Final Regular Season Weekend Includes Chance to Knock Off Ranked Opponent, Earn Spot in Ivy Tournament

The Yale Women's Lacrosse Class of 2010: Natalie Reid, Michele Fiorentino, Jenna Block, Claire Eliasberg, Lindsey DeMarco and Jessica Sturgill. (photo by David Silverman, dspics.com)

Class of 2010 Will be Honored Friday Night vs. Georgetown; Game at Cornell Sunday Will Determine Ivy Tournament Spot

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A chance to knock off a nationally ranked opponent, and then a chance to earn a spot in the inaugural Ivy League tournament. The final weekend of the regular season for the Yale women's lacrosse team will certainly be a busy one. On Friday at Reese Stadium against No. 14 Georgetown, the Bulldogs will pay tribute to the Class of 2010 on Senior Night (7 p.m.). The Bulldogs will also be accepting donations for the "Friends of Jaclyn" program. A win in Sunday's game at Cornell (1 p.m.) will extend Yale's season and give the Bulldogs a chance to earn the Ivy League's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Yale (6-7, 3-3 Ivy League) already has one win over a top-20 team, an 11-9 win at No. 20 BU last month. The Bulldogs will look to add another Friday night against the 14th-ranked Hoyas, who bring a five-game winning streak to Reese Stadium. That same night the team will honor the senior class: attacker Jenna Block (Owings Mills, Md.), midfielder Sarah David (New Haven, Conn.), attacker Lindsey DeMarco (Marlboro, N.J.), defender Claire Eliasberg (San Diego, Calif.), defender Michele Fiorentino (Berwyn, Pa.), midfielder Natalie Reid (Ellicott City, Md.) and attacker Jessica Sturgill (Ellicott City, Md.). That group has led Yale to 35 wins, including 14 Ivy League wins, in four years. That includes three wins over archrival Harvard, including one earlier this year. The Class of 2010 also helped Yale to its third NCAA Tournament appearance three years ago.

In addition to honoring the seniors on Friday night, Yale will also accept donations for the "Friends of Jaclyn" program. This is the program that unites college teams with children with brain tumors. The Bulldogs recently adopted a local sixth grader undergoing treatment at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven through the program.

The Bulldogs enter this weekend with a chance to earn a spot in the inaugural Ivy League Tournament, which will determine the team that gets the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. Cornell, Princeton and Yale are all currently tied for third with 3-3 records. A win over the Big Red Sunday would guarantee Yale one of the four playoff spots, with top-seeded Penn hosting the semifinals on Apr. 30. Dartmouth, 5-1 in the league, has clinched the No. 2 seed.

Yale kept control of its chances for a playoff spot with a 12-4 win over Columbia last time out. Sophomore goalkeeper Whitney Quackenbush (Manhasset, N.Y.) made 12 saves, the seventh time this season she has made double-digit saves in a game. Quackenbush has a .514 save percentage, seventh in the country entering the week, and a 9.38 goals-against average.

Seven different Bulldogs scored goals against Columbia, including five with two each: freshman midfielder Kristen Chapman (Belmont, Mass.), sophomore attacker Caroline Crow (Davidsonville, Md.), junior midfielder/defender Kaitlyn Flatley (Berwyn, Pa.), junior midfielder Logan Greer (Berwyn, Pa.) and freshman midfielder Devon Rhodes (E. Northport, N.Y.).

Rhodes leads the team in goals (26) and points (34), while Block leads in assists with 13. Flatley leads in caused turnovers with 18, followed closely by Fiorentino at 17. Quackenbush has a team-best 23 ground balls, while Fiorentino has 22 and Flatley has 20.

Georgetown (8-5, 6-0 Big East) beat Yale 12-4 last season, breaking open a game that was 4-1 Hoyas at halftime by scoring four goals in a span of slightly more than three minutes early in the second half. The Hoya offense has been on a roll of late, with 17 or more goals in each of the last four games. Attacker Molly Ford leads Georgetown in goals (37), assists (18) and points (55). Goalie Caitlin Formby has a .396 save percentage and a 12.03 goals-against average.

Cornell (4-8, 3-3 Ivy League) just missed out on an upset of No. 10 Syracuse at Schoellkopf Field last Wednesday, falling 7-6. The Big Red will have their Senior Day on Sunday, and would also earn a spot in the Ivy League Tournament with a win. The Big Red also could lose and still make the tournament. If Princeton loses at home vs. Dartmouth Sunday and the Big Red and Tigers finished tied for fourth in the Ivy standings at 3-4, Cornell would hold the tiebreaker since it beat Princeton earlier this year.

Attacker Jessi Steinberg leads the Big Red in goals (32) and points (34). She also has a team-best 28 draw controls. Midfielder/defender Tissy O'Connor, a second team All-American last year, leads the team in caused turnovers with 17. Goalie Kyla Dambach has a .452 save percentage and a 9.46 goals-against average.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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