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Big Green Edges Yale 12-11

Margaret Stover and Marisa Cresham. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Margaret Stover and Marisa Cresham. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A three-goal run by Dartmouth midway through the second half, shortly after a delay due to a scoreboard malfunction, proved decisive Saturday afternoon at Reese Stadium as the Big Green edged Yale 12-11. The loss, on Senior Day, spoiled the chance for Yale's senior class to earn what would have been the third win of their careers against the Big Green. It was the team's third one-goal loss in Ivy League play.

The day began with rain right up until the start time, but that did not dampen the spirits of those on hand for the pregame ceremony honoring Yale's six seniors -- defender Marisa Cresham, attacker Hope Hanley, defender Emily Markham, attacker Tess McEvoy, defender Victoria Moore and defender Ashley Perselay. Those six all started, as they have throughout the year. The game was neck-and-neck for the first 20 minutes, as goals by junior midfielder Madeleine Gramigna (assisted by Hanley), junior attacker Maggie Pizzo and Hanley helped the Bulldogs to a 3-3 tie.

But then Dartmouth (6-8, 1-5 Ivy League) went on its first 3-0 run of the day, and this one gave the Big Green a 6-3 lead. Sophomore attacker Izzy Nixon broke it up with a goal with 1:22 left, but Dartmouth attacker Cara DePippo tacked on a goal with 32 seconds remaining to send the Big Green into halftime up 7-4.

Dartmouth, which features the Ivy League draw control leader in midfielder Kathryn Giroux, had enjoyed an 8-4 advantage on draw controls in the first half, but the Bulldogs won the first four of the second half -- three by Nixon and one by Gramigna. That helped them to a 4-0 run, as goals by Hanley, McEvoy, Nixon (assisted by McEvoy) and Gramigna (assisted by Hanley) gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the day: 8-7 with 24:11 to play.

But shortly after that, a malfunction in the scoreboard clock left both teams facing a long delay as attempts were made to fix it. It wound up being two hours and 15 minutes before replacement scoreboards were set up, and when the game resumed Dartmouth regained control. After a free position goal by attacker Kierra Sweeney tied the game 8-8, goals by Giroux and attacker Cara DePippo gave the Big Green a two-goal advantage -- with all three goals coming in a span of less than three minutes.

The rain started coming down again as Dartmouth built its lead, but Yale eventually battled back. Hanley set up junior midfielder Emily Granger for a goal at 14:41 that stopped Dartmouth's run, but attacker Courtney Weisse's tally at 10:19 -- her 37th of the year -- gave the Big Green some breathing room. Gramigna pulled Yale back within a goal with 7:45 to play, but Dartmouth got the ensuing draw control.

With just over five minutes to play, another critical sequence went Dartmouth's way as midfielder Katie O'Neill took advantage of a Yale turnover in the Big Green zone, driving all the way down to the other end of the field for her second goal of the season.

Trailing by two with less than 90 seconds left, the Bulldogs had one shot go wide, another hit the post and another saved by Dartmouth goalkeeper Kiera Vrindten. A Big Green turnover enabled Hanley to set up McEvoy for a goal at :12, but Giroux got the draw control and Dartmouth ran out the clock. It was the first Ivy win for Dartmouth's new head coach, Danielle Spencer.

Gramigna finished with a hat trick, while Hanley's six-point day included four assists -- bringing her school single-season record to 48. Nixon finished with seven draw controls, while Moore had a team-best three ground balls. This marked just the third time this season that the Bulldogs shot below .300 for a game (11 for 40, .275). Vrindten finished with 11 saves, while Yale junior goalkeeper Sydney Marks made seven.

Yale (7-8, 1-5 Ivy League) concludes its season next Sunday at No. 10 Penn, which is currently 5-1 in the league and in a three-way tie for first place with No. 12 Cornell and No. 6 Princeton.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity