Yale Seeks Winning Streak Tuesday vs. Wagner

April 13, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The first meeting between Yale and Wagner (Tuesday, 4:00 p.m., GameTracker) also presents the Bulldogs with an opportunity to put together back-to-back wins for the first time this season. Yale is coming off an impressive 12-6 win at Columbia last time out.

Columbia is the lone common opponent linking these two teams; Wagner lost to the Lions 12-7 earlier this year. The Bulldogs (4-8, 1-4 Ivy League) beat Columbia thanks to four goals from junior attacker Jessica Sturgill (Ellicott City, Md.), who tied her career high. Sophomore midfielder Ariana Papier (Rochester, N.Y.) and senior midfielder Jenn Warden (Edgemont, Pa.) added three goals each. Papier also contributed three ground balls and three draw controls. After being limited by an injury early in the season, she has come on strong of late with goals in four straight games. She has also helped Yale in the circle, totaling 11 draw controls in the last six games. After losing the draw control comparison seven times in the first nine games, the Bulldogs have outdrawn their last three opponents.

Also helping the offense the last time out were two players known more for their defensive skills. Junior defender Michele Fiorentino (Berwyn, Pa.) scored her first career goal and sophomore defender Augusta Hixon (Cambridge, Mass.) had her first career assist. Fiorentino's goal came at a crucial time, early in the second half after Columbia had pulled within 5-4. It sparked a four-goal run that helped the Bulldogs take control of the game. Fiorentino also had two ground balls and two caused turnovers, and she now has 16 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers in the last eight games after being limited by an injury earlier in the season.

Wagner (4-9, 3-3 Northeast Conference) is in its first season under head coach Cristina Curiale, who helped Monmouth to two NEC tournament championships as an assistant coach prior to taking over the Seahawks. Midfielder Kelly Blundin leads the team in goals, assists and points (25-17-42). She is Wagner's career assists leader with 65, and needs five assists to tie her own single-season school record (22, set last year). Goalie Alex Johnston has a .450 save percentage and a 13.77 goals-against average.

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