After two successful scrimmages and a last-minute road loss to St. John’s last week, the Yale men’s lacrosse team is looking for its first nonexhibition win on the road this weekend.
The Bulldogs (0–1, 0–0 Ivy) will head to Albany, N.Y., on Saturday to go head-to-head with the No. 20 University of Albany Great Danes. The Great Danes (1–1, 0–0 American East) are coming off a 19–20 loss in which they jumped out to a quick lead over Drexel but were outscored in the second half.
The Albany attack looks to be the biggest challenge for the Elis, as demonstrated by the impressive 19 goals the team put up last game against Drexel. Albany midfielder Lyle Thompson contributed a team leading nine points.
“They are the most explosive offense in the country,” head coach Andy Shay said. “Their attack is putting up monster numbers, and we have to be able to contain them.”
In order to prepare for the high-powered and unconventional Albany offense, the Bulldogs have been trying to build up their defense by imitation.
“We’ve also been imitating Albany’s offense for our defense so that they can get used to seeing it and are ready for it come Saturday,” top-scoring attackman Kirby Zdrill ’13 said.
While an explosive offense is an advantage to the Great Danes, a steady attack is the Elis’ best bet for topping Albany. Though the Danes jumped out to a 10–5 lead at the half over Drexel, Albany was unable to contain the sustained pressure from Drexel and gave up 15 goals in the second half.
One advantage Albany will have is momentum. In its first game of the season, the Great Danes won what some have dubbed one of the greatest wins in University of Albany history with a 16–15 upset over No. 18 Syracuse in double overtime.
To shut down that momentum, the Bulldogs will have to work well as a team and communicate.
“I think we have all the pieces, so we just need to put it all together and we’ll be powerful,” Zdrill said “We have good goalies, a strong defensive core, fast middies, Dylan Levings ’14 is a stud at the faceoff X and our offense can put the ball in the net.”
To help put the pieces of the puzzle together, Shay has had the team working hard on addressing the flaws that gave the Elis trouble against St. John’s last weekend, one of which was communication.
“We’ve been working out the kinks from our first game and really focusing on communication,” Zdrill said.
The Bulldogs and Great Danes will face off at 12 p.m. in Albany tomorrow for the Elis’ second game of the season.