Yale Seeks to Improve to 6-1
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Two archrivals meet Saturday afternoon at Reese Stadium as the Yale women's lacrosse team hosts Harvard on Alumnae Day. The Bulldogs and the Crimson both enter the game with 1-1 Ivy League records, adding a sense of urgency as both teams seek a critical Ancient Eight win. The game is scheduled for 3:00 p.m., following the Yale men's lacrosse game vs. Princeton that is scheduled for Noon.
Yale (5-1, 1-1 Ivy League) saw its five-game winning streak to start the season snapped by No. 12 Penn last Saturday, 11-9. Sophomore attacker Nicole Daniggelis (St. James, N.Y.) and junior attacker Kerri Fleishhacker (Manhasset, N.Y.) scored four goals each, and senior goalkeeper Erin McMullan (Wading River, N.Y.) made 11 saves, but the Bulldogs were unable to overcome an early 4-1 deficit.
Yale enters the week 13th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 7.5 goals per game. That is the team's best goals allowed per game average since 2001 (7.3). The Bulldogs have also been clicking on offense -- with 74 goals in the first six games, they are on pace for more than 180 goals. That would be the most since the team scored 195 in 2007.
Senior attacker Jen DeVito (Wading River, N.Y.) is tied for the Ivy League lead in assists and is tied for third in points (7-16-23). Just six games into the season, she has already tied her career high in assists and is on pace to become the first Yale player to crack the 30-assist mark since Laura Karmatz '96 had 36 in 1995. She has also committed just five turnovers all season.
Fleishhacker is tied for fourth in the league in goals with 17. She has come up big in Yale's first two Ivy League games this season, totaling nine goals on 17 shots in those two games (a .529 shooting percentage).
The Bulldogs have also benefited from steady offensive contributions from junior midfielder Erin Magnuson (Northport, N.Y.). She is the only Bulldog to have scored at least one goal in every game this season -- and she has scored exactly one goal in each of the last five games.
In addition to being second on the team in goals and third on the team in points (15-6-20), Daniggelis entered the week third in the country in draw controls per game (50 in six games, 8.33 per game). Just six games into her sophomore season, Daniggelis has already tied the Yale career record for draw controls with 126 (tied with Jenn Warden '09). Her next draw control will make her the Bulldogs' all-time leader (2004 was the first season that draw controls were recorded consistently in the statistics). Brown's Grace Healy holds the Ivy League career draw controls record (a senior, Healy is currently at 194). Daniggelis 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).
The Yale defense just saw its streak of six straight games allowing eight or fewer goals (dating back to the final game of the 2013 season) snapped. Still, McMullan is second in the Ivy League in goals-against average (7.50). McMullan (16 ground balls, tied for third) and senior defender Adrienne Tarver (Pikesville, Md.) (15 ground balls, tied for sixth) are both among the Ivy League leaders in ground balls. With eight caused turnovers, sophomore defender Kate Walker (Baltimore, Md.) is tied for eighth in the league in that category; she has already exceeded her total from all of last season (five). Tarver is 10th all-time at Yale with 36 career caused turnovers.
Harvard (3-3, 1-1 Ivy League) is 3-0 against unranked opponents and 0-3 against ranked opponents. Both Penn and Stanford were ranked No. 14 when they beat the Crimson and Syracuse was ranked No. 3 when it beat Harvard 17-4 Tuesday night. The Crimson have outscored their unranked foes 43-20, including a 10-7 win vs. Ivy League opponent Cornell Mar. 1.
With just three seniors and two juniors on the roster, Harvard is a relatively young team in its seventh season under Lisa Miller. The team's top two scorers are freshmen, attacker/midfielder Marisa Romeo (sixth in the Ivy League in points, 17-4-21) and attacker Megan Hennessey (11-6-17). Midfielder Audrey Todd, a sophomore who was a second team All-Ivy League selection last year, is second on the team in shots.
Goalkeeper Kelly Weis has made 25 saves in the last two games, and she is second in the league in save percentage at .483. Her 10.01 goals-against average is inflated by her allowing 17 goals to Syracuse and 14 to Stanford. Midfielder Marina Burke is fifth in the league with 10 caused turnovers.
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Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity