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Yoyo Greenfield Named Captain, Bulldogs Announce Postseason Award Winners

Yoyo Greenfield. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Yoyo Greenfield. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Junior Yoyo Greenfield has been named captain of the Yale women's basketball team for the upcoming 2010-11 season, as announced as a part of the team's annual postseason banquet this past weekend. Greenfield ranked second on the Bulldogs with 9.6 points per game in her junior campaign, playing 26.9 minutes per contest while appearing in all 28 games (27 starts). The Bulldogs also announced their postseason award recipients at the banquet, including the unveiling of a new tradition, the Bulldog Basketball Awards.

Greenfield will serve as the 33rd captain in Yale program history, as voted upon by her teammates. The 5'5” sharpshooter will enter her senior season with 659 career points and ranked ninth all-time at Yale with 89 made three-pointers. Greenfield was one of two Bulldogs to score 20 points in a game this past season, a feat she accomplished in Yale's 81-74 victory over Columbia on Feb. 6.

"I am so happy and honored to have been named captain for the upcoming season,” said Greenfield. “I'm looking forward to the challenge of helping our team reach a new level and reaching the bar that [2009-10 captain Ashley Carter] placed so high.”

“Yoyo's consistent, calming presence on the court should serve her well in the important role of captain for our team,” said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball. “I think she will do a great job and together with all our seniors, will help propel Yale women's basketball to unprecedented heights!”

Outgoing captain Ashley Carter echoed her coach's sentiments: “Yoyo has been a fundamental part of this team for three years and is a great leader.  She's a hard-working, determined player, and I know she can help the team to get even better. She's going to make a great captain, and I'm excited to see what this team, with a strong incoming class, does next year under her leadership."

Greenfield was also one of three players to receive a Bulldog Basketball Award. The new honor will supplant the Most Valuable Player Award as an annual Yale women's basketball tradition.

“Our style of play makes it impossible to name one player as the 'most valuable',” said Gobrecht. “We are at our best when everybody is contributing. The Bulldog Basketball Awards reflect consistent hard work and team play rather than a single MVP.”

Greenfield received her Bulldog Basketball Award as the team's top free throw shooter. Her .805 (70-for-87) percentage was the third best mark in the Ivy League and 10th highest single-season percentage in Yale history. For her career, Greenfield's current .795 (190-for-239) rate at the charity stripe is the third best percentage in program history.

The second Bulldog Basketball Award went to junior Mady Gobrecht, who led the Bulldogs in assists. Her 2.6 assists per game placed her in the top 10 in the Ivy League, and her 245 career helpers through three seasons rank her at 10th all-time at Yale. Gobrecht also averaged 8.6 points and 6.1 rebounds as the only Bulldog to start all 28 games in 2009-10.

Sophomore Michelle Cashen, a second team All-Ivy honoree, also merited a Bulldog Basketball Award as Yale's leading rebounder. Cashen ranked sixth in the Ivy League with 6.9 rebounds per contest, highlighted by a career-best 15-board effort in the season-opening win against Holy Cross.  In recognition of her outstanding season, in which she also averaged 8.5 points and a .756 free throw percentage, Cashen also received the team's Most Improved Player Award.

The annual Leadership Award went to Carter, who posted 2.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game as captain in her final season at Yale. In addition to statistical contributions, Carter was often charged with employing full-court pressure on the opposition's primary ball-handler during her 20.0 minutes on the court per game. A former walk-on as a freshman, she finished her career ranked third in Yale history with 107 games played in a Yale uniform.

Senior Haywood Wright was honored with the Karen Yarasavage Award for "grit, determination and leadership". Yarasavage, a 1987 Yale graduate and a first team All-Ivy honoree as a senior, was known throughout the Ancient Eight as a player who "left it all on the floor". Wright returned from a knee injury to play in the final 21 games for Yale, averaging 5.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. The 2009-10 Academic All-Ivy honoree wraps up her career ranked second all-time with 109 career blocked shots. Wright missed the first seven games of 2009-10 and the final seven contests of last season due to injury. She was the Bulldogs' second-leading scorer and top rebounder, as well as the Ivy League's leading shot-blocker at the time of her injury.

The 2009-10 Bulldogs finished at 13-15 and placed fourth in the Ivy League at 8-6, their best Ancient Eight record since 1997-98. Yale also swept the defending Ivy League champion (Dartmouth) for the first time in 12 seasons. In 2010-11, the Bulldogs will return a total of 10 players from this past season's roster, including All-Ivy second team member Cashen and unanimous All-Ivy Rookie Team honoree Megan Vasquez.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity