Capitalize on Chances
While it sounds cliché, lacrosse is all about scoring goals. An offense must be effective and clicking for a team to win. In Yale’s last game, the Elis simply could not put the ball in the back of the net. There is no doubt St. John’s goalkeeper Jeff Lowman played a great game in net with 17 saves on the day. However, the Bulldogs managed 48 shots in the game — including a 20-shot barrage in the fourth quarter — but registered only 26 shots on goal. If the Elis hope to bounce back with a win against another high-powered offense this weekend, they need to be more clinical with their chances. Yale’s next opponent Albany (1-1, 0-0 American East) also has a capable goalie, Blaze Riorden, who has registered double-digit saves in both games this year and has 24 on the season. Yale needs to score early and often to avoid another last-minute goal condemning the team to defeat.
Respect the Opponent
St. John’s certainly is not a lacrosse powerhouse, yet lacrosse has shown time and time again that any team is capable of winning on any day. Loyola, a relatively unknown lacrosse program when compared to the ACC powerhouses Duke, UNC, Maryland and Virginia, won the 2012 Division 1 championship last year, surprising many traditionally good teams who might not have respected them. With St. John’s surprising the defending Ivy League Tournament Champions, Yale cannot afford to underestimate the relatively unknown No. 19/20 Great Danes on Saturday — a team that already upset 2012 Big East Tournament Champions No. 18 Syracuse on Feb. 17. Yale holds a 5-3 lead in the series but beat the Great Danes for the first time in four tries last season.
Keep up the Defense
A good take away from the St. John’s game may have been Yale’s play on the defensive end. Yale dominated almost every facet on the defensive end including groundballs (32-18), face-offs (13, 9), clears (86 percent, 77 percent), turnovers (13,14), penalties (2-6) and man-down defense (0 GA, 3 GA). Considering Yale returns almost all of its defensive core, including Michael McCormack ’13 and Peter Johnson ’13, as well as many talented backup players and freshmen, look for Yale’s defense to continue to be the cornerstone of this year’s team. The defense needs to remain stout against Albany on Saturday.