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Bulldogs Head to New York

Payton Vaughn. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Payton Vaughn. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale at Columbia Saturday, 1:00 p.m.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After a non-league win vs. local rival UConn this past Wednesday, The Yale women's lacrosse team returns to Ivy League play with a visit to Columbia Saturday (1:00 p.m., ESPN+).

Yale Beats UConn

Yale (5-6, 0-4 Ivy League) is coming off a 17-11 win vs. UConn at Reese Stadium Wednesday. Senior attacker Addie Zinsner (Alexandria, Va.), had a career-high five goals as Yale improved its record against the Huskies to 10-0 while also improving to 5-1 at home. Sophomore midfielder Sam Higgins (Shoreham, N.Y.) added six assists. The Bulldogs committed only nine turnovers and outshot the Huskies 40-18.

Dramatic Improvement Offensively

Yale is averaging 13.45 goals per game this season -- an improvement of 26 percent compared to last season (10.67 goals per game). The Bulldogs have dramatically improved their shooting percentage, going from .382 last season to .451 this season.

Four Bulldogs at 35 or More Points

Yale has four players with 35 or more points this season. That was the total that Yale's point leader last season, Emily Granger '18, had (22-13-35).

Penoyer Racks Up Points

First-year attacker Olivia Penoyer (Manlius, N.Y.) leads Yale in points (29-16-45), averaging 3.82 points per game -- 10th in the Ivy League. She has seven straight multiple-point games. The streak started with a season-high nine points (5-4-9) in the 17-10 win vs. Niagara Mar. 7.

A graduate of Christian Brothers Academy, Penoyer is in Saybrook College.

Markert Point Streak at 22

Sophomore midfielder Olivia Markert (Centreville, Va.) had a hat trick Wednesday, keeping her point streak intact. Markert has at least one point in all 22 career games.

Markert has done some of her best work in Ivy League games this season. She leads the Bulldogs in goals and points (9-5-14) in league games. She is shooting .474 and has 13 draw controls in those four games.

Markert is in Pierson College and is a graduate of Westfield High School.

Lots of Goals for Gollob

First-year midfielder Jill Gollob (McLean, Va.) leads Yale in goals with 32 and is sixth in the Ivy League in goals per game (2.91). She has scored a goal in every game this season and is on pace to score 44 goals. That would be the most by a Yale player since 2007, when Lauren Taylor '08 scored 65 goals.

Gollob has six hat tricks and a team single-game high of six goals (Mar. 10 in the 17-7 win vs. Canisius).

A graduate of Georgetown Visitation Prep, Gollob is in Ezra Stiles College.

Higgins Makes Impact at Both Ends of Field

Sophomore midfielder Sam Higgins (Shoreham, N.Y.) is fifth in the Ivy League in caused turnovers per game (1.55). She had nine vs. Niagara Mar. 7, the most by a Bulldog this season.

Higgins can also contribute offensively, and she is coming off a six-assist game vs. UConn. That was the most by a Yale player this season, besting her own mark of five (vs. Canisius Mar. 10).

Higgins has at least one ground ball in 10 of 11 games this season, with a high of eight in the 17-10 win vs. Niagara Mar. 7. She has achieved career highs in caused turnovers (19), ground balls (23), goals (15), assists (20) and points (35). She has improved her shooting percentage from .412 last season to .500 this season.

A member of the National Honor Society at Shoreham-Wading River High School, Higgins is in Silliman College at Yale.

Vaughn Leads in Ground Balls

First-year midfielder Payton Vaughn (Concord, Mass.) leads Yale in ground balls with 24, including a game high of five (Feb. 20 vs. Quinnipiac). For the season she has reached double figures in that category along with points (5-8-13), draw controls (21) and caused turnovers (11), making her the lone Bulldog to have accomplished that feat.

A graduate of Concord-Carlisle High School, Vaughn is in Trumbull College.

Nixon Setting Draw Control Records

Senior attacker Izzy Nixon (Greenwich, Conn.), Yale's captain, has been posting some remarkable numbers in the draw control column. Here is a look at some of her accomplishments:

  • Is second in the NCAA in draw controls per game (128 in 11 games, 11.64). That mark would rank third in NCAA history. Robert Morris' Jessica Karwacki set the record (12.71) in 2014.
  • On pace for 175 draw controls this season -- the current Ivy League record is 130, which she set last season.
  • Third in NCAA history in career draw controls per game (355 in 52 games, 6.8 per game). Leads all Ivy League players in that category -- second is Dartmouth midfielder Kathryn Giroux (362 in 57 games, 6.4 per game).
  • Broke the Ivy League career draw controls total record, getting her 296th after the Bulldogs' 13th goal in the 17-7 win vs. Canisius Mar. 10. She broke the mark of 295 set by Nicole Daniggelis '16 and tied the previous weekend by Giroux.
  • Tied the Ivy League single-game record with 19 draw controls in Yale's 18-4 win vs. Hartford Feb. 26. The mark was first established by Giroux Mar. 21, 2018. The NCAA record is 24, set by Karwacki Feb. 28, 2015.
  • Has helped Yale as a team to fourth in the nation in draw control percentage (.624) and sixth in the nation in draw controls per game (17.18).

Nixon is a political science major in Pierson College. She is a graduate of Greenwich Academy.

Scouting Columbia

Columbia (4-8, 1-3 Ivy League) is coming off its first league win of the season, a 15-14 victory at Harvard. The Lions had lost seven of the eight games before that, and were held to two goals by Dartmouth and one goal by then-No. 14 Princeton.

Midfielder Lindsey Ewertsen, the 2018 Ivy League Midfielder of the Year, leads the team in assists and points (21-25-46) along with draw controls (54). Abby Roberts has seen most of the minutes in goal, posting a .452 save percentage and 12.02 goals-against average.

Columbia is coached by Andrea Cofrin, a former Yale assistant.

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Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity