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Yale (11-4) at Penn State (12-4)
Reason to watch: These teams make a habit of playing in one-goal games. Both squads have lost four games in 2013 by a combined five goals. This one is guaranteed to be low-scoring and tension-filled.
Background checks: Making its third NCAA tournament appearance — and first in eight years — Penn State is still looking for its first win.
Yale has won back-to-back Ivy tournament championships for coach Andy Shay. Eleven players scored a point in the Ivy League final win over Princeton. The Bulldogs sell out on every play, and Penn State must duplicate that effort.
Star power: Yale's Brandon Mangan (35 goals, 25 assists) is a productive attackman who hasn't gotten the national respect his deserves.
Penn State's Jack Forster (40, 16, pictured) is a sixth-year senior whose career has often been interrupted by injury. He sets the tone. Goalie Austin Kaut triggered the Nittany Lions' 10-game winning streak. This is their biggest game.
What could make the difference?
The Nittany Lions will use both man-to-man and zone defenses to keep Yale off balance. The faceoff battle is a good one with Danny Henneghan squaring off with Dylan Levings. Penn State's attack is legit with Forster, Shane Sturgis and rookie TJ Sanders (42 goals). But what midfielders not named Tom LaCrosse (23 goals) will step up?
Yale's defense is impressive. Senior four-year starters Michael McCormack and Peter Johnson are superb. They fly around and create in transition. Yale doubles from the crease and keeps its defense compact. This game appears to be low-scoring with long possessions.
April 13, 2013