Bulldogs Visit Holy Cross To Kick Off 2010-11 Campaign

Mady Gobrecht. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Mady Gobrecht. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Complete Game Notes in PDF



Friday night marks the beginning of the 38th season of Yale women's basketball, as the Bulldogs travel to the College of the Holy Cross in a non-conference matchup. Action from the Hart Recreation Center in Worcester, Mass., tips off at 7 p.m.


Probable Starters
Pos. No. Name Ht. Cl.
F 41 Mady Gobrecht 6-2 Sr.
F 44 Michelle Cashen 6-0 Jr.
G 14 Allie Messimer 5-5 So.
G 10 Yoyo Greenfield 5-8 Sr.
G 15 Megan Vasquez 5-8 So.
Holy Cross
Pos. No. Name Ht. Cl.
F 32 Amy Lepley 6-0 So.
F 33 Whitney Fremeau 6-0 Sr.
G   3 Brisje Malone 5-9 Fr.
G 10 Alyssa May 6-0 Sr.
G 22 Alex Smith 5-8 Fr.

Familiar Faces

The Bulldogs return four starters and seven letterwinners in total from the 2009-10 campaign. Yale also expects sophomore guard Aarica West to return to the lineup after she missed the final 27 games of last season due to injury.


The Fab Four

Yale has bolstered its lineup for 2010-11 with four freshmen that are expected to make an immediate impact. Guard Amanda Tyson, forwards Janna Graf and Alexandra Osborn-Jones, and center Zenab Keita comprise one of the strongest freshman classes during Head Coach Chris Gobrecht's tenure.


Chris Gobrecht: The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball

Southern California '77; 6th Season at Yale • 48-90; 31st Season • 473-401

With head coaching credentials that include stops at women's basketball powers in the PAC-10 and the Atlantic Coast Conference, Chris Gobrecht came to Yale in 2005 with a reputation for turning programs around. 

In 2009-10, Gobrecht guided the Bulldogs to a 13-15 finish, the highest win total since the 14 victories in the 2001-02 season. Yale closed the 2009-10 campaign with an 8-6 record in Ivy League play, the best conference record since the 2001-02 season. It was the second time that Yale finished as high as fourth place in the Ivy League since 2001-02.

After posting a 3-24 mark in her first season with the Bulldogs, Coach Gobrecht led the team to 12 wins in the 2006-07. The nine-win improvement was one of the best in Division I that season. The 2006-07 season was highlighted by a six-game winning streak and a 15-point victory over a Marist squad that would reach the Regional Semifinals (Sweet 16) of the NCAA Tournament. Yale was also the only Ivy League team to defeat league champion Harvard. In 2007-08, Gobrecht led the Bulldogs to a 7-7 record and fourth-place finish in the Ivy League, their best conference finish since 2001-02.

Though the 2008-09 Bulldog squad was hampered by a multitude of injuries, Gobrecht led her team to an 11-17 record, the team's second-highest win total in the past seven seasons. 2008-09 also featured a landmark victory for the program over North Carolina State, Yale's first win over an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent. Gobrecht also reached a milestone 450th career coaching win last season.

Gobrecht has amassed a 473-401 (.541) record during her 30 seasons, ranking her 30th among active coaches in career victories. The ninth coach in the 38-year history of Yale women's basketball, Gobrecht has more career Division I victories than any other active basketball coach in the Ivy League, men or women. In her tenure at Yale, she has coached an Ivy League Rookie of the Year (Melissa Colborne, 2006-07) and two first team All-Ivy players (Colborne, 2007-08 and Erica Davis, 2006-07). Prior to Gobrecht's arrival in the Elm City, a Bulldog player had not earned first team All-Ivy accolades since Katy Grubbs in the 1997-98 campaign.

After turning around the Cal State Fullerton program, Gobrecht moved on to the University of Washington. In 11 years, her teams went to the NCAA Tournament on nine occasions. The Huskies reached the NCAA Regional Semifinals four times during her tenure, and advanced to the Regional Finals (Elite Eight) in 1990. She won at least 16 games every year at Washington, including eight 20-win campaigns (six consecutive), and is the Huskies' all-time winningest coach with 243 victories. Washington won three conference championships and finished second four times during her tenure. A two-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Gobrecht led Washington to a school-record 28 wins and a number-three national ranking in 1989-90. The Huskies were the only team to beat eventual NCAA Champion Stanford that season.

After 11 years at Washington, Gobrecht took over a struggling Florida State program in 1996. The Seminoles went 5-22 in Gobrecht's only season before she left Tallahassee to take over at her alma mater, Southern California.

With USC's win over Pepperdine on Dec. 4, 2002, Gobrecht became the 33rd active coach to reach the 400-win mark. In seven seasons with the Women of Troy, Gobrecht posted a 95-108 record. USC posted three winning seasons during her tenure, including a 15-13 mark in her final year, 2003-04. Two of her recruiting classes were ranked among the best in the country, and her teams regularly faced some of the best competition in the nation, including Pac-10 rival Stanford. In 2002-03 alone, the Women of Troy faced three of the previous four national champions: Connecticut, Tennessee and Notre Dame.

Gobrecht began her Division I coaching career with a struggling Cal State Fullerton program in 1979-80. She coached the Titans for six seasons, posting an 84-82 record. She led Cal State Fullerton to an 18-12 record in her third season on the job. In the 1984-85 season, Gobrecht's last with Cal State Fullerton, the Titans posted a 19-11 record and made their first appearance in the WNIT, making her a finalist for national Coach of the Year honors.

She served as an assistant for a USA Basketball select team which played in Czechoslovakia and Italy in 1990. In addition, six of Gobrecht's former players have played professionally in the WNBA and ABL.

Her coaching career began in 1978 at Santa Fe Springs (Calif.) High School, where her team went 20-4 and made the CIF AAA playoffs. The next year, Gobrecht led Pasadena City College to a 25-5 record, a conference championship and second place in the state junior college tournament.

A Toledo, Ohio native and a graduate of Huntington Beach (Calif.) High School, Gobrecht earned a bachelor's degree in public affairs from USC in 1977. Then known by her maiden name of Chris Geiger, she was a three-year starter for the Women of Troy from 1974-76 and also played two seasons of volleyball at USC. After graduation, she spent a year volunteering in the Peace Corps, where she worked as an English teacher at St. Mary's College in Apia, Western Samoa.

She and her husband, Bob, the Managing Director of Special Olympics North America, have two children: Eric, 24, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy currently attending flight school, and Madeline, 21, a senior forward on the team. 


Scouting Holy Cross

Coming off of a 10-21 season, in which they finished fourth in the Patriot League, the Holy Cross Crusaders have been picked to finish in fifth place in the 2010-11 Patriot League Preseason Coaches' Poll. Holy Cross, which is also opening its 2010-11 season on Friday, returns six letterwinners, including three projected starters, from last season's squad. The Crusaders will need to fill the void left by the graduation of two 1,000-point scorers in Briana McFadden and Bethany O'Dell and hope to utilize the five freshmen that join the squad this season.


The Last Meeting

In the 2009-10 season opener, the Bulldogs rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit to defeat Holy Cross 66-60 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. Megan Vazquez scored a team-high 15 points in her collegiate debut and Michelle Cashen and Mady Gobrecht each contributed a double-double. Cashen tallied 13 points and 15 rebounds, while Gobrecht added 12 points and 10 boards. The Bulldogs outrebounded the Crusaders 54-41 and held the visitors to just 21 second-half points. The Crusaders' Whitney Fremeau led all players in scoring with 18 points in the losing effort.


Series History

The Bulldogs' win in last season's opener cut the Holy Cross lead in the all-time series to 6-5. The Crusdaders hold a 4-1 advantage in the series in the five meetings at the Worcester, Mass., campus.


That's a Lot of W's

With 486 career wins, Holy Cross Head Coach Bill Gibbons is the lone coach on the Bulldogs' schedule with more career Division I victories entering 2010-11 than Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball at Yale. Gobrecht has 473 career victories as head coach of Yale, Southern California, Florida State, Washington, and Cal State Fullerton.


The Bulldogs in 2009-10

Following an 11-17 showing in 2008-09 that included a 4-10 record in Ivy League play, Yale made significant strides last season behind the play of leading scorer Megan Vasquez (11.5 ppg). Following her selection to the All-Ivy Rookie Team as a freshman, Michelle Cashen averaged 8.5 ppg and was second on the team in steals (37) and shooting percentage (44.6 percent), which earned her a spot on the All-Ivy Second Team. The pair led the Bulldogs (13-15, 8-6 Ivy League) to a fourth-place finish in Ivy League play.


Nice to Meet You

Non-conference games against Florida State, Delaware and Villanova will all be first-time meetings. The scheduled West Coast trip during which the Bulldogs will visit California and UC Davis will mark just the second meeting Yale has had with each of those opponents.


Schedule Strength

Seven teams on the Bulldogs' 2010-11 slate participated in the postseason last spring. Florida State and Princeton earned a berth in the 2009 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. Five other Bulldog opponents participated in the WNIT, including WNIT champion California.


Making the Rounds

The Bulldogs' 14 non-conference games feature opponents from nine different conferences (ACC, Big East, Pac 10, America East, Big West, Northeast Conference, Atlantic 10, Colonial Athletic Association, and the Patriot League.


Every Day is Mother's Day

Senior forward Mady Gobrecht is the daughter of head coach Chris Gobrecht. They are the only current active mother-daughter, coach-player tandems in Division I women's basketball. This is the sixth time in Yale's 157-year athletic history that a head coach is mentoring his or her child in a varsity sport, and the first where the combo is mother-daughter (men's fencing: Robert & Maurice Grasson, 1936-38; baseball: Smoky Joe & Joseph Wood, 1939-41; men's basketball: Howard & David Hobson, 1952-55; men's squash: John & Jack Skillman, 1954-55; football: Jordan & Harry Olivar, 1957-59).


Next in Line

The Bulldogs return to the court on Wednesday, Nov. 17, when they visit Boston University for a 7 p.m. contest. The 12th meeting with the Terriers, who hold a 2-9 advantage in the all-time series. Yale earned a 61-57 win over the Terriers last season behind Mady Gobrecht's 18 points and Michelle Cashen's nine rebounds.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity