April 28, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - When Yale travels to Brown Wednesday night (7:00 p.m. Pay-per-view Video on Brown Website), it will be Brown's Senior Night and the final appearance for the Bears' seven seniors. But the game will also spotlight two of the top newcomers in the Ivy League, as the top freshman goalkeeper in the Ancient Eight -- the Bulldogs' Whitney Quackenbush (Manhasset, N.Y.) -- goes up against an attack that features the top freshman goal scorer in the league, Brown attacker/defender Katelyn Caro.
Quackenbush and the Bulldogs are coming off an 11-day break. Yale (5-9, 1-5 Ivy League) won three of five games prior to that, and has held four of its last five opponents to seven or fewer goals. Quackenbush has raised her save percentage to .479, third in the Ivy League -- just one percentage point behind Penn's Emily Szelest for second.
The Yale attack has shown signs of improvement recently, with 57 goals in the last five games after scoring 59 in the first nine games of the season. Senior midfielder Jenn Warden (Edgemont, Pa.) has 17 of her team-high 37 goals in that stretch, and two other players -- sophomore midfielder Ariana Papier (Rochester, N.Y.) and junior attacker Jessica Sturgill (Ellicott City, Md.) -- have double-digit goals in the last five games (10 each). Junior attacker Jenna Block (Owings Mills, Md.) has 15 of her Ivy League-leading 23 assists in the last five games.
Coming off a one-goal loss to No. 6 Princeton Saturday, Brown (6-8, 2-4 Ivy League) is led by seven seniors -- midfielder Krystina DeLuca, defender Noelle DiGioia, attacker Callie Lawrence, attacker Jesse Nunn, midfielder Kelly Robinson, defender Val Sherry and midfielder Lauren Vitkus. Nunn is second on the team in goals (22) and Vitkus, a second team All-Ivy selection last year, is second (17). The freshman Caro leads the team with 24 goals.
The Bulldogs are seeking their 16th straight win against the Bears. The streak began with four straight one-goal wins from 1994-1997 and now has developed into the longest current winning streak against an Ivy League opponent for Yale. The Bulldogs won 12-4 last year, getting three goals from Lauren Taylor '08 and two each from Sturgill, Warden and Kat Peetz '08.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity