Senior Day Saturday vs. No. 17/18 Cornell

April 17, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Senior midfielders Taylor Fragapane (Cockeysville, Md.) and Jenn Warden (Edgemont, Pa.) probably had little idea what the next four seasons held in store when they first stepped on to the field for Yale on Mar. 1, 2006. The Bulldogs came away with a 6-5 overtime win against UConn at Johnson Field that day. Now -- 38 victories and one NCAA Tournament appearance later -- those two members of the Class of 2009 take to the field in New Haven for the last time in Yale's new home, Reese Stadium, Saturday at 1:00 p.m. against No. 17/18 Cornell (WYBC 1340 AM, GameTracker). They will be honored in Senior Day ceremonies.

Fragapane had a goal in that first game against UConn, and Warden got her first career goal three days later at James Madison. Since then the duo has been a constant presence in the Yale lineup, entering Saturday with a combined 123 career games played. Warden is tied for seventh on Yale's all-time lists in both goals (110) and points (146). She also has amassed 132 ground balls, 121 draw controls and 105 caused turnovers. Fragapane has 42 goals, 52 points, 85 ground balls, 67 draw controls and 36 caused turnovers.

There have been many highlights during the duo's tenure, including the 2007 season in which Yale went 13-4, earned a national ranking of No. 11 and made an NCAA Tournament appearance. Warden was second on the team in goals (32) and points (45) that season, and had a team-high 28 caused turnovers. Fragapane had 11 goals, finishing sixth on the team in ground balls (27).

Among the 14 Ivy League wins in Fragapane and Warden's tenure were three in a row against perennial power Dartmouth, the first time in 26 years Yale achieved that feat. Warden got the streak started with the game-winning goal in a 6-5 win in Hanover her freshman year. The Bulldogs have also swept league foes Brown (3-0) and Columbia (4-0), beaten Harvard twice and beaten Cornell and Princeton once each.

Fragapane, this year's captain, had one of the best days of her career two years ago against Cornell. With Yale needing a win in the regular season finale to bolster its case for an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament, Fragapane scored four times to help the Bulldogs to a 13-8 win.

Last year's meeting between these two teams was a frustrating one for the Bulldogs, as they suffered an 8-6 loss in the regular season finale that effectively ended their chances of an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament. It was one of four losses by three goals or fewer for the team last season, and it came after Yale had grabbed an early 3-1 lead on goals by Kat Peetz '08, Fragapane, and junior attacker Jessica Sturgill (Ellicott City, Md.). The Big Red responded by outscoring Yale 7-1 over a span of 20:36 to take control of the game. The Bulldogs were hurt by a 12-for-17 performance on clears; Cornell was 12-for-12.

Yale (5-8, 1-4 Ivy League) has won three of its last four thanks to some increased offensive production. The Bulldogs have scored 51 goals in the last four games, almost as many as they had (57) in the first nine games. Warden leads the team in goals (35) and points (41), followed by junior attacker Jenna Block (Owings Mills, Md.). Freshman goalkeeper Whitney Quackenbush (Manhasset, N.Y.) has a .475 save percentage and a 9.30 goals-against average.

Cornell (7-5, 2-3 Ivy League) is still in the running for an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament. After winning the first five games of the season the Big Red dropped four in a row, but all of those were against ranked opponents. They have since won two of three, losing to only to No. 8 Syracuse. Attacker Jessi Steinberg leads the team in points (16-12-28), while attacker/midfielder Libby Johnson leads the team in goals (20). Goalie Kristen Reese has a .450 save percentage and a 9.57 goals-against average.

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

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