No. 5 Yale Prepares for NCAA Semis at the Linc
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Bulldogs - both student-athletes and the mascot - basked in the sunlight of practice and media day at Lincoln Financial Field prior to tomorrow's NCAA Lacrosse Semifinals.
Yale, the No. 5 seed, takes on No. 1 Penn State Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in the second semifinal. The winner takes on the survivor of the noon Duke-Virginia game Monday afternoon on the home turf of the Philadelphia Eagles.
It was picture perfect weather for the Elis' 75-minute workout. The players got to test the plush Bermuda grass and shake off yesterday's bus ride and the tournament banquet, which was held on the Battleship New Jersey. They performed some drills and ran through some typical sets while the stadium's Wildcat sky cam swooped down over them like Spiderman takes on a city block between buildings.
The four-legged Bulldog often gets more attention than ones with two. Today was no different. Handsome Dan (a.k.a. Walter) sprinted around the middle of the field clenching a ball bucket with his teeth, and then waited for someone to throw it so he could retrieve it again. If he wasn't entertaining players on the field and those who were watching from the sidelines, Walter was drawing crowds behind the benches. To cool off from his workout, the young pup was given an ice cube bath in a plastic tub that was even more entertaining bucket chasing routine. He rolled around in the tub, making sure his back and his front got direct contact, as he chewed cubes and cooled off.
We were there to focus on the lacrosse, but a few canine distractions are always welcomed.
Today's lacrosse workout was followed by a series of media requests, both on and off camera, for about a dozen team members as well as head coach Andy Shay. ESPN, Westwood One Radio, NCAA.com, LSN and Sirius XM Radio requested interviews.
"Being back here is pretty exhilarating," said senior midfielder Jack Tigh. "Today was a lot of fun and it's great to share your experiences with the outside world. Going on a couple of radio shows and podcasts make you realize how special the weekend is. Everybody is invested."
Yale, the defending national champions, will try to defeat the Nittany Lions for a second time this spring. They met three months ago in New Haven in a one-goal decision. It was a great showcase for college lacrosse, and tomorrow's doubleheader is shaping up to be a similar experience.
"I'm very excited to go out tomorrow and do everything I can to represent the Yale Lacrosse brand the right way," said senior midfielder Joseph Sessa, after coming out of a fun session in the green screen stadium video booth (Walter had his own video session prior to practice). This whole weekend is a great experience, and I'm thankful for all the support from our fans, families and alumni."
Contact: Steve Conn, Yale Athletics Communications – firstname.lastname@example.org