The men’s lacrosse team notched its second win in a row Thursday night.
The Bulldogs (2–0) manhandled Presbyterian College (1–3), 22–6, in a lopsided matchup. With a 10–0 lead going into the half, head coach Andy Shay was able to test out some of his freshmen, while stressing the need for longer, controlled possessions on attack and implementing a more effective man-up offense. The team will hope to continue that momentum when it plays tonight against the Mercer Bears (0–5), a team made up almost entirely of freshmen.
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“Coach Shay told us we have to be judicious and play the same against everyone,” Matt Miller ’12 said. “Tonight we passed up on a lot of really good first opportunities, to get really good second opportunitites. It was a good sign of players being unselfish.”
Midfielders Dylan Levings ’14 and Cole Yeager ’13 continued to trade time on face-offs, dominating their opponents with near-perfect records. Six of Yale’s 22 goals came off of its seven man-up opportunities, a drastic improvement over the team’s 1–4 performance against St. John’s last weekend. A number of freshmen hit the goal, including starting attackman Brandon Mangan ’14 and midfielder Jared DePalma ’14, taking full advantage of the playing time they were granted.
“The freshmen kept the throttle down,” defenseman Phil Gross ’13 said. “The fact that we didn’t get complacent was pretty exciting.”
While the Bulldogs understand that they will encounter much stronger opponents later in the season, they were thrilled with their first performance under the lights at home. With the Elis dominating the Blue Hose in the second half, even Yale’s star senior goalie, John Falcone ’11, was given the opportunity to sit back and watch his potential 2012 replacements after stopping four of the five shots he faced.
“I was really excited about it, because I know how hard they work in practice,” Falcone said. “It’s a tough position to practice all the time and not get much playing time. To see them in the game and playing well, it’s really exciting and fun to watch.”
Both newcomers to Division I, Presbyterian and Mercer front-loaded their schedules with games against some of the best teams in the nation. Far from the USILA Top 20 rankings, the teams look to pull off an upset capable of launching them into the public consciousness and, ideally, into a competitive conference.
Mercer has yet to win a game in its program’s first season, but hope to draw some attention to the largely unrecognized and uncompetitive world of Georgian lacrosse. The Bulldogs hope to start exactly where they left off, sticking to fundamentals of face-offs, ground balls, speed, long possessions and effective clears.
“Hopefully we can put in the same effort and get 20-plus goals,” Gross said.
Yale faces off against Mercer at Reese Stadium at 7:00 p.m. on Friday.