Nov. 8, 2004
NEW HAVEN - For the second time in the last three years, Yale is headed to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs, who have equaled the school record for wins in a season with 13, received one of 35 at-large bids and will meet Villanova in the first round on Friday at 5 p.m. at Princeton. Yale and Villanova played a memorable NCAA Tournament game in 2002, which the Bulldogs won on penalty kicks.
Seventh-seeded Princeton hosts Central Connecticut at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. The two winners meet Sunday at 1 p.m.
"It's kind of ironic that we will be playing Villanova," said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith, who watched the selection show with his team in the Saybrook Residential College TV room. "We know a little bit about all three teams, so this is a good opportunity for us."
The Bulldogs (13-4) have won a school-record eight straight games and have allowed only 13 goals all season. Senior Sarah Walker has started 17 games in goal, has a 0.83 goals against average and seven shutouts. Mimi Macauley leads Yale in points (18) and assists (6) and is tied with Laurel Karnes for the team lead in goals (6).
Villanova, ranked 23rd by the NSCAA last week, is 13-5-2 and advanced to the semifinals of the Big East Tournament before falling to UConn on penalty kicks last Friday. The Wildcats are making their fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Laura Johnson, a first team All-Big East selection, leads the Wildcats in scoring with 20 points.
Princeton, ranked 12th, won the Ivy League with a 7-0 record and is 15-2 overall. The Tigers beat Yale 3-0 on Sept. 24 in New Haven. Central Connecticut, which won the NEC Tournament, qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year. The Blue Devils, who lost to Yale 2-0 on Sept. 12, are 11-9-1 overall.
Yale, which is 1-1 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, played six teams in this year's field. The Bulldogs beat Central Connecticut and Colgate and lost to Stanford, Santa Clara, Harvard and Princeton.