April 21, 2005

Rare Pair of Two-Sport Stars Set to Join Bulldogs

April 21, 2005

New Haven, Conn. - Two Yale programs will benefit from the addition of a unique pair of incoming freshmen, as two-sport stars Crysti Howser (Wilmette, Ill.) and Maggie Westfal (New Canaan, Conn.) have been accepted early for the Class of 2009 and recently committed to attend. Both Howser and Westfal plan on playing soccer and hockey.

Howser attends New Trier Township High School, where her team has won back-to-back state championships in soccer and was ranked No. 1 in the country the past two seasons. A center midfielder, she registered 30 goals and 18 assists last season and was named all-state for the second time. She has been an Olympic Development regional team member since 1999.

On the ice, Howser plays center for Assabet Valley in Massachusetts, the same program that produced current Bulldogs Helen Resor, Nina Resor and Kristin Savard. She also plays for the Chicago Chill boys AAA team, where she is assistant captain and MVP. She is an Illinois State Scholar and comes from a family of athletes that includes two uncles who starred at Miami of Ohio (Tom Brown in hockey and David Brown in tennis) and a grandfather (Dave Brown) who played quarterback for Princeton.

"I wanted to go to Yale because I feel as though it is the perfect fit for me," Howser said. "Both the hockey and soccer coaching staffs are fantastic, as well as the girls on both of the teams."

Westfal, a forward in both sports, attends New Canaan High School and was the Connecticut State Player of the Year in soccer this past season. Her team won three state championships during her tenure, and she was the MVP of the state tournament and the state final last season. She has been All-America twice, All-New England three times and All-State three times. Westfal also plays for the back-to-back state champions CFC Arsenal Premier.

In hockey, she attended nationals with the Connecticut Stars, and finished in the top five in scoring at the event in 2002. She was named all-league in 2003-04. The Stars won multiple state and regional championships during her time with them.

"Because Yale offered me the option to continue with both sports, I felt it was an easy decision to make," Westfal said. "I loved the school when I visited and both coaches were very welcoming as well."

The local product is already very familiar with Ingalls Rink, as she played youth hockey there and attended Yale games while growing up.

"I remember going to watch the Yale-Harvard game one year, and hoping that one day I could play in a game like that," she said.

The two join programs that have been very successful of late. The soccer team tied the school record for wins in a season with 13 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in the last three years. The hockey team set the school record for wins in a season (16) and made the ECACHL semifinals for the first time in school history.

Finalized lists of all 2009 recruits for the two teams will be released shortly.

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