While the No. 17 Yale men’s lacrosse team will open up regular season competition next weekend, the snow interrupted the team’s preseason scrimmage schedule.
The Bulldogs were originally set to play Le Moyne on Feb. 9, but the severe weather made it impossible for the Dolphins to travel to Yale. As a result, after taking on Division-III Tufts on Sunday, Yale took on Quinnipiac for a scrimmage later that day. While the Elis defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats 11–3, they tied Tufts 10–10. The Bulldogs were leading the Jumbos 10–5 at the half, before removing their starters.
Head coach Andy Shay said the team found early success on face-offs and on wing play but struggled with a few mental errors against Tufts, which came in the form of missed ground balls and lack of communication.
“I think that our biggest weakness [on Sunday] came in the form of mental mistakes,” captain Michael McCormack ’13 said. “However, after we watched film and finely tuned some things in between games, we came out against Quinnipiac and were able to correct a lot of the mental errors that we had previously made.”
While the lack of a normal practice at Reese Stadium due to the snow storm inhibited the Elis’ ability to address areas on which they otherwise would have concentrated, Shay said the teams’ goal for the weekend was to correct its mental mistakes, and the players did just that.
“Ultimately that’s what we wanted to accomplish,” Shay said. “We played with more urgency on defense, we communicated more on offense, and played a little harder overall.”
The Elis also overcame adversity in adjusting to the new NCAA lacrosse regulations in their first exhibition matches. The most notable differences in the rules are the absence of a horn for substitutions and a modification to restarts, in which players no longer have to come to a complete stop before resuming play.
McCormack noticed a change in the pace of the game due to the new rules, which he believes can aid the Bulldogs in their transition game.
“The new rules and regulations definitely speed up the game,” McCormack said. “We’ve been known to get up and down in transition, so I think that the new rules will actually serve as an advantage to us.”
Contributions from the freshman class were evident over the weekend. McCormack praised midfielder Jon Reese’s ’16 success on face-offs and Michael Quinn’s ’16 wing play.
Shay also commended junior midfielders Dylan Levings ’14 and Alexander Otero’s ’14 for their performance in the face-off circle.
The Bulldogs will dive into regular season competition on Feb. 23 when they head to New York to take on the St. John’s Red Storm, whom the Elis have defeated in the past two season openers. After last year’s Ivy Tournament Title, the Elis are looking for another fruitful season.
The face-off at St. John’s will be at 1 p.m. this Saturday.