Bulldogs Ranked No. 10 Nationally in Scoring Defense
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's lacrosse team takes on the highest-scoring offense in the Ivy League this Saturday as the Bulldogs head to Princeton for a 1:00 p.m. game. The Tigers are averaging more than 13 goals per game -- but Yale can counter that with a defense that is ranked 10th in the nation, allowing 7.5 goals per game. At 7-3, the Bulldogs have their best record at the 10-game mark since starting the 2008 season with 7-3 as well.
Yale (7-3, 1-2 Ivy League) is averaging more than 11 goals per game on offense, and features two of the top three scorers in the league. Senior attacker Jen DeVito (Wading River, N.Y.) is the league leader in assists and is second in points (15-25-40). DeVito has at least two assists in every game except two this season. Sophomore attacker Nicole Daniggelis (St. James, N.Y.), who is third in the league in points (29-10-39), was named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week on Monday.
Daniggelis also is tied for third in the Ivy League in goals with 29, including 18 in the last five games. She entered the week fourth in the country in draw controls per game, averaging 7.4. She is already Yale's career leader in that category, as she now has 150 for her career (the previous record was 126, set by Jenn Warden '09).
The Bulldogs' most accurate shooter is junior midfielder Erin Magnuson (Northport, N.Y.) (.480). She and junior midfielder Christina Doherty (Bernardsville, N.J.) have the fewest turnovers (10 each) among Yale's top six scorers.
The Yale defense's 7.5 goals allowed per game is the team's best goals allowed per game average since 2001 (7.3). The backbone of the Bulldogs' defense, senior goalkeeper Erin McMullan (Wading River, N.Y.), was named Ivy League Co-Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. She is second in the Ivy League in goals-against average (7.50), and her .468 save percentage this year is 20 percentage points better than her previous best season save percentage (.448, 2012). Her GAA has improved every year of her career, and this year it is 3.76 goals per game better than last year.
Yale has an Ivy League-best 94 caused turnovers this season, 15 more than second-place Cornell and Penn. Senior defender Adrienne Tarver (Pikesville, Md.) leads the league in ground balls with 29 and is third in caused turnovers with 16. Among Yale's defenders, freshman Victoria Moore (Concord, Mass.) is second on the team with 13 ground balls, and her 13 fouls are the lowest among Bulldog defenders who have started seven or more games.
Yale has also benefited from an excellent ride recently, which has prevented many opposing offensive possessions from even getting started. The Bulldogs have forced their opponents into at least five failed clears in a game six times this season, and they hold a decisive .801 to .697 edge in clear percentage. The ride will be put to the test this Saturday by a Princeton team that is clearing the ball at a .818 rate.
In last year's game vs. Princeton, a 14-9 Tigers victory, Daniggelis and Devon Rhodes '13 had four goals each. The Bulldogs fell behind 8-2, losing by five despite outscoring the Tigers 7-6 over the final 30:04. Princeton won the draw control battle 13-11 -- one of just four times last season that an opponent had more draw controls than Yale in a game. Tigers midfielder Sarah Lloyd, a first team All-Ivy honoree, led all players with five draw controls in that game. Three Princeton players -- Lloyd, midfielder Erin Slifer and attacker Mary-Kate Sivilli -- have at least 14 draw controls this year.
Princeton (6-3, 2-1 Ivy League), which was among the teams "also receiving votes" in the most recent IWLCA poll, has won five games in a row after starting the season 1-3. The Tigers beat Cornell 10-7 in overtime last time out, the program's 400th win. They lead the Ivy League in goals per game (13.33) and their.492 shooting percentage is second only to Brown (.529). The Tigers have scored at least 10 goals in every game this season.
Attacker Erin McMunn, who had three goals and two assists vs. Yale last year, is coming off a 4-for-7 shooting performance on Saturday. The Ivy League Attacker of the Year and a second team All-American last year, she is tied for the team lead in points (14-8-22) with midfielder Olivia Hompe. Hompe, who had five assists last Saturday, is fourth in the Ivy League with 12 assists.
Among players with 20 or more shots, midfielder Anya Gersoff Gersoff and Sivilli are the two most accurate shooters in the Ivy League at .650 and .619, respectively.
Midfielder Anna Doherty, Christina Doherty's sister, leads the Tigers and is ninth in the Ivy League with 18 goals. She is tied for third in the league with six free position goals.
Tigers goalie Annie Woehling has a .453 save percentage and an 8.45 goals-against average. Princeton's defense also includes defender Liz Bannantine, a second team All-Ivy honoree a year ago. She has nine caused turnovers this year, and defender Coleen Smith has a team-best 10.
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Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity