One week after playing the longest game in the history of Yale men’s lacrosse, the Bulldogs will take the field again tomorrow against Penn in search of their first Ivy League win of the season.
The Elis (2–4, 0–2 Ivy) played well in each of their first two conference matchups, but were nonetheless denied wins by No. 5 Cornell and No. 17 Princeton. Two weeks ago the Bulldogs pushed the Big Red to the brink in Ithaca, N.Y., but they ultimately came up one goal short. Last weekend Yale returned home to face Princeton and battled for five overtime periods before falling 10–9 to the Tigers. That game featured a two-goal comeback with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter and a Herculean defensive effort by the Bulldogs for the first 18 minutes of overtime. Ultimately, though, the Tigers came away with the win.
“The loss is tough to take right now,” goalkeeper Jack Meyer ’14 said after the Princeton game. “But we just need to get at each other in practice, hustle, and continue to play Yale lacrosse. That will be a recipe for success going forward.”
Yale has now played three consecutive games against ranked opponents — the other contest was an 11–7 loss to No. 7 Lehigh — and have not won since a victory over Albany in the second game of the season. The Elis need a win this weekend to get their season back on track and give themselves a chance to qualify for the Ivy League tournament.
The Quakers (1–5, 0–2 Ivy) have had an even tougher schedule than the Bulldogs. Each of their six opponents so far this season has been ranked in the top 15 in the country. Interestingly, however, Penn’s worst loss, an 11–4 drubbing at the hands of the Tigers, came to the lowest-rated of these teams.
Both teams played their first two conference games against Cornell and Princeton and the Quakers and Elis share an opponent in Lehigh as well. Neither Yale nor Penn was able to come away with a victory in any of these contests, although the Bulldogs lost their games by an aggregate score of 29–23 while the Quakers were outscored by a 37–19 margin.
The last time these two teams met, Penn came back from three goals down in the first half to beat the Elis 10–9 in triple overtime at Franklin Field. In that game as well the Bulldogs came back from a two-goal fourth quarter deficit to force overtime, but were not able to convert that momentum into a win.
Yale won 16 of 23 faceoffs in that contest and will need to dominate at the X again if they are to prevail this time around. Midfielder Dylan Levings ’14, who shares Yale’s faceoffs with Cole Yeager ’13, is ranked sixth in the country with a .625 winning percentage. Levings was in top form last weekend against Princeton, winning seven of his last eight faceoffs when the Bulldogs needed him in the fourth quarter and overtime.
The Elis also got a strong performance out of Meyer last week. In his third game as the starter, the sophomore made a career-high 14 saves, including three in the second overtime period alone.
Attackman Conrad Oberbeck ’15 has also made a strong impact in only his first year on the team. Oberbeck leads the team in goals with 14 and is third with 17 points. His .500 shooting percentage also makes him the Bulldogs most efficient offensive weapon this season.
Tomorrow’s game at Reese Stadium is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.