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No. 1 seed Syracuse vs. Yale, Saturday, 3 p.m.
Yale (12-4) has won consecutive Ivy League tournament championships for coach Andy Shay. The Bulldogs, who trailed in all 16 contests this year, rallied to beat Penn State on the road in the first round. Down 5-1 at the half, they played flawlessly from then on.
Captain Mike McCormack is the pulse, scooping up ground balls, intercepting passes and triggering transition.
"He doesn't waste a day and brings a smile to work," Shay said.
Brandon Mangan (36, 25), Conrad Oberbeck (34, 8) and Kirby Zdrill (30, 2) are the lifeblood of the offense. Yale doesn't have powerful alley dodging midfielders, but manufactures goals the old-fashioned way.
Faceoff ace Dylan Levings (.592, pictured) is a possession machine, anticipating the whistle and winning the clamp. Yale will attempt to wear down the Orange defense with extended multiple-shot possessions.
Yale's two biggest issues will be penetrating on offense and stopping the Orange in half-field sets.
"Syracuse is terrifyingly unselfish," Shay said. "You can't predict who their hero will be. Everybody on our defense must do their job.
"I used to write up 18-page scouting reports, but the kids don't want that," Shay added. "Our mindset is to ignore the potential of this game. Don't worry about ranking, seeding or what's next with a win or loss. One game. Enjoy the week together. It's the identical approach we've taken since the Ivy League tournament."
May 16, 2013