Yale Seeks Sixth Straight Win to Start Season Saturday at Reese
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The perfect start to the season for the Yale women's lacrosse team faces a major test this Saturday, as No. 13 Penn comes to Reese Stadium for a 1:00 p.m. game. The Quakers have won or shared the last seven Ivy League championships, the longest active run of conference championships in Division I. They are 49-2 in their last 51 regular season Ivy League games, dating back to the 2006 season.
Yale (5-0, 1-0 Ivy League) beat Quinnipiac 15-8 last time out, extending its streak of consecutive games holding an opponent to eight or fewer goals to six games. The last time the team had a streak like that was in 2003. Dating back to last season Yale has won six games in a row, the team's longest winning streak since winning nine in a row in 2007 en route to earning an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Averaging 13 goals per game so far, the Yale offense is on pace to challenge the school record for goals in a season (204, 1999). The Bulldogs are also averaging nearly six assists per game, putting them on pace to crack the 80-assist mark for a season for the first time since 2003 (82).
Senior attacker Jen DeVito (Wading River, N.Y.) leads the Ivy League in assists and points (7-16-23) and is tied for sixth in the country in assists. Just five games into the season, she has already tied her career high in assists. She is also the only Bulldog to have two or more points in every game so far. Junior attacker Kerri Fleishhacker (Manhasset, N.Y.) is tied for third in the league in goals with 13. Among players with 13 or more shots, junior midfielder Erin Magnuson (Northport, N.Y.) is sixth in the league in shooting percentage (.538).
In addition to being second on the team in goals and third on the team in scoring (11-4-15), sophomore attacker Nicole Daniggelis (St. James, N.Y.) is second in the country in draw controls per game (9.00, trailing only Robert Morris' Jessica Karwacki (15.75)). She has at least five draw controls in every game, and is on pace to break her own Yale record for draw controls in a season (76, set last season).
Along with Daniggelis and Fleishhacker, freshman Tess McEvoy (Bethesda, Md.) (10-1-11) gives Yale three players who have reached double-digits in goals.
A number of Bulldogs are posting impressive defensive numbers as well. Senior goalkeeper Erin McMullan (Wading River, N.Y.) is second in the Ivy League in goals-against average. She has helped the Yale defense rank ninth in the country in scoring defense (6.80 goals per game) entering the week.
McMullan (13 ground balls, tied for fourth) and senior defender Adrienne Tarver (Pikesville, Md.) (14 ground balls, tied for second) are both in the top four in the Ivy League in ground balls. With seven caused turnovers, sophomore defender Kate Walker (Baltimore, Md.) is tied for sixth in the league in that category; she has already exceeded her total from all of last season (five). She has started 20 consecutive games, second only to Tarver (32 straight starts) among Yale's defenders.
Penn (3-1, 1-0 Ivy League) beat Harvard 9-4 in its most recent game. That was the Quakers' 10th straight regular season Ivy League win, and with the victory head coach Karin Corbett tied the school's all-time wins record with her 151st. Following that win the Quakers became the first team in Ivy League history to have two players share one of the league's weekly women's lacrosse awards, as goalkeeper Lucy Ferguson and defender Meg Markham were named Ivy League Co-Defensive Players of the Week after limiting Rutgers to three goals and Harvard to four goals last week.
Markham, a preseason All-America pick who is the sister of Yale freshman defender Emily Markham (Manhasset, N.Y.), entered this week leading the nation in ground balls per game with 4.50, and was sixth in caused turnovers per game with 2.75. Penn as a team was ninth in the country in caused turnovers per game (11.5) and 10th in scoring defense (7.0 goals per game) and ground balls per game (21.25).
Ferguson and Markham were both all-region and first team All-Ivy League selections last year. This season, Ferguson is second in the league with a .517 save percentage and third in the league with a 7.00 goals-against average.
Last year, thanks in part to eight saves by Ferguson, Penn topped Yale 12-8 at Franklin Field. That was the most goals the Bulldogs had scored against the Quakers since 2006, but Penn got four goals from midfielder Iris Williamson and three each from attackers Caroline Bunting and Meredith Cain to pull away. Daniggelis led the Bulldogs with six goals and five draw controls.
This year Penn's offense has had to adjust due to the loss of reigning Ivy League Midfielder of the Year Shannon Mangini, who has been sidelined by an injury suffered in the fall. Midfielder Tory Bensen leads Penn in scoring (11-3-14) and shooting (.550). Midfielder Nina Corcoran is second in points (4-3-7). Markham leads the team in draw controls with 13.
In addition to being ranked No. 13 in the IWLCA coaches' poll this week, Penn is No. 6 in the Lacrosse Magazine poll and No. 15 in the Brine media poll.
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Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity