Big East Powers DePaul, Georgetown Highlight 2012-13 Schedule
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Yale University women's basketball team released its schedule for the 2012-13 season today, a 28-game slate that includes 13 home games to be played inside the friendly confines of John J. Lee Amphitheater, 15 road contests, and nine games against teams that competed in postseason play last season.
Yale's historic 40th season tips off on Friday, Nov. 9, when Yale will travel to Worcester, Mass., to take on Holy Cross at 7 p.m. It is the sixth time in the last seven seasons that Yale has started its season with a game against Holy Cross. While the Bulldogs have won the last four meetings with the Crusaders, all four games proved to be exciting starts to each of the last four seasons thanks to close contests that were decided by six points or less.
Yale will begin its quest for its first Ivy League championship since 1979 when it plays host to Brown on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, in the first game of a home-and-home set that tips off at 4 p.m. inside John J. Lee Amphitheater.
After defeating Harvard in Cambridge, Mass., for the second straight season in a split of the season series in which both teams earned road wins, Yale will look to avenge last season's home loss to the Crimson on Friday, Feb. 1. The Bulldogs will visit Cambridge in search of their third straight win inside Lavietes Pavilion on Saturday, Feb. 23.
Princeton, the three-time defending Ivy League champion, will visit Yale on Saturday, Feb. 9. Yale will visit Princeton on Friday, March 8, in the final weekend of the regular season. Yale will be looking for its first win over Princeton since Feb. 13, 2009, a stretch that includes seven straight losses.
The Bulldogs close out the regular season on Saturday, March 9, at Penn, but they enter the 2012-13 season with an aim to extend the season past that weekend to include a return to the postseason, with the hope that the season concludes with the program's second Ivy League championship and first since 1979, which will earn Yale its first-ever automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
"I think the Ivy League will be unbelievably competitive this year," said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954, Head Coach of Women's Basketball. "Most teams are returning the bulk of their starting lineups and the league will welcome some really great young talent to the battle for No. 1. We can't wait to get started!"
Gobrecht, who is entering her eighth season at Yale and her 33rd season overall as a head coach, will enter the 2012-13 season with an overall record of 503-428 (.540 career winning percentage). In each of the past two seasons, Gobrecht has guided the Bulldogs into contention for the Ivy League championship, including a 14-15 finish in 2010-11 that included the program's first-ever appearance in the Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) and a 16-12 finish in 2011-12 that was just the third time in Yale's history in which the team finished with at least 16 victories.
Matching that success will be a challenge for the Bulldogs with nine games against seven opponents who qualified for postseason play last season, including five opponents who earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament, but Gobrecht intentionally creates a challenging non-league slate to prepare the Bulldogs for the challenges that await over the course of the 14-game Ivy League schedule. DePaul, Georgetown, Sacred Heart, Marist and Princeton all await the Bulldogs in 2012-13, after earning NCAA Tournament berths last season, while Harvard and Quinnipiac both earned automatic berths in the WNIT.
Yale's 2012-13 schedule also includes an early homecoming of sorts for freshman forward Meredith Boardman (Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick High School). The Bulldogs will spend the week of Thanksgiving in Chicago for games at Big East power DePaul on Monday, Nov. 19, and Big 10 foe Northwestern. The Nov. 21 game against the Wildcats will also reunite the Bulldogs with former assistant coach Allison Guth, who joined the Northwestern coaching staff last month.
The non-league portion of the schedule includes opponents from the Big East and Big Ten conferences, the Patriot League, the Northeast Conference, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Conference USA, the America East Conference and the Atlantic 10 Conference.
After meeting in the David Jones Classic in Houston last season, Yale will welcome the University of Houston for its first-ever visit to John J. Lee Amphitheater. New Hampshire will visit Yale for the first time since the opening game of the 2005-06 season.
Yale will visit DePaul for just the second meeting between the two schools on Nov. 19. It is the first meeting since an 86-60 loss to the Blue Demons in Chicago on Nov. 17, 2006. On the Chicago trip, the Bulldogs will meet Northwestern for the first time since Dec. 6, 2002. It will be the third-ever meeting between the two programs.
Yale will also face Georgetown for the first time since Dec. 5, 1982, a 67-62 Yale win in New Haven.
"We will have a great combination of youth and experience next year so we needed a challenging schedule to prepare us for a run at the Ivy Championship," Gobrecht said. "I believe this schedule will do just that. Georgetown, DePaul and Northwestern on the road are huge tests, and we will face several teams coming off great seasons in 2011-12 that will also require the best we can bring to the floor."
* – Schedule is subject to change. Check YaleBulldogs.com for updates throughout the 2011-12 season.
Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity