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Bulldogs Look to Continue Hot Start as Harvard Visits Saturday

Yale had the best team GPA in Division I this year. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Yale had the best team GPA in Division I this year. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)



NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Non-league play has gone well for the Yale women's lacrosse team so far this season, as the Bulldogs have knocked off two ranked teams and are 3-0 for the first time since 2014. The Bulldogs now look to carry that momentum into league play, starting with a game against archrival Harvard this Saturday at Reese Stadium (1:00 p.m., Ivy League Network).



Yale (3-0, 0-0 Ivy League) continued its hot start with a 14-9 win vs. then-No. 19 UMass last Saturday. The win moved the Bulldogs to 3-0 for the first time since 2014, when they started the season 5-0.

Amidst pouring rain at Reese Yale jumped out to an 8-1 lead on the Minutewomen and never looked back, as UMass got no closer than within four the rest of the way. First-year attacker Kayla Duperrouzel (Fairfax Station, Va.) scored five goals -- including four in a span of 2:30 early in the first half -- and had an assist. Senior midfielder Emily Granger (Grasonville, Md.) added four points (2-2-4), while junior attacker Izzy Nixon (Greenwich, Conn.) had 12 draw controls along with a goal and an assist. Senior goalkeeper Sydney Marks (Chappaqua, N.Y.) made 11 saves and had three caused turnovers.  

This was the second time this season Yale beat a ranked team, as the Bulldogs knocked off then-No. 24 Albany 12-10 in the season opener.



Senior midfielder Madeleine Gramigna (Summit, N.J.) earned the team's captaincy -- as voted by her teammates -- with contributions last year 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. So far this season she has continued to contribute in a variety of ways, with eight draw controls (second on the team), three ground balls, two caused turnovers and two goals.

Gramigna is a psychology major in Trumbull College. Her father and grandfather both played football at Yale's Ivy League rival, Penn.



The Bulldogs rely heavily on junior attacker Izzy Nixon (Greenwich, Conn.), starting with her excellence on the draw. She leads the nation in draw controls per game (10.67), and has at least 10 draws in every game this year. She is a big reason why Yale as a team is eighth nationally and first in the Ivy League in draw controls per game (17.00). Nixon also contributes offensively, as she is tied for second on the team in points (5-4-9) and is fourth in goals.

Last year Nixon was second in the league with 87 draw controls, 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, making her the lone returning all-league pick for the Bulldogs this year.

Nixon is political science major in Trumbull college. Her parents are both Ivy Leaguers (they graduated from Princeton).



After totaling seven goals and three assists in Yale's wins vs. Quinnipiac and then-No. 19 UMass last week, first-year attacker Kayla Duperrouzel (Fairfax Station, Va.) was named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week on Monday and Inside Lacrosse National Rookie of the Week on Wednesday.

Duperrouzel now leads Yale in goals and points (10-3-13). She also has the team's best shooting percentage (.714), and is 4-for-5 on free positions.

Duperrouzel was a US Lacrosse first team All-American, USA Today All-USA and US Lacrosse All-Academic in 2017 at Bishop Ireton. She played for Capital Lacrosse Club and has volunteered with Adaptive Lacrosse, teaching people with physical or mental impairments how to play lacrosse. She is in Saybrook College at Yale.



Senior Sydney Marks (Chappaqua, N.Y.) is coming off her best game of the year, with 11 saves in the 14-9 upset of then-No. 19 UMass. That included nine saves in the second half.

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 is a psychology major in Jonathan Edwards College.




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 returned to action for the lacrosse team with an assist in the season-opening 12-10 win vs. then-No. 24 Albany.

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.




The 2018 Yale slate includes eight games against teams that made the NCAA tournament last season (Albany, Boston College, Canisius, Cornell, Penn, Princeton, Towson and UMass).

The Bulldogs have played two teams that were ranked in the IWLCA poll so far, beating then-No. 24 Albany 12-10 Feb. 17 and then-No. 19 UMass 14-9 Feb. 24. Of Yale's 12 remaining opponents in the regular season, five are ranked in the top 25 of the latest IWLCA poll: No. 6 Boston College, No. 10 Towson, No 14 Princeton, No. 15 Penn and No. 18 Cornell.

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.



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.



Harvard (2-1, 0-0 Ivy League) just returned from a trip to California, where the Crimson fell to then-No. 24 Stanford 21-11 last Friday before beating UC Davis 21-14 Sunday. The game at Yale Saturday is part of a stretch in which Harvard will play six of seven games on the road.

Midfielder Julia Glynn leads Harvard in scoring (10-6-16), while midfielder Keeley MacAfee leads the team in goals with 11. Goalie Olivia Gundrum has a .431 save percentage and a 13.68 goals-against average.


Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity