Season Starts Feb. 23 at Holy Cross; Bulldogs Take Aim at Spot in Expanded NCAA Tournament
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Four games against teams that were nationally ranked at the end of last season, and two against teams that made last year's NCAA Tournament, highlight the 2013 Yale women's lacrosse schedule, which was announced Friday. The 15-game slate includes seven Ivy League games and eight non-league games. This also marks the fourth 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 fifth season at Reese Stadium, which recently underwent a major renovation, and the fifth season under Anne Phillips, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse. The Bulldogs open with a pair of non-league games, visiting Holy Cross Feb. 23 and traveling to Quinnipiac Feb. 27.
Yale's first Ivy League game is Mar. 2 vs. Dartmouth, which won the Ivy League Tournament last year. The Big Green ended last season ranked No. 10 in the IWLCA poll, falling to Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Last year's meeting between the Bulldogs and the Big Green came down to the final 2:12, when Dartmouth got the game-winner for a 9-8 win. That was the second straight one-goal win in the series for Dartmouth.
Yale then visits Bryant Mar. 6 and Hofstra Mar. 9. With Spring Break getting underway, Yale hosts Sacred Heart Mar. 12 before making a pair of Ivy League road trips. That starts Mar. 16 at Penn, which ended last season ranked No. 12, falling to Loyola (Maryland) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Quakers have won six Ivy League titles in a row.
After visiting the defending champions, the Bulldogs then hit the road to face one of the three teams that tied for second last year: Harvard. Yale nearly rallied from a seven-goal deficit last year against its archrival, falling 7-5 despite shutting Harvard out in the second half. Yale has won 14 of the last 18 in the series between these two teams.
Easter weekend includes a game vs. Cal at Reese Stadium on Good Friday (Mar. 29), then a game at Lehigh on Easter Sunday (Mar. 31).
The Bulldogs resume league play Apr. 6 vs. Princeton (which was ranked No. 20 in the final poll) at Reese, then travel to Columbia Apr. 12 and host Cornell (which was ranked No. 13 in the final poll) Apr. 20. Their final non-league game brings BU to Reese on Apr. 24, and the regular season concludes Apr. 27 at Brown. The Bulldogs beat the Bears and the Lions last year, winning two of their final three Ivy League games.
The Ivy League Tournament semifinals are May 3, and the championship is May 5. All tournament games take place at the regular season champion's home field.
The first round of the NCAA tournament, which has expanded to include 26 teams, will be held on May 10, with the second round on May 12. The quarterfinals will be held on May 18 or 19. The NCAA semifinals and championship will be May 24 and 26, hosted by Villanova at Villanova Stadium. The Ivy League is one of 13 leagues that receive an automatic berth in the tournament.
This is Phillips' fifth 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