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Dunne, Gramigna and Watt Honored with Team Awards

Madeleine Gramigna, Emma Dunne and Julia Watt. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Madeleine Gramigna, Emma Dunne and Julia Watt. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Celebrating another season marked by signs of progress, the Yale women's lacrosse team honored three players with team awards this past Tuesday at the post-season banquet in the Varsity Room at Ray Tompkins House. Senior midfielder Madeleine Gramigna (Summit, N.J.) received the Bowditch Award as the team's most valuable player, sophomore defender Julia Watt (Essex Fells, N.J.) won the Most Improved Player Award and senior defender Emma Dunne (Oak Park, Ill.) received the Holgate Award for dedication.

Gramigna, Yale's captain, was honored multiple times on Tuesday, as she also earned second team All-Ivy League recognition. She tied for the team lead in ground balls with 26 and was second on the team in draw controls with 51, adding 15 goals. She shot .600 (15-for-25), best among Bulldogs with six or more shots. She established career highs in caused turnovers (14), draw controls, ground balls and shooting percentage.

Gramigna is a psychology major in Trumbull College. She is a graduate of Summit High School and played for STEPS Elite.

The Bowditch Award that Gramigna won is named after Barbara Bowditch, the coach of Yale's first varsity team (1976). It is determined by a team vote.

Watt was one of the players who stepped up for Yale defensively this season, as the Bulldogs graduated four starting defenders from the 2017 team. Watt received the Most Improved Player Award, which is determined by team vote, after playing in a career-high seven games -- including the last six in a row -- and earning her first four career starts. In a three-game stretch from Mar. 27 through Apr. 7 she had a total of eight ground balls and four caused turnovers.

Watt is in Morse College at Yale and is a graduate of Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child. She played for Metro Magic.

This is the second year in a row that Dunne earned the Holgate Award, given to the player whose dedication to the ideals of Yale and to the success of women's lacrosse measure up to the standards set by James G. "Gib" Holgate, a member of the Yale athletic administration from 1954 to 1985. It is determined by a team vote.

Known as one of Yale's vocal leaders, Dunne appeared in three games this season and made her first career start in the season finale. In addition to her time with the lacrosse team she has also been extensively involved in the community, serving as New Membership Coordinator for Dwight Hall -- Yale's Center for Public Service and Social Justice. She spent time working at the Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago last summer.

A member of Branford College majoring in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, Dunne graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School and played for Lakeshore Lacrosse.

The team award winners helped Yale continue improving in its third season under Erica LaGrow, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse. The Bulldogs improved their winning percentage from the previous season for the second year in a row, beating two nationally ranked teams in the process. They also beat archrival Harvard in a 16-15 overtime thriller, the Bulldogs' first win vs. the Crimson since 2010. That was part of the team's best seven-game start (6-1) since 2002. Yale finished with a school-record 45 free position goals along with the second-most draw controls in school history (230) and the seventh-most caused turnovers in school history (123).

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity