After two hours of working on shooting, passing and defensive strategy in practice yesterday, members of the men’s lacrosse team headed into a conference room in the Smilow Field Center to give their minds a workout as well by watching film of the Brown team they will face this weekend. Both the coaches and the players know they will need to be physically and mentally ready to secure victory Saturday.
“I think that as a team at this point in the season, it is all about mental preparation,” face-off man Dan Kallaugher ’06 said. “We are already in shape, so it comes down to how to best shoot our opponent down and people realize that.”
The Elis (5-2, 2-1 Ivy) will take on No. 16 Bears (3-2, 0-0 Ivy) at Stevenson Field in Providence, R.I. for yet another crucial contest within the Ancient Eight. The Bulldogs are coming off of their 9-8 win over then-No. 16 Princeton and have had a full week to get ready for the Bears. On the other hand, the Bears most recently dropped a 9-8 decision to then-No. 8 Syracuse. But Brown, who returned eight starters this year, has gone 3-0 at home and will certainly be ready for Elis in the Bears’ Ivy opener.
Led by Chazz Woodson’s 12 goals and Kyle Wailes’ 12 assists, the Bears have generated a potent attack during the beginning of the season. Because of this, Yale head coach Andy Shay said many people doubt whether the Bulldogs can win on Saturday.
“They are an extremely talented team,” Shay said. “A lot of people think we are over-matched. I think [the Bears] think that.”
Shay and assistant coaches Bill Altman, Graham Niemi and Dan Paccione have spent the week scouting what Brown likes to do on either side of the field and analyzing how Brown has been able to succeed on attack. In practice yesterday, Paccione stepped in to play like Woodson to give the Eli defense a taste of how the Bear attacker operates.
Defenseman Gray Eklund ’06 said this level of preparation gives him personally and the Bulldogs as a team a huge advantage.
“Just having Coach Paccione help us out like that prepares us even better for what we will see on Saturday,” Eklund said. “I’m the type of guy who watches as much tape as possible and reads the scout reports. It really helps to have as much information about the upcoming offense as we have.”
Besides focusing on strategy, Shay said the Elis will also need to out-hustle the Bears in order to beat them. Creating opportunities on transition by running the field could give the Bulldogs the edge they may need. The Elis will rely on athletic midfielders such as David Schecter ’06 and Chris Kempner ’07 to lead this charge.
“The one thing we can control is the level of our effort,” Shay said. “I don’t know if we can beat them man-for-man. If we win, it will have to be with hustle.”