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Yale Names Michelle Cashen Captain For 2011-12 Season

Michelle Cashen. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Michelle Cashen. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Junior Forward Becomes Bulldogs' 34th Captain In Program's 39-Year History


NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Yale University women's basketball team announced Tuesday that junior forward Michelle Cashen has been named the captain for the upcoming 2011-12 season.

Cashen will serve as the 34th captain in the 39-year history of the women's basketball program at Yale University, as voted upon by her teammates. The 6-0 forward from Belle Harbor, N.Y., played in 27 of the Bulldogs' 29 games last season and was the team's leading rebounder (6.6 rpg.) and was fourth on the team in scoring (8.2 ppg.).

"I am truly honored and excited that I have been chosen as next year's captain," Cashen said. "In my time at Yale so far, I have been lucky to have had not only amazing captains to look up to, but also great senior leaders who have all set the standard of leadership on this team very high. The senior duo of Yoyo Greenfield and Mady Gobrecht, especially, were, in my eyes, exemplary leaders who both brought their own style to this role. It won't be easy, but I look forward to the challenge of filling the very large shoes they have left behind."

"Michelle has been an important player on the team ever since arriving at Yale," said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball. " This new responsibility of team captain will be a great chance for her to include leadership and motivation in her contributions to Yale's success next year.  This should be a very good team and we will count on Michelle to take on an important role in our quest for the Ivy championship."

Cashen, who will graduate in May 2012 with a degree in Political Science with a concentration in Environmental Law and Policy, was a key contributor in one of the greatest seasons in Yale's history and helped lead the Bulldogs to their first-ever appearance in the Women's National Invitational Tournament. It was Yale's first postseason tournament appearance since 1979 and just the fourth postseason appearance overall.

The Bulldogs finished the 2010-11 season with a 14-15 overall record and a 10-4 finish in an Ivy League season that also included Yale's first sweep of Harvard since 1994. Four players earned All-Ivy honors last season, including Cashen, who earned All-Ivy Honorable Mention. Sophomore guard Megan Vasquez was named to the All-Ivy First Team, the first Bulldog to earn All-Ivy First Team honors since Melissa Colborne in 2008. Mady Gobrecht earned All-Ivy Second Team honors, the first All-Ivy honor of her career. Janna Graf was one of three freshmen to earn a unanimous selection onto the All-Ivy Rookie Team.

With everyone returning from that squad except for Greenfield and Mady Gobrecht, along with a strong incoming freshmen class, the expectations will be high for the 2011-12 season and the Bulldogs' new captain will be counted on to keep the Bulldogs on the path to success.

"As for next year, I believe this team holds tremendous talent and promise," Cashen said. "I think if we all work on our individual skills this summer in addition to becoming stronger, we will return in the fall ready to compete at that high level of play we experienced in the WNIT. We had a lot of success this past season and we are only looking to build on it."

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity