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Big Opening Weekend On Tap

Kristen Forster. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Kristen Forster. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Hosts Penn State & Illinois In Renovated Reese Stadium

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – It will be a weekend of firsts for the Yale women's soccer team. The Bulldogs kick off the 2010 campaign with a pair of first-time opponents. Yale plays 16th-ranked Penn State on Friday at 7 p.m. and then takes on Illinois on Sunday at noon. The games will be the first in newly renovated Reese Stadium, the home of Yale Soccer.

The Bulldogs, who won both of their exhibition games, are excited to get the season underway. Yale finished with a 10-6 overall record and has now won at least 10 games in four of the last six years. Reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Becky Brown, the team captain, returns to lead the way. The Bulldogs also feature Kristen Forster, who shared the Ivy Rookie of the Year with Princeton's Alison Nabatoff.

Penn State (1-0-1) is one of the most successful women's soccer programs in the nation. The Nittany Lions, who have already played three games, have won 12 consecutive Big Ten titles. Danielle Toney has scored two of Penn State's four goals all on the season, and sophomore forward Christine Nairn was named a Soccer America pre-season All-American. Erica Walsh is in her fourth year at the helm of the PSU program. She previously served as the head coach at Harvard.

Illinois, who plays at UConn on Friday, won its first three games of the season by a combined score of 8-1. Midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo was named the Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Week for her one-goal performances during the Illini's victories over Wright State and Ball State. DiBernardo leads the team with three goals and seven points. Illinois received votes in this week's NSCAA national poll.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity