Ivy Lacrosse Tournament Preview: Pennsylvania-Yale

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Get your face ready for Quakers-Bulldogs.

Every Division I tournament. Every team. College Crosse has it all on lockdown. Please send cookies and naptime. Today we're slashing to bits the Ivy League Tournament.

It's going to be a defensive battle in Ithaca. First team to 1.5 goals wins.

THE COMPUTING MACHINE SAYS

Log5: Pennsylvania (60.42%); Yale (39.58%) (I think the computing machine is a little drunk.)

DOSSIERS

Ivy League Tournament: Pennsylvania (3) vs. Yale (2)
PENNSYLVANIA QUAKERS YALE BULLDOGS
OPPORTUNITIES/TEMPO
Pace 63.81 (47) 64.47 (43)
Opportunities Margin +0.50 (29) +3.75 (8)
Possession Ratio 50.39% (29) 52.91% (7)
Functional Offensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 29.92 (39) 31.66 (25)
Functional Offensive Opportunities Ratio 93.04% (25) 92.83% (29)
Functional Defensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 29.17 (21) 27.07 (3)
Functional Defensive Opportunities Ratio 92.15% (31) 89.17% (6)
Lost Functional Offensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 14.59 (57) 12.77 (40)
Lost Functional Offensive Opportunities Ratio 48.75% (57) 40.34% (32)
Lost Functional Defensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 14.92 (4) 13.15 (19)
Lost Functional Defensive Opportunities Ratio 51.14% (2) 48.59% (4)
Lost Functional Opportunities Margin +0.33 (30) +0.38 (29)
Lost Functional Opportunities Margin Ratio +2.38% (26) +8.25% (7)
ADJUSTED EFFICIENCIES
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency 30.73 (27) 31.32 (22)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency 21.59 (1) 25.22 (10)
Adjusted Efficiency Margin 9.14 (7) 6.10 (15)
SHOOTING
Shots per Offensive Opportunity 1.19 (12) 1.16 (20)
Raw Offensive Shooting Rate 24.13% (55) 26.36% (43)
Shots per Defensive Opportunity 1.04 (19) 0.97 (8)
Raw Defensive Shooting Rate 21.97% (4) 27.79% (30)
ASSISTS
Offensive Assist Ratio 55.86% (37) 63.24% (9)
Offensive Assist Rate 15.98 (42) 19.28 (20)
Defensive Assist Ratio 62.07% (48) 55.14% (28)
Defensive Assist Rate 14.14 (7) 14.86 (13)
EXTRA-MAN RATES
Extra-Man Postures per 100 Offensive Opportunities 9.79 (38) 13.68 (9)
Extra-Man Posture Reliance 15.32% (12) 16.91% (5)
Extra-Man Posture Conversion Rate 44.74% (6) 37.70% (22)
Man-Down Postures per 100 Defensive Opportunities 10.99 (37) 13.35 (57)
Man-Down Posture Reliance 20.69% (63) 15.89% (55)
Man-Down Posture Conversion Rate 42.86% (57) 32.08% (22)
MISCELLANEOUS
Penalties per 100 Opportunities (Team) 5.71 (35) 6.29 (44)
Penalties per 100 Opportunities (Opponent) 5.19 (39) 7.47 (4)
Caused Turnovers per 100 Defensive Opportunities (Team) 28.27 (6) 28.97 (4)
Caused Turnovers per 100 Defensive Opportunities (Opponent) 26.55 (54) 21.75 (30)
Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Team) 52.32 (56) 44.62 (29)
Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Opponent) 54.97 (2) 54.16 (3)
Unforced Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Team) 25.77 (51) 22.87 (31)
Unforced Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Opponent) 26.70 (8) 25.19 (19)
Team "Run-of-Play Work Rate" (Non-Faceoff Groundballs per 100 Total Opportunities) 28.57 (22) 27.40 (33)
Opponent "Run-of-Play Work Rate" (Non-Faceoff Groundballs per 100 Total Opportunities) 29.35 (44) 24.67 (13)
"Run-of-Play Work Rate" Margin -0.78 (32) +2.73 (21)
GOALIE ACTIVITY
Saves per 100 Defensive Opportunities 32.72 (34) 28.72 (53)
Saves per 100 Offensive Opportunities 36.08 (47) 32.96 (28)
Team Save Percentage 58.96% (7) 51.58% (36)
Opponent Save Percentage 55.78% (45) 51.94% (28)

THOUGHTS AND STUFF

Two pieces of incredibly important information about each team from my brain to your eyes via your Internet computing machine:

  • Pennsylvania's defense is superb, arguably the strongest in the country, but it is going to meet a stiff test against the Elis: While Yale rolls out a fairly strong offensive unit, the Bulldogs creates a unique problem for the Quakers' defense: Yale chews up possessions. Dylan Levings is a possession-generating machine for the Bulldogs, winning draws at a rate that drives -- in major part -- the possession margin that the Elis have the luxury of playing with. The value of these opportunities is that they're functional possessions, impregnating the attack box and allowing Yale's offense to operate. In this first instance, the Quakers are facing an exposure issue -- having to play extra defensive possessions that they're not used to playing -- that is going to test Pennsylvania's strongest unit. Exacerbating this concern are three additional issues: (1) Yale's offense is fairly efficient (even though it doesn't shoot particularly well), and extra opportunities may merit additional goals against the Quakers' staunch defense; (2) Pennsylvania isn't a possession-generating machine, and while it is in a plus position on the season, the Bulldogs' ability could wash the Quakers under; and (3) Pennsylvania has had trouble controlling turnovers this season, and if Yale can force the Quakers into giveaways -- notably of the caused variety (although, Pennsylvania has a real problem with unforced turnovers) -- the Quakers' lost offensive opportunities combined with an overexposed defense could lead to Pennsylvania playing from behind and having to put extra pressure on its offense to get the job done. Pennsylvania has the defense to do amazing things, but where the Quakers go may be subject to the circumstances to which that defense must perform within.
  • I love Yale's defense. Well, that's not totally true -- I love Yale's defense but have worries about Eric Natale in the net. Natale's performance this season aside, the Elis play a brand of defense that should be spoken of in ethereal tones: Yale does a nice job on its ride, killing about 17 percent of the clears they face; only two teams see their opponents turn the ball over more than what Yale has generated this season, getting incredible value in its pressure game (only three teams cause more turnovers than the Elis); even though the Bulldogs apply pressure, they're fundamentally sound and disciplined -- unlike many teams that generate lots of turnovers, Yale's defensive assist rate is right around the top 10 in the nation; when the ball is on the ground (often from Yale's doing), the Elis are doing a nice job at corralling loose balls; and the unit is killing so many defensive opportunities that it has driven the team's overall defensive efficiency among the national elite. The one issue with Yale's defensive performance is an accepted residue from applying pressure -- the Bulldogs are taking a lot of penalties and playing in man-down situations at a very high rate. It's systemic aggression, not unlike Villanova and Loyola, and it has paid dividends for the Elis this season.
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