Yale-Harvard Again, With More At Stake

Yale-Harvard Again, With More At Stake

Rematch To Decide An Ivy Finalist



NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale men's lacrosse team (9-4, 3-3 Ivy), in the post-season for a fifth straight season, takes on Harvard (9-5, 5-1) in the second semifinal of the Ivy League Tournament on Friday at 8 p.m. The No. 4 seed Bulldogs battle the top seed Crimson on ESPN3 for the right to play in Sunday's championship game at Harvard Stadium.  



Yale and Harvard have never met in a post-season contest, but they have played 96 regular-season contests. The Blue has a 60-36 lead but they have split the last six meetings.  Recent games have been very close; the last three have been decided by four goals.   

Yale is 4-2 overall in four years of Ivy League Tournament play and has outscored opponents 63-49. The Elis dropped their first two (2010, 2011) tourney games before sweeping through the next two (2012, 2013). The Blue, +19 in wins and -5 in losses, is 2-1 against Princeton, 1-1 vs. Cornell and 1-0 against Penn.


Brandon Mangan and Conrad Oberbeck each had three goals but Yale came up a goal short in an 11-10 loss to Harvard to complete the regular season. The Blue had a 43-32 edge in shots while every other team statistic was nearly even in a game that came down to the final Yale possession and ended with a shot by Shane Thornton that was stopped by the Crimson goalie with nine seconds left. Eric Natale made eight saves in the Yale net and Dylan Levings took 12 of 25 face-offs.



Yale has won five of its last six games and finished fourth in the Ivy after taking three of its six games. The Elis, who have outscored their opponents 138-110, are 5-2 on the road this spring. The squad includes four players with double-digit goals. The difference in the four Yale losses was five goals; the margin in wins was 33.



Harvard (9-5, 5-1), which earned a share of the league title with Cornell, ended the regular season with two straight wins and is 6-0 at home this year. The Cantabs are led offensively by Will Walker and Peter Schwartz, who have combined for 76 points and had a big day last Saturday at Reese Stadium. Goalie Jake Gambitsky is among the league's best with a 9.90 GAA and a .511 SP. 



No. 2 Cornell and No. 3 Penn play the 5 p.m. semi at Harvard Stadium. The Quakers have won six straight games.



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 4th in the Ivy League causing 1.46 turnovers per game and leads the team with 19.  He is second on the Yale squad with 36 groundballs.  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 .582 win percentage this season ranking him first in the Ivy League and 17th in Division I.  He leads the Yale squad with 97 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 insidelacrosse.com.  Levings had 355 face-offs in 2013 and ranked seventh in Division I with both a .597 win percentage and his ground ball average.  He was the 2013 Ivy League Tourney MVP after winning 19 of 23 (first 12 straight) in the championship game. For the two-game tourney, he won 30 of 40 on the X.



Senior attackman Brandon Mangan (Wantagh, NY.) is second on the team with 43 points and first with 21 assists.  Mangan notched a career-high 5-2-7 vs. Princeton on March 22.  He is a 2014 insidelacrosse.com 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 99 (4th at Yale), is 6th on the school list with 161 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.


Yale Career Points

1)      Jon Reese                       200 (162-38), 1987-90

2)      Adam Puritz                    183 (106-67), 1985-88

          Mike Devlin                     183 (94-89), 1979-82

4)      Matt Gibson                    172 (94-78), 2009-12

5)      Ted Moran                      166 (84-82), 1983-86

6)      Brandon Mangan          161 (98-63), 2011-Present


Yale Career Goals

1)      Jon Reese                       162, 1987-90

2)      Adam Puritz                    106, 1985-88

3)      Tom Zaccagnino              100, 1994-96

4)      Brandon Mangan                   98, 2011- Present

5)      Mike Scaglione                95, 2000-03

          Brendan Gibson              95, 2007-10

7)      Matt Gibson                    94, 2009-12

          Mike Delvin                     94, 1979-82

9)      Josh McHugh                  93, 1989-92

10)    Simon Duxbury               92, 1991-94

11)    Conrad Oberbeck         91, 2012-Present



Junior attackman Conrad Oberbeck (Greenwich, Conn.) leads the team in goals (35) and points (47).  He currently places 11th at Yale with 91 career goals and 20th with 119 career points.  Oberbeck has scored a goal every game this season, including six hat tricks and a four-goal afternoon in the OT loss at Fairfield. In addition, Oberbeck scored six goals and recorded two assists in the 13-7 win at Michigan, earning him Co-Player of the Week from the Ivy League in week 10.  Oberbeck has recorded at least five points in four games (Fairfield, Princeton, Providence, and Michigan), and at least four points in seven games this season.   He has scored 54 goals since April 2, 2013; the start of his 23-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.



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 (16 CT, 33 GB), has helped lead a Bulldog defense which ranks No. 1 in the Ivy League in scoring defense and No.3 in the Ivy League in man-down defense and caused turnovers per game.  In addition, Quinn ranks seventh in the Ivy League causing 1.33 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. 



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 (8.34).  His 286 saves rank him 13th on Yale's career saves list.  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 nine 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 eight goals and 14 assists on the season.  During the five-game win streak (Providence, Dartmouth, Brown, Michigan, and Quinnipiac) Thornton has notched nine 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. 



Freshman attackman Jeff Cimbalista scored 11 points in the past five games, including back-to-back four-point outings against Michigan (4-0-4) and Quinnipiac (2-2-4).  His performance at Michigan earned him a spot on the week 10 Ivy League Honor Roll.  Cimbalista's 11 goals on the year have come from only 19 shots, posting a team-high 57.9 shooting percentage. 



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.      Harvard

2.      Yale              

3.      Fairfield

4.      UMass

5.      Bryant

6.      Brown

7.      Sacred Heart

8.       Quinnipiac



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 52-22 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 (87-67 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 42 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


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