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Trip to Unbeaten No. 1 BC Up Next

Bronwyn Davies. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Bronwyn Davies. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale at No. 1 BC Tuesday, 4:00 p.m.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's lacrosse team will test itself against the top-ranked team in the nation Tuesday as the Bulldogs pay a visit to Boston College (4:00 p.m., ESPN+). At 15-0, the Eagles are one of only two remaining unbeaten teams.

Last Time Out: Four Notch Hat Tricks in 17-10 win at Columbia

Yale (6-6, 1-4 Ivy League) showcased its scoring depth Saturday at Columbia, as four different players had hat tricks to power the Bulldogs to a 17-10 win over the Lions. First-year attacker Olivia Penoyer (Manlius, N.Y.) led the way with an eight-point day (4-4-8), while sophomore midfielder Olivia Markert (Centreville, Va.) had four points (3-1-4). First-year midfielder Jill Gollob (McLean, Va.) and senior attacker Addie Zinsner (Alexandria, Va.) each had three goals. Sophomore goalkeeper Amelia Drake (Morristown, N.J.) made 11 saves for the win, and the day was also highlighted by senior attacker Izzy Nixon (Greenwich, Conn.) setting the Ivy League single-season draw controls record. She finished the day with 136 draws for the season.

Penoyer Named Ivy League Co-Offensive Player of the Week

First-year attacker Olivia Penoyer (Manlius, N.Y.) was named Ivy League Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Monday.

Penoyer had a pair of goals in Yale's 17-11 win vs. UConn on Wednesday, then erupted for four goals and four assists in the Bulldogs' 17-10 win at Columbia Saturday. That was her seventh hat trick of the season.

Penoyer leads Yale in points (33-20-53), averaging 4.17 points per game -- tied for sixth in the Ivy League. She has eight straight multiple-point games. The streak started with a season-high nine points (5-4-9) in the 17-10 win vs. Niagara Mar. 7.

A graduate of Christian Brothers Academy, Penoyer is in Saybrook College. She is the second Yale player to earn an Ivy League weekly award this season, joining sophomore midfielder Sam Higgins (Shoreham, N.Y.) (Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week Mar. 11).

Nixon Sets Another Draw Control Record

Senior attacker Izzy Nixon (Greenwich, Conn.), Yale's captain, has been posting some remarkable numbers in the draw control column. Her latest accomplishment came Saturday at Columbia, when she set the Ivy League single-season draw controls record. Here is a look at some of her achievements:

  • Is second in the NCAA in draw controls per game (136 in 12 games, 11.33). That mark would rank third in NCAA history. Robert Morris' Jessica Karwacki set the record (12.71) in 2014.
  • Has 136 draw controls, besting the Ivy League record she set last season (130). On pace for 170 draw controls this season, which would rank sixth in NCAA history.
  • Third in NCAA history in career draw controls per game (363 in 53 games, 6.8 per game). Leads all Ivy League players in that category -- second is Dartmouth midfielder Kathryn Giroux (368 in 58 games, 6.3 per game).
  • Broke the Ivy League career draw controls record, getting her 296th after the Bulldogs' 13th goal in the 17-7 win vs. Canisius Mar. 10. She broke the mark of 295 set by Nicole Daniggelis '16 and tied the previous weekend by Giroux.
  • Tied the Ivy League single-game record with 19 draw controls in Yale's 18-4 win vs. Hartford Feb. 26. The mark was first established by Giroux Mar. 21, 2018. The NCAA record is 24, set by Karwacki Feb. 28, 2015.
  • Has helped Yale as a team to fourth in the nation in draw control percentage (.617) and sixth in the nation in draw controls per game (17.08).

Nixon is a political science major in Pierson College. She is a graduate of Greenwich Academy.

Winning on the Ground

Yale had 17 ground balls Saturday at Columbia, the most the Bulldogs have had in a game since Mar. 7. The Bulldogs have won the ground ball battle in each of their last two games and are now 6-0 when they do so.

Offensive Number Show Improvement

Yale is averaging 13.75 goals per game this season -- an improvement of 29 percent compared to last season (10.67 goals per game). The Bulldogs have scored 17 or more goals in a game six times this season after reaching that number just once last season.

Accurate Bulldogs

The Bulldogs have dramatically improved their shooting percentage, going from .382 last season to .457 this season. They are second in the Ivy League in that category, trailing only Princeton (.496).

Three Bulldogs with 20 or more shots are shooting .500 or better:

  • First-year midfielder Jill Gollob (McLean, Va.) (.530, 66 shots)
  • Senior attacker Izzy Nixon (Greenwich, Conn.) (.524, 21 shots)
  • Sophomore midfielder Sam Higgins (Shoreham, N.Y.) (.500, 34 shots)

Career Day for Drake

Sophomore goalkeeper Amelia Drake (Morristown, N.J.) had a career-high 11 saves in Saturday's win at Columbia. She stopped 52.4% of the shots she faced, second only to her 77.8% performance against Canisius Mar. 10 in that category.

Drake is a graduate of Morristown High School and is in Pauli Murray College at Yale.

Markert Extends Point Streak to 23

Sophomore midfielder Olivia Markert (Centreville, Va.) had a hat trick Saturday, her third in the last four games. She now has at least one point in all 23 career games. She has at least three points in eight games this season.

Markert is in Pierson College and is a graduate of Westfield High School.

Gollob Keeps Scoring Goals

First-year midfielder Jill Gollob (McLean, Va.) leads Yale in goals with 35 and is tied for fifth in the Ivy League in goals per game (2.92). She leads all Ivy League first years in goals.

Gollob has scored a goal in every game this season and is on pace to score 44 goals. That would be the most by a Yale player since 2007, when Lauren Taylor '08 scored 65 goals.

Gollob has seven hat tricks and a team single-game high of six goals (Mar. 10 in the 17-7 win vs. Canisius).

A graduate of Georgetown Visitation Prep, Gollob is in Ezra Stiles College.

Higgins Excels on Defense and Offense

Sophomore midfielder Sam Higgins (Shoreham, N.Y.) is fifth in the Ivy League in caused turnovers per game (1.42). She had nine vs. Niagara Mar. 7, the most by a Bulldog this season. This past Saturday she had one of her best defensive days, holding Columbia's Lindsay Ewertsen -- the 2018 Ivy League Midfielder of the Year -- to no goals and just one assist.

Higgins has at least one ground ball in 11 of 12 games this season, with a high of eight in the 17-10 win vs. Niagara Mar. 7. She can also contribute offensively. Her six assists in the game vs. UConn Apr. 10  were the most by a Yale player this season, besting her own mark of five (vs. Canisius Mar. 10). She has eight multiple-points games.

Higgins has achieved career highs in caused turnovers (19), ground balls (24), goals (17), assists (20) and points (37). She has improved her shooting percentage from .412 last season to .500 this season.

A member of the National Honor Society at Shoreham-Wading River High School, Higgins is in Silliman College at Yale.

Strength of Schedule Trending Up

All three of Yale's final opponents are ranked in the latest IWLCA poll:

  • at No. 1 BC Tuesday
  • vs. No. 11 Princeton Saturday Apr. 20
  • vs. No. 20 Dartmouth Saturday Apr. 27

Mass Appeal

Tuesday's game brings Yale's two Massachusetts natives -- junior defender Bronwyn Davies (Wayland, Mass.) and first-year midfielder Payton Vaughn (Concord, Mass.) -- back to their home state.

For the second season in a row, Davies joined the women's lacrosse team after the conclusion of Yale women's basketball season. She is a forward on the court and appeared in a career-high 27 games this past year. Since re-joining the women's lacrosse team she has appeared in four straight games, getting a pair of caused turnovers Saturday at Columbia.

A graduate of Wayland High School, Davies is in Berkeley College at Yale.

Vaughn leads Yale in ground balls with 25, including a game high of five (Feb. 20 vs. Quinnipiac). For the season she has reached double figures in that category along with points (5-8-13), draw controls (22) and caused turnovers (11), making her the lone Bulldog to have accomplished that feat.

A graduate of Concord-Carlisle High School, Vaughn is in Trumbull College.

Scouting Boston College

Boston College (15-0, 6-0 ACC) is one of only two remaining unbeaten teams in the nation (No. 2 Maryland is also 15-0). Since May 13 of last season the Eagles are 18-1, with their lone loss coming in the 2018 NCAA Championship game -- by one goal to James Madison.

As a team the Eagles are among the nation's top 12 in several categories, including:

  • Draw controls per game (1st, 18.93)
  • Points per game (1st, 26.20)
  • Scoring offense (2nd, 17.67 goals per game)
  • Shooting percentage (3rd, .508)
  • Draw control percentage (3rd, .648)
  • Assists per game (4th, 8.53)
  • Scoring Margin (6th, 7.67)
  • Turnovers per game (11th, 13.4)
  • Clearing percentage (12th, .891)

Attacker Sam Apuzzo leads the nation in goals (69) and points (93) and is eighth in draw controls per game (7.6). Attacker Kenzie Kent leads the nation in assists (55). Goalie Abbey Ngai is 10th in the nation in save percentage (.504).

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