Season Starts Feb. 26 at Holy Cross; Dedication of Reese Stadium Apr. 9
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Anne Phillips, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse, has announced the 2011 schedule. This will mark Yale's third season at Reese Stadium, which recently underwent a major renovation, and the highlight of the schedule is the dedication of Reese on Apr. 9 when Yale hosts Princeton. The 15-game slate includes seven Ivy League games and eight non-league games. All told, Yale plays five teams that were nationally ranked at the end of last season and five teams that made last year's NCAA Tournament. This also marks the second year for the Ivy League women's lacrosse tournament, in which the top four teams in the final standings play for the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Reese Stadium was converted to FieldTurf and had new lighting installed four years ago. Further improvements, including a new entry plaza, press box, team rooms, and new and expanded seats and hospitality areas, have been added in the last year. Prior to making the move to Reese in 2009 the Yale women's lacrosse team had played on Johnson Field, an Astroturf surface. Reese has been the home of Yale men's lacrosse since 1981. On the day of the dedication this season the Yale women's team plays Princeton and the Yale men's team plays Dartmouth.
The Bulldogs open the season with a pair of non-league road games, at Holy Cross Feb. 26 and at Boston College Mar. 2. The home opener is also Yale's first Ivy League game, Mar. 5 against Dartmouth. The Big Green ended last season ranked No. 14 in the IWLCA poll.
The first week of Spring Break has Yale traveling to Virginia to play James Madison, which ended last year ranked No. 8 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs then return home to play another NCAA Tournament participant, Marist, on Mar. 12.
Mar. 19 figures to be a crucial day for Yale's chances at an Ivy League title, as the Bulldogs travel to Philadelphia to take on Penn. The Quakers, who were ranked No. 7 at the end of last season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, have won four straight Ivy League titles and won the inaugural Ivy League Tournament last year. Last year's game between these two teams was a narrow 7-5 victory for Penn, as Yale was one of only four teams to hold the Quakers to seven or fewer goals in a game.
The Bulldogs host BU, which was ranked No. 18 at the end of last season and made the NCAA Tournament, on Mar. 23. Yale beat the Terriers 11-9 in Boston last year. Long-time Ivy League rival Harvard is next on the docket, as the Bulldogs travel to Cambridge Mar. 26. Yale's 17-13 win over the Crimson last year marked the 14th win for the Bulldogs in the last 16 games in the series.
Yale plays a pair of non-league games next, hosting Colgate Apr. 1 and then travelling to D.C. to take on Georgetown Apr. 3. The Hoyas were ranked No. 9 at the end of last season and made it to the NCAA Tournament.
The Apr. 9 game against Princeton marks the dedication of Reese and also a chance for Yale to knock off one of its top Ivy League rivals. The Bulldogs' last win over the Tigers came in 2007, part of a nine-game winning streak at the end of the year that earned Yale an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The stretch of Ivy League games continues with trips to Columbia (Apr. 15) and Brown (Apr. 27) with a home game against Cornell (Apr. 23) sandwiched in between. Last year the Bulldogs and the Big Red battled for the fourth and final Ivy League playoff spot right up until the final regular-season game, when the Big Red pulled out a win in Ithaca to advance to the tournament.
Yale ends the regular season at home against Stony Brook on Apr. 30. The Ivy League Tournament semifinals are May 6, and the championship is May 8. All tournament games take place at the regular season champion's home field.
The first round of the NCAA tournament, which includes 16 teams, will be held on May 14 or 15 at campus sites. The quarterfinals on May 21 or 22 will also be held on campus sites. The NCAA semifinals and championship will be May 27 and 29, hosted by Stony Brook at LaValle Stadium.
This is Phillips' third season at Yale after spending six seasons at Franklin & Marshall, where she went 93-24 and won the 2007 NCAA Division III National Championship with an undefeated (21-0) season.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity