Title Defense Starts With Princeton

Title Defense Starts With Princeton

Sept. 22, 2006

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - When Yale traveled to Princeton last year, the Bulldogs were determined to knock off the defending Ivy champion Tigers and get the early edge in the race for the league title. The result was a 2-1 Yale victory. When the teams meet on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Reese Stadium, the roles will be reversed. The Bulldogs are the defending Ivy champs, while the Tigers hope to regain the crown in 2006.

Yale (3-3-1) is coming off its most impressive win of the season, a 3-0 victory over Central Connecticut on Wednesday night. Emma Whitfield, who leads the Bulldogs in scoring (5 points), had a goal and an assist. Natasha Mann and Maggie Westfal also scored. The three goals were a season high.

Yale's defense also has been sharp of late, posting back-to-back shutouts. The Bulldogs haven't allowed a goal since the second half of the UMass game on Sept. 15.

Princeton (3-2-1) blanked Lehigh 5-0 on Tuesday night. All three of the Tigers' victories have come by shutout. Diana Matheson, a member of the Canadian national team, leads the team in scoring with 19 points (4 goals, 2 assists). Matheson has played in only four of Princeton's six games after missing the William & Mary Tournament to train with Team Canada. Goalkeeper Maren Dale has started six games and has a 0.65 goals against average.

"Princeton is a very hard-working team and they have one of the best players [Matheson] in the league," said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith. "In our games recently with Princeton, it's always the team that makes the least mistakes that wins, so we are working to eliminate our mistakes."

In last year's game, Yale's Mimi Macauley scored first early in the second half. The Bulldogs benefited from an own goal to take a 2-0 lead, before Princeton's Behncke scored in the 72nd minute to cap the scoring.

Princeton has won three of the last five meetings and leads the all-time series 18-10-3.

Following the game with the Tigers, the Bulldogs play at 12th-ranked Boston University on Monday at 7 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity