Season Starts Feb. 25 vs. Holy Cross
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Five games against teams that were nationally ranked at the end of last season, and four against teams that made last year's NCAA Tournament, highlight the 2012 Yale women's lacrosse schedule, which was announced Monday. The 15-game slate includes seven Ivy League games and eight non-league games. This also marks the third 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.
This will mark Yale's fourth season at Reese Stadium, which recently underwent a major renovation, and the fourth season under Anne Phillips, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse. The Bulldogs open the season with a pair of non-league games, hosting Holy Cross at Reese Feb. 25 and traveling to BU Feb. 29.
Yale's first Ivy League game is Mar. 3 at Dartmouth. The Big Green ended last season ranked No. 12 in the IWLCA poll, falling to Albany in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The first week of Spring Break has Yale hosting Bryant in a non-league game Mar. 7. The Bulldogs then travel to Florida, where they have a neutral-site game vs. Notre Dame at Hilltopper Stadium in Delray Beach on Mar. 13. This will be the first meeting between the two teams since 2007, when they also played a neutral-site game in Florida. Yale assistant coach Jill Byers was playing for the Fighting Irish at the time and had a pair of goals in the 9-7 Notre Dame win. That was one of only four losses all year for the Bulldogs, who advanced to the NCAA Tournament that year with an at-large bid.
Mar. 17 figures to be a crucial day for Yale's chances at an Ivy League title, as the Bulldogs host Penn. The Quakers, who were ranked No. 10 at the end of last season and advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament, have won or shared five straight Ivy League championships.
Long-time Ivy League rival Harvard is next on the docket, as the Bulldogs host the Crimson Mar. 24. The Crimson finished last season ranked No. 20, but Yale has won 14 of the last 17 in the series between these two teams.
Yale plays a pair of non-league road games next, traveling to Marist Mar. 28 and Colgate Mar. 31.
The Apr. 7 game against Princeton will be another crucial one for the Bulldogs, as the Tigers were last year's Ivy League tournament champions. They ended the season ranked No. 9 in the country and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
After a non-league game at Stony Brook Apr. 11, a stretch of Ivy League games includes visits from Columbia (Apr. 14) and Brown (Apr. 18) followed by a trip to Cornell Apr. 21. Two years ago 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 Boston College on Apr. 28. The Eagles were ranked No. 13 at the end of last season and fell to eventual national champion Northwestern in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 11-8.
The Ivy League Tournament semifinals are May 4, and the championship is May 6. 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 12 or 13 at campus sites. The quarterfinals on May 19 or 20 will also be held on campus sites. The NCAA semifinals and championship will be May 25 and 27, hosted by Stony Brook at LaValle Stadium.
This is Phillips' fourth 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.
Live stats and video of games will be available on yalebulldogs.com.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity