Following the 2019 campaign — in which the Bulldogs fell 13–9 to the Virginia Cavaliers in the NCAA Championship final — Inside Lacrosse named five members of the No. 3 Yale men’s lacrosse team to the preseason All-American team.
Face-off specialist TD Ierlan ’20 (first team), defenseman Chris Fake ’21 (second team), attackman Jackson Morrill ’20 (third team), attackman Brian Tevlin ’21 (honorable mention) and defenseman Aidan Hynes ’20 (honorable mention) were recognized by a media committee for their 2019 performances as well as their impact potential in 2020. The first three lineups are comprised of three attackmen, three midfielders, a face-off specialist, a short-stick defensive midfielder, a long-stick midfielder, three defensemen and a goalie. Other players who receive votes receive honorable mentions.
“[The honor] is more of a recognition of our whole face-off unit,” Ierlan said. “It wouldn’t be nearly as successful without wings like Brian Tevlin, Will Renz [’20], Luke Eschbach [’21] and Jack Ocken [’22] to mention a few. I think the whole team is excited for the season, and Syracuse will be a big test this weekend.”
The sole face-off specialist on the Inside Lacrosse All-American first team, Ierlan has also caught the attention of the NCAA, which mentioned the senior in their top four returning face-off players this month. The article cited his 75.8 face-off win percentage and multiple NCAA tournament records as part of its reasoning to call him “one of the best face-off guys returning for this season, if not called one of the best face-off guys of all time in DI NCAA men’s lacrosse.” Ierlan was also a USILA first-team All-American as well as a Tewaaraton finalist.
Fake, named to the second team, has proved a worthy player ever since he first sported the blue and white. Ivy League Rookie of the Year and unanimous first-team All-Ivy League are only two of the many honors that the New Jersey native received as a first year. Last season, he was named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List and received recognition as the best defensive player on the Bulldog squad.
The junior is thrilled for his fellow teammates who also made the 2020 list, yet he expressed similar values as Ierlan — that many other Yale players who do not receive the honor are “just as critical to the team.”
“All of the [five All-Americans] are great kids and players with amazing work ethic,” Fake said. “I’m super excited for them because they all deserve it, but we make sure not to let them serve as a distraction.”
Morrill, who made the third team, was also on the Tewaaraton Award Watch List and was named best offensive player on the team last season. The senior was one of the Blue and White’s 2019 top scorers, racking up 46 goals and 48 assists to total 94 points.
As a rookie, Tevlin, who received an honorable mention, helped his team to a 13–11 win over Duke in the 2018 National Championship game. Since then, the New Jersey native has only stepped up his game. Last year, he placed sixth on the Yale roster, registering 35 points, and won the Dan Casman Award for team spirit and morale. Hynes, a 2019 starter and second honorable mention, will also return for the 2020 season as one of the most accomplished defensemen for the Elis.
On the All-American list, the Elis fare well in comparison to their main competitors. No 1. Virginia matches Yale, with five Cavaliers on the list, and No 2. Penn State exhibits six. No. 4 Maryland also picked up six spots, yet none of them appear on the first-team lineup.
The Bulldogs’s first game lands on Feb. 15 at No. 18 Villanova, but the Elis will compete in two scrimmages before the official season commences.
“The team is excited for this weekend and the start of the season,” Tevlin said. “We’ve been looking forward to Feb. 1 for a while now, and by having a scrimmage against Syracuse right away, it will be a good test to see where we are starting the season. [They are] a great team with a lot of talent that we can’t wait to compete against.”
Inside Lacrosse will later conduct votes for midseason and final 2020 All-American teams.
Margaret Hedeman | firstname.lastname@example.org