Two Games For Bulldogs On Opening Weekend

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Paula Hagopian. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Host Stony Brook Friday At 7 p.m.; Visit UMass Lowell Sunday

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The season opener is finally in sight for the Yale women's soccer team. The Bulldogs kick off the 2013 campaign by hosting Stony Brook on Friday at 7 p.m. at Reese Stadium. Two days later, Yale plays its first road game, traveling to UMass Lowell for a 2 p.m. kickoff.

Here are the key storylines for the two games:

* While Yale will be playing for the first time, Stony Brook already has four games under its belt. The Seawolves are 3-0-1. UMass Lowell is 0-2 and plays at Siena on Friday.

* The Bulldogs have won their last four season openers, including a 2-1 victory at Hartford last year. Yale last lost its first game in 2008, 2-1 in overtime at UConn.

* Offensively, Yale must replace last year's leading scorer Kristen Forster '13, who finished with seven goals and 17 points. The Bulldogs, though, have seven returning players who scored at least once last year, led by Melissa Gavin, who had three goals and four assists. Gavin, the 2011 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, was limited to 14 games last year because of injury. Defensively, the Bulldogs lost two starters to graduation.

* Seven newcomers will be suiting up for the first time for the Bulldogs. The six freshmen are: Lillian Bitner, Geny Decker, Katie Fletcher, Karina Kovalcik, Colleen McCormack and Dani Temares. Eliza Loring also is new to the squad. She transferred from Georgetown where she appeared in five games last year.

* Friday's home game marks the debut of Yale All-Access's video coverage within the Ivy League Digital Network. Powered by NeuLion, Yale All-Access is now a part of the Ivy League's completely redesigned, nine-channel digital network that includes an easy-to-navigate interface, a League-wide network schedule and new interactive features, such as simultaneous four-game viewing, full DVR controls and social media integration. These new features enhance the viewing experience for the expanded range of events and other content offerings, all of which are available on computer, mobile and tablet devices all without the use of an app. Select games will be available in high definition. For more information, click here. 

* Stony Brook edged the Bulldogs 2-1 last year on Long Island. Stella Norman's goal with 3:39 left was the game-winner. Paula Hagopian scored for the Bulldogs and nearly tied it in the final minute but her shot deflected off the post. Yale leads the all-time series with Stony Brook 6-3.

* Stony Brook, ranked ninth in the latest NSCAA Northeast Region poll, has already had two America East award winners this season. Freshman Maxie New was named the Rookie of the Week on Tuesday after scoring the game-winning goal in Sunday's 2-1 win over NJIT. Stella Norman took home Player of the Week honors after a five-point weekend against Seton Hall and FDU.

* UMass Lowell is in its first year at the Division I level. Sunday will be the River Hawks' first home game as a Division I school. The River Hawks will first be eligible to play in the NCAA Tournament and America East Conference Tournament in 2017.

* Yale and UMass Lowell are playing for the first time.

Stony Brook at Yale, Friday, 7p.m., Reese Stadium

Yale All-Access Video  |  Live Stats

Yale at UMass Lowell, Sunday, 2 p.m., Cushing Field Complex

Video – TBA  |  Live Stats

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity