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Elis Have Chance to Win Ivy Championship

Mark Glicini (Ted Keating photo)
Mark Glicini (Ted Keating photo)

BULLDOGS FACE QUAKERS IN FRIDAY SEMIFINAL

 

 

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The No. 6 Yale men's lacrosse team completed the 2016 regular season with its best winning percentage since the early 1990s. Next up for the 11-2 Bulldogs is an Ivy League Tournament semifinal this Friday at 5 p.m. against the Penn Quakers. The Elis and Penn square off at Brown's Stevenson-Pincince Field in Providence in the first semifinal that airs live on ESPN3.

 

TOURNEY

Yale is the No. 2 seed and Penn is No. 3. Brown, the tournament host and top seed, hosts No. 4 Harvard at 8 p.m. Friday night on ESPN3. The winners play Sunday at noon on the same field in a championship game that airs live on ESPNU. The 2016 champion earns an automatic qualification to the NCAA Tournament beginning the following weekend. The NCAA selection show is Sunday night at 9 on ESPNU.

 

BULLDOGS IN IVY TOURNEY

The Bulldogs are playing in their seventh consecutive Ivy League Tournament. Yale, the winner of the 2012, 2013, and 2015 tournaments, has appeared in every league post-season event since it began in 2010. The Bulldogs are 6-3 overall and have outscored opponents 93-75.  

 

SERIES VS. PENN

Yale leads the all-time series against Penn, 40-27, and the Bulldogs have won seven of the past nine meetings. The Bulldogs won the most recent matchup, beating the Quakers in overtime earlier this season at Reese Stadium.

 

YALE 11, PENN 10 OT

The Bulldogs and Quakers met earlier this season at Reese Stadium. After going down 9-4 in the third quarter, the Elis scored seven of the last eight goals in a dramatic comeback victory. Michael Keasey scored on the EMO with 16 seconds remaining, and Ben Reeves scored two minutes into overtime to help the Bulldogs remain undefeated. 

 

VS. OTHER TOURNEY TEAMS

Yale is 1-0 against Penn, 1-0 against Brown and 0-1 versus Harvard in Ivy Tournament play. Last year, the fourth seeded Elis defeated Brown in the semifinals before upsetting Princeton in the finale. Overall, the Bulldogs are 40-27 against Penn, 61-37 against Harvard, and 25-36-1 against Brown. 

 

ELIS END REGULAR SEASON WITH WIN

Yale trailed Harvard 8-4 in the fourth quarter last Saturday afternoon at Reese Stadium in the last game of the regular season. The Bulldogs scored five straight and freshman goalie Hoyt Crance stopped a quality scoring chance with under a minute to play as the Elis grabbed a 9-8 win on senior day. Eric Scott had two goals and five points while Ben Reeves hit the net three times. Crance finished with 10 saves while both teams fired 31 shots.

 

RANKINGS

The Elis are ranked No. 6 in Division I in the USILA/Nike Division I Coaches' Poll for the second straight week. The Bulldogs have been ranked among the top six since the third week of the season. The Bulldogs are also ranked second in the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA).

 

NCAAs

The Bulldogs are looking to make the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in the past five years. Yale has played nine NCAA Tournament games and is 3-6 overall, going 1-1 at home. 

 

DEFENSE

The Bulldogs held Harvard to eight goals last weekend. Yale has held opponents to single digits nine times this spring, including a season-low three to Sacred Heart. The defensive unit is ranked third in the country in caused turnovers, with 120 on the year. Through 13 games, the team has also only allowed 102 goals, and is the ninth best scoring defense in the nation. 

 

OFFENSE

The Bulldogs are averaging 12.85 goals per game, eighth in the nation. Of the 167 goals scored, 80 have been assisted, and Yale is averaging 42 shots per game. Last week, the Bulldogs scored 9 goals on 31 shots, including five consecutive tallies in the fourth quarter to overcome a 8-4 deficit. The team has scored 10 or more goals in all but two games this season. The most goals scored in a game was 19 against Sacred Heart. Yale has outshot opponents 543-390 overall, while maintaining a +65 goal differential, second in the nation.

 

YALE TEAM SEASON-HIGHS

Goals: 19 vs. Sacred Heart

Assists: 10 at UMass-Lowell

Ground Balls: 51 at UMass-Lowell

Shots: 59 vs. St. John's

CTs: 16 vs. Penn

Face-offs: 18 at UMass-Lowell

 

ELI INDIVIDUAL SEASON-BESTS

Goals: 4, Ben Reeves, multiple games

Assists: 4, Ben Reeves vs. St. John's

Saves: 14, Phil Huffard at Fairfield

CTs: 6, Christopher Keating vs. Penn

Face-off wins: 15 Jonathan Reese at Bryant; 14 Conor Mackie at Dartmouth

 

STARTING LINEUP

Attack: Reeves, Cimbalista, Tigh

Midfield: Reese (FO), Glicini, Mooney (LSM)

Defense: Naton, Keating, O'Connor

Goalie: Crance

First Midfield: Scott, Keasey, B. Mackie, Glicini

Second Midfield: Alessi, McGovern, Bonacci, Sessa, Robinson

 

SPREADING THE LOVE

Twenty-three different Bulldogs have scored on 543 shots this season. Of the 23 scorers, three are defensemen, and the list of the top six scorers contains a member from each class. The seniors lead all classes with 54 goals. 

 

PENN

The Quakers ended the 2016 regular season with an 8-6 record. They went 4-2 in the Ivy League, with losses coming against Yale and Brown. The Quaker offense is led by senior attackman Nick Doktor, a member of the Tewaaraton Award watch list, who has 48 points. He has six points in their past two games. Between the pipes for Penn is freshman Reed Junkin, who averages over 11 saves per game, while allowing 10.1 goals per game. 

 

SENIOR LEADERS

The seniors lead all classes with 54 goals. The eight members of the class of 2016 have an overall record of 43-17, including multiple Ivy League Tournament titles and NCAA Tournament appearances. The most wins by a Yale lacrosse class is 46 by the 1991 and 1992 groups. The seniors include Michael Keasey (26-7-32), Michael Bonacci (13-5-18), captain Michael Quinn (26 GB, 13 CT), Mark Glicini (37 GB), Reilly Naton (top LSM), Jonathan Reese (31 GB), Shane Carr (6-0-6) and JW McGovern (4-1-5). All eight seniors have jobs lined up after graduation, with Glicini and Quinn both possibly playing in the MLL. 

 

REEVES

Ben Reeves, an Inside Lacrosse Midseason First-Team All-America pick, is having a season worthy of his early entry on the Tewaaraton Award Watch List. The sophomore attackman is third in Division I with 4.83 points per game. His 61 points and 35 goals are both Yale sophomore records, a season after breaking the freshman milestone with 43 points. The Macedon, N.Y., native has two Ivy League Player of the Week awards this season and was StringKing National Player of the Week after scoring four goals and totaling seven points at Cornell. Reeves, the 2015 Ivy Rookie of the Year, was an All-New England and an Ivy All-Tournament selection.

 

SCOTT

Junior midfielder Eric Scott is having the best statistical year of his collegiate career. After 13 games, Scott has 17 goals and 14 assists, good for third on the team with 31 points. Scott was named a midseason second-team All-American by Inside Lacrosse, and recently added to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List. Scott was named to the first-team All-New England in 2015, and was fourth on the team in scoring with 28 points (22 G, 6 A). 

 

KEASEY

Senior midfielder Michael Keasey has a nine-game goal streak heading into the Ivy Tournament.  He has put up four goals in three separate games this season, with a season-high of five points in a single game. He has 26 goals and a career-high 32 points this spring. Keasey was also added to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List. In 2015, Keasey was the Co-Corrigan-Pershing (Yale Lacrosse Association) Award Winner. The economics major will join Barclays Capital as an investment banker after graduation.

 

CIMBALISTA

Junior attackman Jeff Cimbalista is a key ingredient in the Yale offense. He has 15 goals and five assists this season, including two games in which he scored three times. Last year in the Ivy League tournament, he scored four times, including a hat-trick against Brown. Cimbalista played in all 16 games last season, finishing second on the team with 30 goals. He also placed third on the Bulldogs with 35 points. Last season he led all teammates with a 42.5 shot percentage.

 

KEATING

Junior Christopher Keating might be the MVP of the Yale defense this year. He ranks second in the nation in caused turnovers per game (2.31). This season, Keating has recorded 45 groundballs and 30 caused turnovers, and currently leads the team in both categories. Keating was the second Yale defenseman added to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List, along with Michael Quinn. He is aggressive in one-on-one situations, and his powerful stick-check combined with his ability to read passes allows him to recover possession for the Bulldogs. He has also extremely efficient on the clear, having only given up five turnovers this season. Last year, Keating recorded 21 groundballs and 12 caused turnovers.

 

QUINN

Senior Michael Quinn, who missed the last game with an injury and is doubtful for this week, is a cornerstone of the Yale defense. The 2016 Preseason First-Team All American had 37 groundballs and 19 caused turnovers last year for a defense that ranked among the top 10 in the country. Quinn has 26 groundballs and 13 caused turnovers this season, and was named a midseason first-team All-American by Inside Lacrosse. Quinn was drafted as the 8th overall pick in the 2016 MLL Draft by the Ohio Machine. He is a Political Science major going on to do Investment Banking at Barclays Capital in New York, while also talking to the Ohio Machine.

 

GLICINI

Senior Mark Glicini is another member of the NEILA All-New England Pre-Season Team, and for good reason. This season he has recorded 37 ground balls (career-high) and seven caused turnovers. In 2015 he started all 16 contests on the Elis' face-off unit as the short-stick midfielder. He grabbed 28 ground balls and caused nine turnovers, while racking up eight points (1-7). Glicini was selected as the 30th overall pick in the 2016 MLL Draft by the Chesapeake Bayhawks. The economics major will be working at BGC Partners in New York.

 

NATON

Senior Reilly Naton has been Yale's top LSM the last three years. He has 23 groundballs and nine caused turnovers this year, while having scored twice against top five opponents. Last year, Naton started all 16 games on the face-off unit as long-stick midfielder, and was second on the team with 14 caused turnovers. He also scored five points, with three goals and two assists, and secured 25 ground balls over the course of the season. The Political Science major is going on to work in product sales at IBM in New York City.

 

ALESSI

Two-sport Division I athletes are unique, even more so are key players for both teams. Sophomore midfielder Jason Alessi is the best male example at Yale, starting on defense for the football team, while making plays for the lacrosse team. He scored a goal against Harvard, extending his goal streak to five games. This spring, he has nine goals and two assists. On the gridiron, he has 74 tackles, three interceptions and an 80-yard punt return touchdown after two seasons.

 

HUFFARD/CRANCE

Freshman Hoyt Crance got the nod to start in his third collegiate game on Saturday against Harvard. He made 10 saves on the day, including one with 38 seconds remaining to stop a potentially game-tying attempt. After his performance, he was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week for the second time this season. Crance has made 36 saves while only allowing 27 goals in six games. Huffard is also posting a .459 save percentage, while having made 62 saves in 10 games. 

 

FRESHMAN FOCUS

The rookies continue to be a large part of the offensive firepower, while also helping on defense. On Saturday, Jack Tigh (Garden City, NY), a starter for the Yale offense, scored his tenth goal of the season, while adding the game-winning assist to Shane Carr. He leads all freshmen with 22 points (10 G, 12 A). Attackman Brendan Mackie (Glen Rock, NJ)  has also scored seven goals this season. Hoyt Crance (Newport Beach, CA) made 10 saves while earning Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors for the second time in 2016. Defenseman Robert Mooney (Princeton, NJ) is currently second on the team with 14 CT on the year. Attackman Joseph Sessa (Slate Hill, NY) has notched four goals this season. Fellow attackman Brendan Rooney (Saskatoon, SK) scored a hat trick on three shots in his first game for the Bulldogs. John Daniggelis (Saint James, NY) also has two goals, and classmate Ted Forst (Bronxville, NY) scored his first goal of the season against Sacred Heart. 

 

filed by Andrew Del Vecchio (andrew.delvecchio@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity