March 10, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A new era for the Yale women's lacrosse program begins Wednesday afternoon, as the Bulldogs host UMass (3:00 p.m., GameTracker) in their first game at Reese Stadium. The new home of Yale women's lacrosse is in the midst of a major renovation as part of the Reese Stadium Winning Goal Campaign.
The Bulldogs played their previous nine seasons at Johnson Field, and played at the Yale Bowl prior to that. Overall they have racked up a 179-64-3 record at home. Reese Stadium, which is also home to the Yale men's lacrosse program and both Yale soccer programs, received new lights and a Field Turf field two years ago as part of the initial phase of renovations. The next phase includes a new entrance plaza, team rooms, seating, press box and more.
Built in 1981, the facility was known as the Yale Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium prior to the donation from the Reese family (former Yale men's lacrosse players Jason Reese '87 and Jon Reese '90) that was announced in February of 2006. A donation from the Kempner family, including former Yale soccer players Cynthia (Hayden) Kempner '79 and Jamie Kempner '79, and an anonymous challenge gift helped move the renovation plans forward in the spring of 2008.
Yale (1-3) has dropped three straight after opening with an 11-10 overtime win at Fairfield. All told the Bulldogs have traveled 1,500 miles for their first four games, and now they get to enjoy three of their next four games at their new home. Senior midfielder Jenn Warden (Edgemont, Pa.), who has scored at least three goals in every game thus far, leads the team with 13 goals. Junior attacker Jenna Block (Owings Mills, Md.) is second in points (5-4-9).
UMass (2-3) is riding high after a 13-10 upset of then-No. 13 Dartmouth its last time out. The Minutewomen also knocked off another Ivy League team, Harvard, the game before that. Midfielder Jackie Lyons leads the team in goals (12) and points (16). Attacker Holly Drown is second in both categories with eight goals and 11 points.
Wednesday's game will also mark the home debut for Yale's new coaching staff, including head coach Anne Phillips. Phillips was named the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse at Yale last June after posting a 93-24 (.795) record at Franklin & Marshall. She led the Diplomats to a 21-0 record and the NCAA Division III National Championship in 2007. Joining Phillips on the sidelines are assistant coaches Brigid Strain (JMU '07), Kendall McBrearty (Virginia '08) and Lauren Taylor (Yale '08).
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (email@example.com), Yale Sports Publicity