No. 11 Yale Travels to Ann Arbor

Austin Rocco. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Austin Rocco. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

First Game With Michigan is Saturday

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NEW HAVEN, Conn.  – The No.11 Yale men's lacrosse team (7-3, 4-2 Ivy) takes its three-game win streak to Ann Arbor this Saturday for the first-ever meeting with the Michigan Wolverines (4-9, 1-4).  The 4 p.m. contest at Michigan Stadium airs live on Michigan's GoBlueTV at



Yale defeated Brown 7-6 last Saturday in an overtime thriller that ended with Michael Bonacci's eighth goal of the season.  The Bulldogs took command of the game early, outscoring Brown 6-2 going into the half.  The Bears then held Yale scoreless over the final 30 minutes of regulation while Brown scored one in the third and three in the fourth to tie the game.  Sean Shakespeare scored twice in man-up opportunities, while Conrad Oberbeck scored his only goal in a man-up situation as well, marking his 20th consecutive game with a goal.  Eric Scott, Colin Flaherty, and Jeff Cimbalista each scored once while Shane Thornton had a trio of assists.  Dylan Levings went 11-17 at the X and had seven ground balls. Eric Natale had 10 saves, marking his eighth game this season with double-digit saves. 



The Wolverines started 4-4 but have lost five straight. They are 0-5 this year against ranked opponents: No. 8 Penn State (22-7), No 8. Johns Hopkins (14-5), No 15. Cornell (15-14 OT), No.1 Maryland (13-5) and No.15 Fairfield (9-8). Michigan became a Division I lacrosse program in 2012. At the club level, the Wolverines won three straight Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association championships from 2008-2010. 



The Elis, who have played in every post-season league championship event and won the last two, trail Harvard (3-1) and Cornell (3-1). The Crimson fell for the first time in league play last weekend against Penn. Yale (3-2), Penn (3-2), Princeton (2-2), and Brown (1-3) are all battling for one of the spots. The regular-season champion hosts the May 2-4 tournament. 



One of the two strongest conferences in the country, the Ivy League boasts five (Yale, Penn, Cornell, Princeton, Harvard) teams in this week's USILA rankings. All but Harvard are in the two other major polls.



Yale is 4-1 out of the Ivy League this season and the competition has been pretty tough. Four of the five teams, which combined for a 35-16 overall mark this season, have .500 or better records, while three of them are in the USILA rankings.



The Bulldogs host Quinnipiac next Tuesday night in the final non-league game. Yale's final Ivy League game is April 26 against Harvard at Reese Stadium.  The 1:30 matchup can be seen on FOX College Sports Central (DirectTV 608), as well as online at the Ivy League Digital Network. 



Defenseman Jimmy Craft (Darien, Conn.), voted captain by his teammates last spring, has a wealth of big-game experience. Craft follows an impressive line of team leaders and former teammates as captain of the Bulldogs: D Patrick Coleman '11, M Michael Pratt '12 and D Michael McCormack '13. Craft has two goals this season, including a shot from his own restraining line that sailed all the way in the air against Lehigh that was No. 8 on ESPN's Top 10 plays that night.  Craft ranks 5th in the Ivy League causing 1.30 turnovers per game; and is second on the Yale squad with 28 groundballs and 13 caused turnovers.  Craft ranked third on the team in ground balls (39) and caused turnovers (17) last season. He scored his only goal last season in the victory against Princeton in the Ivy Tournament Championship Game. 



Senior Dylan Levings (Massapequa, N.Y.) is one of the premier face-off specialists in the country and the latest in an impressive line of X-men wearing Yale blue. Levings has a .581 win percentage this season ranking him first in the Ivy League and 18th in Division I.  He leads the Yale squad with 72 ground balls and has scored a goal in three games (Princeton, Cornell, Lehigh).  He is a two-time honorable mention USILA All-American trying to become Yale's first three-time selection since Jon Reese '90. Levings is a 2014 pre-season, third-team All-America pick by  Levings had 355 face-offs in 2013 and ranked seventh in Division I with both a .597 win percentage and his ground ball average.  A huge factor behind Yale's success, Levings was even better (.750) during Ivy Tournament play. 



Senior attackman Brandon Mangan (Wantagh, NY.) is second on the team with 27 points and first with 12 assists.  Mangan notched a career-high 5-2-7 vs. Princeton on March 22.  He is a 2014 pre-season All-American (3rd team).  In 2013 he was an honorable mention USILA All-American, Tewaaraton Trophy Candidate, second-team All-Ivy selection and first-team All-New England choice in 2013. Yale's active career goals leader with 91 (10th at Yale), is tied for 6th on the school list with 145 points. Mangan led the 2013 team with 39 goals (4th at Yale) and 64 points (3rd), both records for a junior at Yale. He was the 2013 recipient of the Walter T. Collins Award as Yale's offensive MVP.



Junior attackman Conrad Oberbeck (Greenwich, Conn.) leads the team in goals (23) and points (31) and is on the 2014 Tewaaraton Award Watch List.  Oberbeck has scored a goal every game this season including four hat tricks and a four-goal afternoon in the OT loss at Fairfield. Oberbeck has recorded at least five points in three games, with his season-high of six against Princeton.  He has scored 42 goals since April 2, 2013; the start of Oberbeck's 20-game goal streak.  He was a second-team All-New England pick and an Ivy League All-Tournament team selection in 2013, while being second on the team with 36 goals and a sophomore record 44 points.  Oberbeck scored goals in all but one game, including a season-high six against Albany last season.



Sophomore defenseman Michael Quinn (Port Washington, NY.), a pre-season honorable mention All-America pick and first-team All-New England pick, was also placed on the mid-season All-American first team list by inside lacrosse.  Quinn has been a key component of the Bulldog defense since joining the team last season.  Quinn (15 CT, 23 GB), has helped lead a Bulldog defense which ranks No. 1 in the Ivy League in scoring defense and clearing percentage, and No.2 in the Ivy League in man-down defense and caused turnovers per game.  In addition, Quinn is ranks second in the Ivy League causing 1.67 turnovers per game.  Quinn had his first goal of the season against Lehigh.  In 2013, Quinn played in all 17 games, causing 14 turnovers, grabbing 27 ground balls and scoring three goals. 



Sophomore midfielder Mark Glicini (Mahwah, NJ.) has stepped up for the Bulldogs multiple times this season.  Glicini scored a game-tying goal at Fairfield that sent the game into overtime.  He also scored the game-winning goal against Princeton with 38 seconds left to play. Glicini is 6-5-11 on the season.



Junior goalie Eric Natale (Westminster, Md.) has started each game this season and leads the Ivy League (9th in the nation) in goals-against average (8.08).  Natale made a game clinching save on Princeton's Kip Orban with seconds left to seal the March 22 win.  Natale has recorded double-digit save figures in eight games this season including a season-high 15 against Providence College.  He started all 17 games last season, recording double-digit saves in 10 games.  Natale ranked No. 7 in Division I in goals against average (7.88) and was named to the Ivy League All-Tournament team.



Junior midfield Shane Thornton has played a vital role thus far for the Bulldogs, posting seven goals and 11 assists on the season.  During the three-game win streak (Providence, Dartmouth, and Brown) Thornton has notched eight points to help boost the Bulldog offense.  He also has a pair of four-point games this season: (2-2-4) at Fairfield and (3-1-4) at Dartmouth. 



Three Yale players have been named to the 2014 Tewaaraton Award Men's "Watch List."  Brandon Mangan, Dylan Levings, and Conrad Oberbeck are on the list for the top male lacrosse player in the U.S.



Yale was 2013 NEILA champions. The eight New England head coaches vote each week to come up with the following rankings.

Rk.       School            

1.         Fairfield (15), Yale (11)

3.         Harvard (20)              

4.         UMass                 

5.         Bryant (18t)

6.         Brown                         

7.         Quinnipiac

8.         Providence, Sacred Heart, Hartford



Dylan Levings and Brandon Mangan were both selected in the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft.  Levings was taken in the third round (24th overall) by the Chesapeake Bayhawks while Mangan was selected in the fifth round (34th overall) by the New York Lizards.  In the 2013 Collegiate Draft, Michael McCormack and Peter Johnson were selected in the seventh round with overall picks 51 and 52. 



Andy Shay, who in 2013 finished his 10th season of his first collegiate head coaching job, has engineered a 50-21 mark over the last five seasons and has four consecutive 10-plus win seasons. He also directed the Bulldogs to four straight Ivy League Tournament appearances, two-consecutive Ivy Tournament Titles, a 2010 regular-season Ivy League Championship and two-straight (school record) NCAA appearances, including Yale's first in 20 years. His position was endowed after the 2012 season and he is now the Ryan & 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 2013, coached his 10th consecutive top 10 ranked face-off unit. Shay (85-66 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.



Forty-one Bulldogs come from 10 different states.  A dozen players represent New York, nine from Connecticut, four each from Massachusetts and New Jersey, three each from California, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, and one each from New Hampshire, Texas and Wisconsin.   



There are nine seniors on the Yale roster including three defensemen, three midfielders and one each at attack, in goal and on the face-off. The class of 2014 has experienced 38 victories and consecutive Ivy League Tournament titles and NCAA Tournament appearances. The most wins by a Yale lacrosse class is 46 by the 1991 and 1992 groups.



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 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


Filed by Steve Conn and Robert Klemens, Yale Sports Publicity