the region.
1. Yale
2. Fairfield
3. Brown
4. UMass
5. Harvard
6. Providence
7. Bryant
8. Holy Cross

Is a strong defense. The Bulldogs rank eighth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing a staunch 8.07 goals per game.

Junior Brandon Mangan has been named a Tewaaraton Award Nominee by the Tewaaraton Foundation. The All-America candidate leads the Bulldogs in points (60), goals (35) and assists (25), and is eighth in Division 1 in points per game with 4.23. There are 25 nominees for the top player in men's lacrosse this season and five will be selected on May 30 as finalists.

All-American candidate Brandon Mangan received two Ivy League Player of the Week honor this season. Hs first came after he led the Bulldogs with six points and four goals in the 7-6 overtime victory over No. 13 Penn. His second came two weeks later after scoring three goals and five points in the come-from-behind, 11-8 victory over Brown. The junior's third goal put the Bulldogs ahead for good, scoring with 4:39 to play in the fourth. In between Mangan's two awards, Colin Flaherty received Yale's third Ivy League player of the week award. The
sophomore turned in a four-goal, six-point performance over a pair of Bulldog victories, and truly shined against Dartmouth, providing three fourth period scores to complete another Bulldog comeback.

The Bulldogs, after opening Ivy League play 0-2, won four straight conference matchups to clinch the No. 2 spot in the Ivy League Tournament. Sunday's victory over Princeton
opened a two-year Ivy League tournament title streak. 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.

The class of 2013, with 11 victories thus far this season and 42 total, have become the fifth class in the 131-year history of Bulldog lacrosse to reach 40 wins.

Year Wins
1. 1992 46
1. 1991 46
3. 1990 44
4. 1993 43
5. 2013 42

D Michael McCormack (West Islip, NY.), an All-America candidate, caused 20 turnovers and scooped up 52 ground balls this season. McCormack is a 2013 second-team All-Ivy pick. 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

Senior Peter Johnson (Minnetonka, MN), an All-America candidate, is a 2013 first-team All-Ivy League pick and is 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 and 10th in the nation this season with 2.13 caused turnovers per game. 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

Junior Brandon Mangan (Wantagh, NY.), an All-America candidate, leads the Bulldogs in points (60), goals (35) and assists (25),. His 60 points is the most ever by a junior in Yale lacrosse history, and he is 12th in Division 1 in points per game with 4.00. Mangan is a 2013 second-team All-Ivy League pick who recorded his 100th career point against Stony Brook and was twice named Ivy League Player of the Week 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.

Year: (GP), G-A-Pts (Notes)
2011: (12), 11-6-17 (Game-winning goal versus Princeton)
2012: (16), 26-11-37 (Ivy Honor Roll Feb. 27, March 27)
2013: (15), 35-25-60 (2nd Team All-Ivy, Ivy POW March 30, April 12)

All-time Junior single-season points leader (60)
5th in single season scoring (2013)
9th in single season goals (2013)
17th in single season assists (2013)
18th in Career goals
20th in Career scoring

Junior Dylan Levings (Massapequa, NY.), an All-America candidate, was awarded MVP of the Ivy League tournament after winning 19 of 23 face-offs in the championship against Princeton, and taking 75% of face-offs overall. No stranger to domination, Levings won 17 of 19 face-offs against Providence and 22 of 25 against Cornell this season. He ranks sixth in the nation in ground balls per game, with 7.93 and seventh in face-off percentage at 60.7%. Levings, a huge factor behind Yale's 2012 success, won 62.9% of face-offs, 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.

Conrad Oberbeck, a sophomore from Greenwich, Conn., became the most prolific goal-scoring sophomore in Yale history (32 goals) after scoring two goals against Princeton in the Ivy League title game. In the 9-6 victory over Penn in the semifinals of the Ivy League tournament, he provided three goals and an assist. Earlier in the year, he
scored six goals, one short of the school's sophomore record set in 1958, against Albany. He is second on the team with 32 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.

Kirby Zdrill, the third most efficient scorer in the nation connecting on 50.9% of shots, was named Honorable-Mention All-Ivy this year. The Edmonton, Alberta native is third on the team in goals scored with 29.

Goalie Eric Natale (Westminster, Md.) ranks ninth in the nation in goals-against average (7.99). The sophomore has made a career-high 12 saves three times this season, once in the 15-8 win over Albany, again in the 12-8 victory against Fairfield and again on the biggest stage in the semifinals 9-6 win over Penn. 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.


filed by Wes Moyer '12, Yale Sports Publicity Intern