In its second away game of the week, No. 18 Yale men’s lacrosse will travel to the nation’s capital to face unranked, non-conference opponent, Georgetown, on Saturday. The Bulldogs (9–2, 3–2 Ivy) are on a four-game winning streak, while Georgetown (5–6) continues to struggle and stray from a now distant past of NCAA success stories.
On Tuesday, Yale headed to Smithfield, Rhode Island for a Bulldog bonanza against Bryant College, sneaking out with a 9–8 win despite losing the ground ball battle to the home team and turning the ball over 22 times. Midfielder Greg Mahony ’12 led the Elis with three goals, including the eventual game-winner.
“Bryant was a grind,” defenseman Michael McCormack ’13 said. “They are a tough team that plays with a lot of energy, and they definitely made us earn our win.”
Saturday’s game against Georgetown will not be a walk in the park either. The Bulldogs will have to tame Hoya attackman Travis Comeau, who scored a hat-trick in a 7–6 loss to No. 1 Notre Dame on April 10 . Yale will have to continue to work on improving possession on offense, responding to close defensive pressure on attack and fighting for every ground ball. The Bulldogs will also need to capitalize on a dominant face-off squad led by Cole Yeager ’13 and Dylan Levings ’14 by taking advantage of opportunities off of the draw, while moving quicker off the ball in set offense.
“Georgetown is a very good team and its going to be a hard fought game,” midfielder Matt Miller ’12 said. “They’re talented players and athletes, so we’re going to have to put together a complete 60 minutes.”
Yale’s games against Bryant and Georgetown serve to highlight Yale’s weak non-conference schedule. While Yale cannot take Georgetown lightly, considering the Hoyas’ strong performance against Notre Dame, the Elis contest on Saturday will have little impact on the team’s quest for an NCAA tournament appearance.
Given that none of Yale’s nine wins come against currently ranked opponents, the chances of the Bulldogs receiving an at-large bid to the national tournament is more-or-less nil. A tight 10-8 loss against No. 3 Cornell (9-2, 4-0) and a triple-overtime defeat at No. 13 Penn (7-4, 3-2) were Yale’s only two games this season against Top 20 teams.
Meanwhile, despite suffering four losses thus far, Penn sits five spots ahead of Yale in the USILA rankings because of the Quakers’ strength-of-schedule and an early season win against No. 6 Duke. While Penn was blown out by No. 9 North Carolina and lost to Cornell, No. 11 Villanova and unranked Brown by one goal margins, there is a slight chance that Penn could still receive an at-large bid to the tourney.
As other Ivy League teams squared off against elite teams, the Bulldogs played Division I newcomers Presbyterian and Mercer, along with unranked Providence, St. John’s and Lehigh.
Yale faces off against Georgetown at 1 p.m. on Saturday.