NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Reese Stadium has been a tough place for opposing teams over the past three seasons, with the Yale women's lacrosse team sporting a 16-10 record at home in that span. The Bulldogs look to get the home portion of their 2017 schedule off to a good start this Tuesday night, hosting local rival Quinnipiac at 5:00 p.m. (Ivy League Digital Network).
BULLDOGS FALL IN SEASON OPENER
Yale jumped out to an 11-5 lead at Albany in the season opener this past Saturday, but the Great Danes closed out the game with an 8-0 run to claim a 13-11 victory. Midfielder Sarah Martin set a school record with 10 goals, adding an assist. That included the go-ahead goal with 1:49 left and an insurance goal with 31 seconds left.
Yale got hat tricks from three starting attackers -- seniors Hope Hanley and Tess McEvoy and sophomore Izzy Nixon -- and won the draw control battle 14-11. Hanley added three assists. Junior goalkeeper Sydney Marks made eight saves.
TOP TWO SCORERS ARE BACK
Two talented senior attackers figure to provide the bulk of Yale's scoring. Hope Hanley is coming off a year in which she set career highs in goals, assists and points (15-7-22). She also was one of the team's sharpest shooters, scoring on nearly 47 percent of her shots. The only Bulldog with more goals and points than her was her classmate, Tess McEvoy. McEvoy finished fifth in the Ivy League with 35 goals last season, leading Yale with 43 points (35-8-43) while establishing career highs in all three categories. She was a second team All-Ivy League honoree and earned the Team MVP award. She started all 15 games -- making her one of only four Bulldogs to do so -- and had nine hat tricks. Her teammates elected her captain this season.
TWO-SPORT STARS GALORE
A significant chunk of Yale's roster spent this past fall playing other sports, including four who played field hockey and one who played soccer. Kiwi Comizio continues to emerge as one of the best all-around athletes at Yale; she is coming off a field hockey season in which she led Yale in assists while extending her streak of consecutive starts to 51. On the lacrosse field, she is coming off a season in which she was fifth on the team in points (9-5-14), establishing career highs in all three categories. She appeared in 14 games, starting 13.
While Comizio has played two sports throughout her time at Yale, others have made the move later in their careers. The Bulldogs' attack got a lot deeper last year with the addition of identical twins Katie Smith and Lily Smith, who had only played field hockey their freshman year. As two-sport stars last year they both showed the ability to contribute, with Katie appearing in eight lacrosse games and Lily appearing in 15 -- including eight starts. Katie scored six goals (on just seven shots), and Lily finished fourth on the team in goals and tied for fourth in points (11-3-14). Sophomore Allie Carrigan spent her freshman year playing only lacrosse, seeing 1:23 of action as a backup goalie. This past fall she showcased her athleticism by joining the field hockey team and playing forward, finishing third on the team in points (6-1-13).
Sophomore defender Keri Cavallo is the latest two-sport addition to Yale's roster. She spent the past two falls playing soccer for Yale, and has made 22 starts for the soccer team in that span.
JUNIORS LEAD THE WAY IN THE MIDFIELD
With no senior midfielders, the Bulldogs will build around a talented group of younger players at that position. The junior midfielders have plenty of experience, with all three players appearing in at least 13 games last year. Taryn Gallagher appeared in all 15 games, earning two starts, and chipped in seven goals. Madeleine Gramigna also appeared in all 15 games, starting 13, and finished second on the team in draw controls with 17. She also had six goals. Emily Granger appeared in 13 games and scored eight goals.
THREE REGULARS BACK ON D
Three players who started eight or more games last year return to Yale's defense. Senior Emily Markham, who has not missed a game in her career, emerged as an honorable mention All-Ivy League selection last year. She had a career-high 18 ground balls, adding 10 caused turnovers. Classmate Victoria Moore tied for the team lead in ground balls with 27, a career high. She was third on the team in caused turnovers with 11 and earned a spot at Team Canada's Selection Camp this past fall. Like Markham, she has not missed a game in her career. Junior defender Cooper Hall took a big step forward last season, finishing second on the team in caused turnovers with 12 and fourth on the team in ground balls with 20. After appearing in only two games as a freshman, she appeared in all 15 (11 starts) last year.
MARKS IN GOAL
Junior goalkeeper Sydney Marks (.459 save percentage, 10.20 goals-against average) returns after seizing the opportunity to start last year, finishing second in the Ivy League with 130 saves. That included five games with 10 or more saves, and a career-high 19 at Princeton. She started all 15 games, giving way to sophomore Allie Carrigan for just 1:23.
Yale's 2017 slate includes six games against teams that made the NCAA tournament last season. Yale also has six games against teams ranked in the top 20 of the most recent IWLCA poll: No. 6 Stony Brook, No. 11 Penn, No. 12 Stanford, No. 13 Princeton, No. 15 Cornell and No. 17 Boston College.
Yale's 16 regular-season games include seven Ivy League games and nine non-league games, including a double-header on Apr. 1 (Sacred Heart and Stanford at Reese Stadium). This is the eighth year for the Ivy League women's lacrosse tournament, in which the top four teams in the final standings play for the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Tuesday will mark a rare occurrence as Quinnipiac (1-0, 0-0 MAAC) enters the game having played more games than Yale at Reese Stadium this season. The Bobcats are in the process of getting a new stadium built on their campus in Hamden, Conn., and both their men's and women's lacrosse teams are using Reese as their "home" field this year. So while Yale was at Albany Saturday, the Bobcats hosted Central Connecticut State at Reese and came away with a 10-9 win. Attacker Ashley Bobinski, whose twin sister Victoria also plays for the Bobcats, led the way with four goals. Thanks largely to her work, freshmen accounted for six of the team's 10 goals. Attacker Allison Kuhn is the team's top returning scorer (19-8-27 last year). Goalie Kyle Larkin had a .432 save percentage and an 11.78 goals-against average last year.
The Bobcats are in their first season under head coach Tanya Kotowicz, who was an assistant at Yale in 2013 and 2014. Bobcats volunteer assistant Jill Boffa was on the Bulldogs' staff those years as well.
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Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity