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No. 19 UMass at Reese Saturday

(photo by Steve Musco, muscosportsphotos.com)
(photo by Steve Musco, muscosportsphotos.com)

 YALE-UMASS SATURDAY 3:30 P.M.

 

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Having already beaten one ranked team this season, the Yale women's lacrosse team looks to add to its list of signature wins this Saturday with a visit from No. 19 UMass (3:30 p.m., Ivy League Network). The Minutewomen are one of eight teams on Yale's schedule that made it to the NCAA Tournament last season -- the seventh straight time head coach Angela McMahon has led them to the tournament.

Saturday's game is part of a doubleheader at Reese Stadium, as the No. 11 Yale men's team hosts Michigan at 12:00 p.m.

 

YALE OFF TO 2-0 START

Yale (2-0, 0-0 Ivy League) followed up its 12-10 upset of then-No. 24 Albany in the season opener by beating local rival Quinnipiac 13-8 this past Wednesday in the first women's lacrosse game at the Bobcats' new Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium. Junior midfielder Addie Zinsner (Alexandria, Va.) had four goals and an assist, while sophomore midfielder Barrett Carlson (St. Louis, Mo.) also scored four goals. Junior attacker Izzy Nixon (Greenwich, Conn.) had three goals and reached double digits in draw controls for the second time this season.

 

CAPTAIN GRAMIGNA

Senior midfielder Madeleine Gramigna (Summit, N.J.) earned the team's captaincy with contributions that ranged from scoring (28 goals, third on the team and a career high) to getting draw controls (42, second on the team and tied for seventh in the Ivy League) to getting ground balls (21). She started all 16 games, a career high.

Gramigna has three draw controls, two caused turnovers, two ground balls and a goal this season.

 

NIXON A RETURNING ALL-IVY HONOREE

The Bulldogs rely heavily on junior attacker Izzy Nixon (Greenwich, Conn.). Nixon contributes in a variety of ways, starting with her excellence on the draw. She was second in the league with 87 draw controls last year, the second-best total by a Yale player in 14 years. Nixon is also a big part of the attack, finishing third on the team in points (26-14-40) and fifth in goals. She was an honorable mention All-Ivy League selection, the lone returning all-league pick for the Bulldogs.

Nixon has four goals, three assists and 20 draw controls this season.

 

TWO-SPORT STARS GALORE

Yale's roster features multiple two-sport stars, including three who played field hockey and one who played soccer.

Senior attacker Kiwi Comizio (New Vernon, N.J.) was enjoying a breakthrough campaign last year before she suffered an injury that sidelined her for the final three games. She still finished fourth on the team in goals (27) and points (29), with career highs in both categories. Her .600 shooting percentage was best in the Ivy League and 11th in the nation. After missing her senior season of field hockey this past fall, she is likely anxious to get out on the lacrosse field.

Senior attackers Katie Smith (Duxbury, Mass.) and Lily Smith (Duxbury, Mass.), who are identical twins, take the field for one last season together. They have played field hockey all four years at Yale and lacrosse since their sophomore year. Katie appeared in a career-high 10 games last season, scoring a pair of goals. Lily appeared in 12 games, making four starts, and scored eight goals.

Junior defender Keri Cavallo (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) joined the lacrosse team last season, appearing in four games. She has been playing soccer for Yale for the past three seasons.

 

MARKS IN GOAL

Senior Sydney Marks brings two years of starting experience into her final season for the Bulldogs. She played all 30 games over the past two seasons, totaling more than 1675:00 in goal. Last season she posted a .429 save percentage and had four games with 10 or more saves -- including a season-high 16 at Columbia. In her sophomore season she finished second in the Ivy League in saves (130). 

Marks has played all 120:00 in goal this year, posting a .280 save percentage and a 9.00 goals-against average.

 

SCHEDULE

The 2018 slate includes eight games against teams that made the NCAA tournament last season. Yale also has seven games against teams ranked in the top 25 of the IWLCA preseason poll: No. 6 Boston College, No. 9 Princeton, No. 12 Penn, No. 13 Cornell, No. 18 UMass, No. 19 Towson and No. 24 Albany.

Yale's 15 regular-season games include seven Ivy League games and eight non-league games. This is the ninth year for the Ivy League women's lacrosse tournament, in which the top four teams in the final standings play for the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.

 

ERICA LaGROW, YALE'S JOEL E. SMILOW, CLASS OF 1954 HEAD COACH OF WOMEN'S LACROSSE

Former US National Team member Erica LaGrow was announced as Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse on July 1, 2015. Her first two seasons in New Haven saw the Bulldogs make a number of strides. In her first season they were in contention for a spot in the Ivy League Tournament until the final game, and they saw year-to-year improvements in their shooting percentage, free position shooting percentage, draw controls, clears and save percentage. In her second season, the team set the school records for goals in a season, points in a season and draw controls in a season. Yale also beat a ranked opponent for the first time since 2010.

In LaGrow's two seasons in New Haven, Yale has had one All-Region honoree, one All-ECAC honoree and six All-Ivy League honorees (one first team, one second team, four honorable mention). Additionally, Yale earned IWLCA Academic Squad recognition in 2016 and 2017, and has had a total of 19 IWLCA Academic Honor Roll selections.

Prior to joining the Bulldogs, LaGrow spent seven years as an assistant coach at Florida. She helped the Gators make five straight NCAA Tournament appearances, win five regular season conference championships and win three conference tournament championships. She also has a gold medal from the Women's World Cup during her time playing with the National Team.

 

SCOUTING UMASS

UMass (1-1, 0-0 Atlantic 10) fell at No. 5 Boston College 16-9 Wednesday after opening the season with a 17-13 win vs. Dartmouth. Attacker Hannah Burnett leads the team in goals with eight, while goalie Lauren Hiller has a .383 save percentage and a 14.50 goals-against average.

 

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

 

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