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Yale’s Men’s Lacrosse Team Proves Smart Guys Can Have Game Too

Posted on June 03 2018

When the Yale Bulldogs won the 2018 Men’s Division I Lacrosse National Championship Monday, it was—well, it was special. But it was in more than just the obvious way.


Yes, it was the school’s first national title in men’s lacrosse. But it was more than just a win for Yale. It was a win for every Ivy League school. Why? Because it serves as proof that the prominent, stereotypical athletes are not the only ones that can win a national championship in lacrosse (or any sport).


Smart guys with game are just as capable.


If we are all honest with ourselves, we’ll say the same thing when it comes to Ivy League schools like Yale. When we think of them, we do not think about athletics. We do not think about athletic achievement of any kind.


We certainly don’t imagine any of the Ivy League schools winning a national title in sports.


Guys (and girls) that go to Ivy League schools are not jocks. They’re the smart kids that you always wanted to cheat off on test day. Besides, even if there were any intelligent jocks, if they were any good they’d earn a scholarship to a major program.


So, to become a national champion at any sport, an Ivy League school has to find the diamond in the rough that the major programs overlooked. Oh—and he or she will need to figure out how to pay for their education if they decide to play for an Ivy League school.


Ivy League schools offer financial aid but no scholarships.


As you can imagine, it is not very easy to attract the kind of talent it takes to win a national title in anything. Surely, they can’t in any of the mainstream or popular sports—right?


The Yale Bulldogs lacrosse team certainly tosses that theory out the window thanks to Monday’s 13-11 win over the Duke Blue Devils.


But Yale is not the only Ivy League team to win a national championship in recent years (this millennium). Of course, there are not many who have, but there are a few:

  • Cornell: Men’s Polo (2005), Women’s Polo (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2011, 2015, and 2016)
  • Columbia: Co-ed fencing (2015 and 2016)
  • Dartmouth: Co-ed skiing (2007)
  • Princeton: Men’s lacrosse (2001)
  • Yale: Men’s lacrosse (2018), Men’s ice hockey (2013)

    Ivy league schools have won 98 national championships over the years; just not too many in recent years.

    Of course, when you don’t have those prototypical athletes on the roster, you need a coach who is adept at recruiting and knows how to get the most of his/her players. It also helps if the school is understanding and allows for a program to develop.

    Ivy league head coaches can’t be expected to turn a program around in three years like major college football head coaches are expected to do.

    Sure enough, Yale was smart enough to give lacrosse head coach Andy Shay the team he needed. In four of his first six seasons, the program had a losing record. That would be grounds for termination at many colleges.

    But Yale stuck with him and he closed out his fifteenth season with the program’s first national championship.


    Way to go smart guys. Way to go.

    Kollectaball Blog

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