April 3, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Any game against Princeton is a big one for Yale, but there will be added incentive this Saturday when the No. 7-ranked Tigers come to New Haven (1:00 p.m., GameTracker, WYBC 1340 AM). It is Alumnae Day, the first chance for many alums to see Yale's new home (Reese Stadium), and the Bulldogs would like nothing more than a win over their rivals to add a highlight to the festivities.
A pre-game gathering at Reese, and a post-game tailgate in the Smilow Field Center, bookend what promises to be an intense game. The last three meetings between the Bulldogs and the Tigers have been decided by a total of five goals, including a 6-5 Yale win in Princeton's last visit to New Haven (2007) in which assistant coach Lauren Taylor '08 delivered the game-winner with 10.4 seconds left. The Tigers won last year in Princeton, 9-6, as the Bulldogs were unable to take advantage of Princeton's 20 turnovers because they committed 20 themselves. Taylor had three goals, while senior midfielders Taylor Fragapane (Cockeysville, Md.) and Jenn Warden (Edgemont, Pa.) had one each.
Princeton (8-1, 2-0 Ivy League) has scored at least nine goals in every game this season, and 30 in the last two games, so the Bulldog defense will face a challenge. But Yale (3-7, 0-3 Ivy League) has been up to challenge recently, holding its last six straight opponents below their season goals-per-game average.
Offensively, the Tigers are led by All-American senior midfielder Holly McGarvie, who has a team-high 28 points (17-11-28). But six other Princeton players have also reached double digits in points, including freshman midfielder/attacker Cassie Pyle (9-1-10) -- the younger sister of Yale men's lacrosse player Bryce Pyle '09. Junior midfielder Jenna Washabaugh is the younger sister of former Yale men's lacrosse player Kyle Washabaugh '08.
The Tiger defense is anchored by goalkeeper Erin Tochihara, who is second in the country in save percentage (.566). Princeton has allowed just 24 goals in the last four games, a stretch that included an 8-7 win at then-No. 7 Virginia.
Yale's top goal and point scorer is Warden, whose 26 goals place her six short of her single-season high with six games to go. Warden and Fragapane have combined for four goals and two assists in their three previous games against Princeton, and Warden has nine caused turnovers in those games.
Warden also leads the Bulldogs in ground balls (21), draw controls (14) and caused turnovers (14). Junior defender Michele Fiorentino (Berwyn, Pa.) is second in caused turnovers (12) and tied for second in ground balls (16) with freshman goalkeeper Whitney Quackenbush (Manhasset, N.Y.). Fragapane and sophomore attacker Myra Trivellas (Chadds Ford, Pa.) are tied for second in draw controls with nine each.
Junior attacker Jenna Block (Owings Mills, Md.) is coming off her best performance in a Yale uniform, an eight-assist day at Holy Cross Wednesday in Yale's 15-7 win that put Block two assists short of the NCAA single-game record. With 10 goals, 16 assists and 26 points on the season, Block has already established career highs in each of those categories.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity