MEN’S LACROSSE | Keys to the game

SCORE FIRST

While the Bulldogs have pulled out two big wins in their last two games, in each contest the opposition has scored the first goal of the game. No. 17 Fairfield (3–2) is a talented opponent, whose only two losses have come to top 15 teams in No. 9 North Carolina and No. 15 Hofstra. Scoring the first goal in this weekend’s matchup will be critical to controlling the outcome of the game and will go a long way in creating momentum, which is key for the Bulldogs if they hope to come out with a win on Saturday.

PLAY TOUGH DEFENSE

Yale’s defense has been the cornerstone of the team, with All-Ivy seniors Michael McCormack ’13 and Peter Johnson ’13 anchoring the squad. If the Elis hope to beat Fairfield on Saturday, the defense will have to shut down a powerful Fairfield offense that put up 14 goals against UMBC last weekend. The Stags are led by junior attackman Jordan Greenfield with 12 goals and senior midfielder Sam Snow with 10 goals — stopping those two should be a priority for the defense. Fairfield is averaging 33 shots per game, so goalkeeper Eric Natale ’15 need to have a performance similar to his 15-save effort against Albany.

PLAY WITH CONFIDENCE

After a puzzling season-opening loss to St. John’s, the Bulldogs have got their year back on track with two strong performances. Coach Andy Shay possesses a very talented squad and will need to use the momentum from their wins to start well on Saturday. The Elis need to believe in themselves and understand that with their returning core from last year’s Ivy League Championship team and a talented freshmen class, this team can go far.

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