With a four-game winning streak to show for the past three weeks of competition, the No. 16 men’s lacrosse team is on a roll. And head coach Andy Shay thinks his team can keep that momentum going heading into the team’s penultimate conference game at No. 19 Brown this weekend in Providence.
“Our confidence is, I guess, pretty high,” Shay said. “The guys have faith in what they’re doing.”
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The Elis (8–2, 2–2 Ivy) enter this weekend’s contest in fourth-place in the Ancient Eight standings, just behind the third-place Bears (5–4, 2–1). Princeton currently leads the league with a 3–0 conference record.
Yale is coming off a Tuesday victory against non-league opponent Providence College, at which the Bulldogs narrowly overcame a mid-game comeback by the Friars with three goals in the fourth quarter to earn the win.
Shay said the confidence his team has gained from its win streak came into play as the team fended off the upstart Friars.
“I think it helped us especially in the fourth quarter against Providence,” he said. “We didn’t panic.”
Attacker Matt Gibson ’12 continues to lead his squad in points with 38 on the season, and he was named the Turfer NEILA Player of the Week earlier this week after a five-goal game against Dartmouth on Saturday. Attacker Brian Douglass ’11 remains the team’s leading goal-scorer. Douglass’ 27 tallies rank him eighth nationally with a 2.89 goals per game average. Midfielder Max Rodman ’10 also numbers the 19th best faceoff man in Division I Lacrosse with a 0.562 win percentage.
Defensively, goalie Johnathan Falcone ’11 remains an integral part of the Bulldog roster. Falcone has every decision between the pipes and ranks 17th in the nation with an 8.85 goals against average.
The Elis have also already far outstripped their 2009 record, where they finished up the season 5–8 overall and 1–5 in the conference — only beating Penn within the league.
But despite the team’s recent success, Shay still expects Brown to be a challenge.
“They’re excellent,” he said. “They’re tough. They have a blue-collar mentality.”
Shay said Brown has particularly strong junior and senior classes, adding that veteran players have led the Bears this season and positioned the squad to potentially “win every game.”
Attacker Andrew Feinberg leads his team in both points and goals with 27 and 24, respectively. His 2.67 goals per game put him 16th in the nation. Fellow attacker Thomas Muldoon just trails Feinberg in both categories with 26 points and 18 goals.
The Bears enter this weekend’s matchup riding a small two-game win streak of their own after besting Bryant and Penn in their past two contests. Brown holds a 34–17 edge in the all-time series with Yale, and has taken the last three games.
With the regular season rapidly winding down, Yale needs to secure a top-four conference spot to claim a berth in this year’s inaugural Ivy League post-season tournament. But Shay said his team is not worrying about that yet.
“We don’t have any concern at all [about the Ivy League tournament] and we don’t even look at it,” Shay said. “As long as we continue to take things one game at a time, that will take care of itself.”
The opening face-off is slated for 1 p.m. on Saturday.