College Lacrosse is on its way to Georgia on Sunday as a pair of games will be played at the new Grady stadium in Atlanta. The day will start at 10am as SELC power Georgia Tech squares off against UConn before defending National Champion Yale faces off against a Michigan team on the rise.
After winning the 2018 National Championship Yale comes into Sunday’s game 2-1 after playing three one-goal games. After dropping the season opener in overtime to Villanova, the Bulldogs have won their last two with wins over a top 5 Penn State team and UMass. Under head coach Andy Shay, entering his 16th season, Yale has reached unprecedented heights. In the last 9 years the Bulldogs have a 103-40 record, eight 10-win seasons and the 2018 National Championship.
Despite losing Tewaaraton Trophy winner Ben Reeves and his 115 points, the Bulldogs return plenty of offensive fire power. The attack is led by juniors Jackson Morrill and Matt Gaudet. Morril has posted five goals and 12 assists through three games after a 72-point season in 2018. Gaudet is arguably one of the best crease attackman/finishers in the country. So far, he has eight goals on the season despite being a heavy focus of teams defensively after his 41 goals in 2018, including 10 goals during Championship weekend. The midfield is led by seniors Jack Tigh and Joseph Sessa. Tigh busted on the scene last year with a 49-point season and a hat trick in the National Championship game. The addition of All-American faceoff man TD Irelan has made the offense an even more potent threat in 2019.
Defensively, Yale is led by returning All-American Chris Fake. He is regarded as one of the top cover defenders in the college game. Yale will have to replace their do it all defensive midfielders Tyler Warner and Jason Alessi this spring. However, the defense is backstopped by sophomore goalie, Jack Starr, who is one of the few goalies in college lacrosse to win a National Championship as a freshman.
Michigan comes into the game boasting a 3-1 record with their only loss coming in overtime as well. They are led by 2nd year head coach Kevin Conry, who spent five seasons as the defensive coordinator at Maryland before being named the Wolverines head coach in June of 2017. The Wolverines also got off to a hot start in 2018 with a 7-2 record before faltering a bit in the later part of the year to finish 8-6. 2018 also marked the first win in Big 10 Conference play for Michigan.
The Wolverines offense is a balanced attack with five different players in double digit points four games into the season. The points leader is sophomore Alex Buckanavage with 18 points on 10 goals and eight assists. He has teamed up with sophomore Kevin Mack, 16 points, to form a tough 1-2 punch for defenses. Midfielders Avery Myers and Brent Noseworthy have combined for 17 goals and eight assists thus far, with Noseworthy becoming the all-time goals leader, with 95 goals, last week in the win over St. Johns. Michigan-native and freshman attackman Bryce Clay has busted on the scene with six goals and four assists in the early season.
The defense is led by the senior southpaw in the net Tommy Heidt, who is currently saving at 50%. The defensive unit has played well together and done a nice job of getting the ball up field quickly to let the powerful offense go to work. Senior Nick DeCaprio, former 2016 Big 10 Freshman of the Year, has been off to a hot start with 13 groundballs and six caused turnovers through four games. DeCaprio also brings great leadership after being named a captain for the second consecutive season.
Georgia Tech has been one of the best teams in the Southeast Lacrosse Conference (SELC) the last decade under head coach Ken Lovic. This run has included back to back SELC Tournament titles in 2016 and 2017, which also included two trips to the MCLA Final Four. In 2018 the Yellow Jackets came up just short in the SELC tournament before being knocked out of the MCLA tournament in the first round.
The Yellow Jacket offense has been led by the duo of Conrad McEvoy and Tim Peterson who have combined for 76 points including 26 goals for McEvoy and 24 assists for Peterson through six games. The Jackets will put their 6-0 record on the line Friday night as they host Florida State before the 10am faceoff against Uconn.
After posting back to back 8-4 seasons, Uconn is looking to take the next step under head coach Marc Paolini, the 2017 Coach of the Year. The Huskies are 1-2 with both losses coming to Top 10 teams in the early season. This will be the second time Uconn and Georgia Tech have squared off.
The Husky offense is led by a pair of seniors in attackman Cam Criniti and midfielder Matt Crowe who are looking to bring Uconn back into the Top 25 of the MCLA. The defense in the hands of junior goalie Drew Duarte, who earned All-American recognition as a freshman. Coach Paolini has refered to Duarte as the foundation of the team. Uconn will also take on Florida State before playing Sunday, the Huskies and Seminoles will play on Saturday at Georgia Tech.
Both games can be seen live or on demand on LacrosseFire.tv, thesuvtv.com/LacrosseFireTV, and on the #SUVtv" app on Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and Android TV. Tickets are also available at the link below.
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