June 20, 2014

Bulldogs Welcome Seven in Class of 2018

Newcomers Hail from Four Different States; Group Includes Multiple All-Americans

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale women's lacrosse team welcomes seven freshmen to the roster for 2014-2015. The Class of 2018 represents four different states and is composed of one attacker (Kiwi Comizio (New Vernon, N.J.)), four midfielders (Taryn Gallagher (Haverford, Pa.), Madeleine Gramigna (Summit, N.J.), Emily Granger (Grasonville, Md.) and Maggie Pizzo (East Hampton, N.Y.)), one defender (Cooper Hall (Wyndmoor, Pa.)) and one goalkeeper (Sydney Marks (Chappaqua, N.Y.)).

The newcomers have all served in leadership roles while in high school -- all seven were team captains, and five also served as captains of other sports (Comizio, Gallagher, Gramigna, Granger and Hall). They have also earned multiple honors for their performance on the field, including two who have been named All-American (Gallagher and Granger). Their work in the classroom has been recognized in many ways, including six who have been named Academic All-Americans (Comizio, Gramigna, Granger, Hall, Marks and Pizzo). They have been a part of successful teams, including four who have been part of championships at either the conference, county or state levels (Comizio, Gallagher, Gramigna and Granger).

They have found multiple ways to contribute to their communities, including volunteering for organizations and events such as Habitat for Humanity (Granger), a local hospital (Gallagher) and Relay for Life (Marks). They have made service trips to places such as a Cheyenne Reservation in Montana (Gramigna) and an impoverished village in Senegal (Pizzo), and have worked with special needs children (Granger).

Their talents also extend beyond the playing field; one was a founding member of Pennsylvania Girlchoir and had a piece of artwork selected for display for the Pennsylvania Art Education Association (Hall) and another was selected for the All-National Honors Band (Pizzo).

The newcomers join the Bulldogs for the team's seventh season with Anne Phillips as the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse. Yale lost nine players from last year's team to graduation, but returns six of the top seven point scorers and nine players who made at least eight starts.

Yale has improved its winning percentage from year-to-year in each of the past three years, a trend that the newcomers will look to continue next year. This past season Yale had its best win total since 2008, and decreased its goals allowed compared to the previous season by 26 percent -- ending the season ranked 13th in the nation in scoring defense (8.2 goals allowed per game). Yale outscored its opponents by 31 goals, the most since 2008. The Bulldogs also had the third-best draw control total (185) and the third-best caused turnover total (140) in school history.

Here is a look at the newest Bulldogs:

Kiwi Comizio
5-7
Attacker
New Vernon, N.J.
Oak Knoll

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child: Captained team … Academic All-American 2013 … Prep A Player of the Year 2012 … All Prep A 2012 … Second team all-state 2012 … All-Stars & Stripes Conference South Player 2012 … All-Union County Player 2012 … Best Offensive Award 2012 … Also played field hockey and was team captain … Third team NFHCA National All-American 2013 … First Team NFHCA All-Region 2013 … Two-time all-state in field hockey (first team 2013, third team 2012) … First team all-conference in field hockey 2012 and 2013 … First team All-Union County in field hockey 2012 and 2013 … North NJ All-Star in field hockey 2013 … First team non-public group in field hockey 2013 … First team Group 1 in field hockey 2012 … Earned field hockey team's best defensive award 2012 and 2013 … Field hockey team was Union County Champions and conference champions three times (2011, 2012 and 2013) … Field hockey team was Non-Public Group Champions in 2013 … Field hockey team was Group 1 Champions in 2012 … Wrote for school's Spanish newsletter … Ninth grade Peer Leader … Volunteer peer tutor.

Club Team: Played for STEPS Elite with Yale teammate Madeleine Gramigna.

Notes: Also on field hockey team at Yale … Has multiple Ivy League athletes in her immediate family … Father played football at Penn … Mother played field hockey and lacrosse at Penn … Aunt and uncle played lacrosse at Harvard.

Why Yale? "The exceptional academics and competitive athletic programs drew me to Yale more than any other school. The community at Yale also felt like the right place for me when I visited, especially the residential colleges."

 

Taryn Gallagher
5-7
Midfielder
Haverford, Pa.
Episcopal Academy

Episcopal Academy:  Co-captain senior year … Team was Inter-Ac Champions all four years … Episcopal Academy Champions Team of 1995 Girls' Lacrosse Bowl award 2014 … First team All-American 2014 … … First team All-Delco 2014 … First team All-Inter-Ac 2014 … Led team in draw controls and assists 2014 … Second team All-Main Line 2012 and 2013 … Honorable Mention All-Delco 2012 and 2013 … Honorable Mention All-Inter-Ac 2013… Main Line Athlete of the Week 2013 … Delco Times Player of the Week 2013 … First team All-Inter-Ac 2012 … Also played three years of field hockey … Episcopal Academy Mind, Body, and Spirit Award in field hockey 2013 … First team All-Inter-Ac in field hockey 2013 … All-Delco honorable mention in field hockey 2013 … Second team All Main Line in field hockey 2013 … All Main Line honorable mention in field hockey 2012 … Field hockey team was 2012 PAISAA champions and Inter-Ac champions … Also played four years of squash … Co-captain of squash team senior year … Episcopal Academy Mind, Body, and Spirit Award in squash 2014 … Inter-Ac Athletic Director's Award 2014.

Club Team: Played for Phantastix.

Notes: Interested in photography … For senior project, produced photography book with friend capturing culture of Philadelphia … Very interested in medicine and has volunteered at Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood, Pa. … Multiple college varsity athletes in her immediate family … Father played football for Johns Hopkins … Uncle played baseball for the US Air Force Academy … Grandfather played football for Rutgers … Great grandfather played football for Penn.

Why Yale? "I chose Yale because it offers a unique combination of outstanding academics and athletics.  I wanted a school that would challenge me and further my development as a person, and I knew Yale would do just that."

 

Madeleine Gramigna
5-9
Midfielder
Summit, N.J.
Summit

Summit High School: Team captain 2014 … Academic All-American 2014 … First team All-Stars and Stripes Division 2014 … Selected for NJ All-Star team 2014 … Led team with 101 draw controls 2014, her second straight season leading team in draws … Second team All-Stars and Stripes Division 2013 … Academic All-American 2013 … MSG Varsity player of the week 2013 … Brine All-American 2012 … Team was Union County champions all four years of her career … Team advanced to Tournament of Champions final 2014 … Team was Group 2 North Jersey sectional champions, Group 2 state champions and Stars and Stripes Division champions 2013 and 2014 … Also played four years of soccer, and was captain of team … All-County honorable mention 2011 and 2012 in soccer … Coaches Award in soccer 2011 … Also played four years of basketball, and was captain of team … All-Conference honorable mention in basketball 2013-14 … Led  basketball team in steals and rebounds in junior and senior seasons … Adrienne Reid memorial award for sportsmanship and excellence in basketball 2013-14 … MVP in basketball 2012-13 … All-Conference honorable mention in basketball 2012-13 … Holiday tournament MVP in basketball 2012-13  … Basketball team was conference champions in 2011-12  … NJSIAA State Scholar Athlete … Howard Anderson Scholar Athlete … Award of Excellence in Physical Education.

Club Team: Played for STEPS Elite with Yale teammate Kiwi Comizio.

Notes: Father and grandfather played football at Penn … Made youth workgroup mission trip to Busby, Montana; helped with home repairs for people living on Cheyenne Reservation.

Why Yale? "I love everything about Yale. The team is friendly, the campus is gorgeous, and the academics have much to offer. It provides an incredible amount of opportunities. Yale just felt like home to me from the moment I stepped on campus."

 

Emily Granger
5-9
Midfielder
Grasonville, Md.
Saints Peter and Paul

Saints Peter and Paul High School: US Lacrosse First Team All American 2014 … US Lacrosse Academic All American 2014 … Captain 2013 and 2014 … Team MVP 2013  and 2014 … All Mid Shore 2012, 2013 and 2014 … All Conference 2012,2013 and 2014 … Conference Player of the Year 2014 … Led team in goals and assists 2013 and 2014 … Team was conference champions 2011 and 2012 … Also played four years of soccer, and was team captain 2013 and 2014 … Soccer team MVP 2011, 2012  and 2013 … First Team all-conference in soccer 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 … Conference Player of the Year in soccer 2011 and 2013 … All-time leader in goals, assists and total points in soccer … Soccer team was conference champions 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 … Also played four years of basketball, and was team captain 2013-14 … All Conference in basketball 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 … Led basketball team in assists and steals 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 … Basketball team was conference champions 2012 and 2014 … 2013 Wendy's High School Heisman National Winner … WBOC TV Scholar Athlete of the Month … Charles Orme Sportsmanship Award … C. Markland Kelly Athletic Service Award … AP Scholar of Distinction … State of Maryland Merit Scholastic Award.

Club Team: Played for Maryland United 2014 East.

Notes: Has worked with special needs children … Volunteered for Habitat for Humanity … Mother played varsity softball and volleyball at Furman … Father played varsity golf at Furman.

Why I chose Yale: "I chose Yale because it not only has excellent academics and athletics but also has an inviting, diverse atmosphere that provides me with so much worldly experience and opportunity for the future."

 

Cooper Hall
5-8
Defender
Wyndmoor, Pa.
Germantown Academy

Germantown Academy: Team captain 2014 … Team MVP 2014 … Team service award 2014 … High School All-Academic 2014 … Academic All-American 2013 … First team all-league 2013 and 2014 … Honorable mention all-league 2012 … Four-year varsity starter …  Missed end of junior year with injury … Also played field hockey, captaining team in 2013 … Awarded Germantown Academy's Gummey Memorial Prize for achievement in athletics and scholarship 2013 … Awarded Germantown Academy's Robeson Lea Perot Memorial History Prize, as student who writes best essay on subject pertaining to American History, 2013 … Science National Honors Society … Math National Honors Society … Cum Laude … Senior leader of school's community service organization … Writing advisor at school's writing center … Form Representative for Student Government Association … Patriot Ambassador, hosting prospective students for admissions office.

Club Team: Played for Ultimate Goal Lacrosse … Team went undefeated in summer 2013.

Notes: Founding member of the Pennsylvania Girlchoir -- touring in Italy summer 2014 … Had a piece of artwork selected for display for the Pennsylvania Art Education Association … Plays piano … Mother played lacrosse at Boston University and is in school's hall of fame.

Why Yale? "It's the perfect place.  Yale's prestige as an academic and athletic institution grabbed my attention initially, but it was the passionate and tight-knit community, from the amazing coaching staff to the students eager to learn and grow, that really solidified Yale as the place I wanted to be."

 

Sydney Marks
5-5
Goalkeeper
Chappaqua, N.Y.
Horace Greeley

Horace Greeley High School: Team captain 2014 … Academic All-American 2013 and 2014 … All-league 2012, 2013 and 2014 (honorable mention all-league 2011)… All-section 2013 and 2014 (honorable mention all-section 2012) … Lo Hud All Star Team Honorable mention 2011 …  Played three years of varsity soccer … Recipient of school's Jeanne B. Irwin Award for Outstanding Female Scholar-Athlete 2014… Cum Laude Society … Yale Book Award 2013…Principal's Award 2014… Relay for Life team captain 2012, 2013, 2014; top five individual fundraiser nationwide 2013 … Member of improvisation group the Puritans.

Club Team: Played for Metro Lacrosse Club and Revolution Lacrosse Club.

Notes: Competed year-round on Marlins Swim Team for 11 years … Math tutor to middle school kids … Lacrosse lessons for Chappaqua Youth Lax Organization … Assistant coach with Revolution Lacrosse Club summer 2014 …. Interests include music (guitar, piano, ukulele), DJ-ing/mixing music, snowboarding, running, swimming, language (knows Spanish and French and hopes to learn more) and science (meteorology, biology, chemistry)

Why Yale?  "I chose Yale because it just felt right. Everything about it. From the moment I stepped onto that campus, I could immediately see myself thriving here and having the best four years of my life. Between the brilliant, driven, passionate, engaging, collaborative and downright amazing students and the endless opportunities I learned that Yale had to offer, especially to underclassmen, I just couldn't imagine myself going anywhere else. At the same time, I knew that I would be able to have an awesome athletic experience, with a wonderful team and wonderful coaches, next to an equally as incredible academic one."

 

 

Maggie Pizzo
5-4
Midfielder
East Hampton, N.Y.
East Hampton
 

East Hampton High School:  Varsity starter since eighth grade and two-time captain … Set school record for career regular-season goals (255), points (360) and draw controls (305) … Led team in goals, points, draw controls and ground balls as freshman, sophomore, junior and senior … Top ten on Long Island in goals during regular season as sophomore and junior, and in points as senior … Newsday's Top 100 Girls Lacrosse Players on Long Island for 2014 … Dellecave Award nominee as female athlete of the year in Suffolk County… Long Island All-American Lacrosse Nassau vs. Suffolk Senior Game … US Lacrosse Academic All-American 2013 and 2014 … All-Suffolk County 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014  … Team MVP 2012, 2013 and 2014 … US Lacrosse National Schoolgirls Long Island Metro team … Started playing varsity tennis as a senior and earned all-league honors… Tennis team made it to Suffolk final four 2014 … Played volleyball as a freshman and sophomore … Selected for top 50 Volleyball showcase as a sophomore … Volleyball team was county finalists … Also ran varsity winter track … Salutatorian for the East Hampton High School Class of 2014 … AP Scholar with distinction … East Hampton Student of the Year 2014 … Vice president of Key Club … National Honor Society … World Languages Society … Recipient of Paul Yuska Award, given to the most outstanding athlete in East Hampton High School, as a senior … Earned New York State Suffolk Zone Award … One of 30 seniors on Long Island selected as a News 12 Scholar Athlete.

Club Team: Played for Long Island Yellow Jackets 2014 Blue … National Draw tournament champions 2012 and 2013 … Lax for the Cure tournament champions 2012 and 2013 … Capital Cup tournament champions 2013 … US Lacrosse U-15 National Championship Team 2012.

Notes: First student at her high school selected for All-National Honors Band … All-county, all-state, all-national in flute … Recipient of John Philip Sousa Band award … In July 2013, after helping to raise $90,000, traveled to Senegal and began construction of a primary school in an impoverished rural village … Father wrestled at Gettysburg college, and mother attended Gettysburg as well.

Why Yale? "I chose Yale because for me, it's the best of both worlds. The opportunity to study at one of the most highly competitive academic institutions while playing lacrosse on a strong and dedicated team is unparalleled. I loved Coach Phillips' attitude towards creating a winning team and becoming Ivy League champs, and I felt an immediate connection with the players."

 

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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