NEW HAVEN, Conn. – With a core group of returnees that includes five of the team's top six scorers from 2018, the Yale women's lacrosse team looks to make the 2019 season a memorable one. One of the first steps in that process was choosing a captain, and the Bulldogs have picked one of the top returning scorers to lead them -- attacker Izzy Nixon (Greenwich, Conn.). She was selected by a team vote shortly after the conclusion of the 2018 season.
"Being elected captain by my team is an unbelievable honor, especially given Yale's single captain tradition," said Nixon. "In short, it means that my teammates trust me – they trust me to represent them, to lead them, to sacrifice for them and to inspire them through the good times and the bad."
Nixon captains Yale in the fourth season under Erica LaGrow, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse.
"Izzy is an excellent leader who has earned the respect and trust of her teammates," said LaGrow. "Her passion, tireless work ethic and fierce competitive spirit are infectious. I am confident Izzy, and our senior class as a collective group, will continue to move our program forward in a positive way."
Nixon earned second team IWLCA All-Region honors and second team All-Ivy League honors this season, and was an honorable mention All-Ivy selection as a sophomore. Inside Lacrosse named her honorable mention Media All-American twice -- at midseason and after the season -- as a draw control specialist. Statistically, she posted impressive rankings in multiple categories:
- Third in the nation and first in the Ivy League in draw controls per game (8.67)
- Helped Yale as a team rank 12th nationally in draw controls per game (15.33)
- Third on the team in assists (seven) and points (25) and fourth in goals (18)
Nixon's signature moment came on Apr. 7 against Columbia, when she got her 109th draw control of the year. That broke the Ivy League record, and started a back-and-forth battle between Nixon and the previous record holder -- Dartmouth junior Kathryn Giroux. Nixon finished the season with 130, while Giroux got 16 in her final game to finish with 133. Nonetheless, Nixon -- who played one less game than Giroux -- finished with a league-best 8.67 draw controls per game.
Nixon credited her teammates and assistant coach Molly Hulseman, who was in her first year on the staff, for the accomplishment.
"Molly has made such an impact on the draw unit this year and been an incredible mentor to me on and off the field," said Nixon. "Her creativity, support and in-game perspicacity made a huge difference this season and I look forward to working with her again this fall. The draw team also played a major role in taking back the record. This group of women, which includes all of our drawers and circle players, committed to staying late after practices over the course of the entire year to work through sets and build a strong understanding of our dynamic strategies around the circle."
The past season was marked by many team accomplishments. Yale registered a pair of wins over ranked opponents along with a win over archrival Harvard. The team had the second-most draw controls in program history (230). The Bulldogs finished one win away from making the Ivy League Tournament, and aim to close that gap this season.
With 26 players returning, Yale will look to leverage the experience those players bring into 2018-19. The team also adds 11 incoming first years to the roster.
"As a team, we want to approach next year with an insatiable hunger from the first fall practice and hold each other accountable to bring the intensity every single day," said Nixon. "I'm also a firm believer that our team's unique love for each other and this incredible program are what give us our competitive edge, and I hope to inspire those same values in the new members of our family this fall."
A political science major in Trumbull College at Yale, Nixon spent this summer working as an analyst at Morgan Stanley's Investment Banking Division in New York City.
"The analyst role draws upon many of the skills we develop as student-athletes at Yale such as executing under pressure, managing responsibilities, working as part of a team and finding solutions to get the job done in the face of adversity," said Nixon. "I've also always loved entrepreneurship and hope to incorporate aspects of that into my professional life down the road."
Nixon is a graduate of Greenwich Academy and played for CT Grizzlies. She leads Yale into its 44th varsity season and is the fourth Yale women's lacrosse captain from Connecticut.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity
Yale Women's Lacrosse Captains from Connecticut
1983 Amy Klebanoff (W. Hartford, Conn.)
1986 Sue Werner (Simsbury, Conn.)
1995 Samantha Barnes (Greenwich, Conn.)
2019 Izzy Nixon (Greenwich, Conn.)