Women’s soccer’s Westfal ’09 is named rookie of the week

The accolades just keep coming for the Yale women’s soccer team.

Maggie Westfal ’09 followed Hayley Zevenbergen ’09 and Crysti Howser ’09 to become the third Eli to be named Ivy League Rookie of the Week in as many weeks.

Westfal notched the award for her game-winning overtime goal against Maryland Sunday. The freshman also scored against George Mason University on Friday in the Bulldogs’ 3-0 win.

Westfal said the win itself was bigger than her award.

“I was definitely more excited about beating Maryland yesterday than any of this,” Westfal said.

Captain Mimi Macauley ’07 said Westfal deserved the award.

“Maggie had two huge goals,” Macauley said. “It was awesome [when the Elis beat Maryland]. I sprinted off the bench — it’s our first ACC win; it’s huge.”

Three of the Elis’ five starting freshmen — Howser, Westfal, and Emma Whitfield ’09 — have nine of the team’s 13 goals and 22 of the team’s 38 points. But the rookie Bulldogs can do more than score — they’re clicking with the rest of the team off the field, too.

“Our team is so close chemistry-wise, and they all fit in really well on and off the field,” Macauley said. “They’re just great girls.”

The Elis (6-2) have won six straight games since starting the season 0-2 with hard-fought one-goal losses to national powerhouses North Carolina and Duke. They will take on the defending Ivy League champion Princeton Tigers in Princeton Saturday.

Macauley played against Westfal in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference when Westfal was at New Canaan High School and Macauley played for Wilton. The Yale captain said she was thankful Westfal would be playing on the same side of the ball as her on Saturday.

“I played against Maggie all through high school,” Macauley said. “When [Yale head coach Rudy Meredith] said she was looking here and at Princeton, I said, ‘Bring her here — I don’t want her at Princeton.'”

The Elis are thanking their lucky stars that Westfal chose New Haven, but Westfal said the class of 2009 owes its success to the rest of the team.

“Our freshmen class as a whole has been so successful because of the players around us,” Westfal said. “College soccer is a completely different level of play and they’ve really helped us improve over the past three weeks and helped us incorporate our game into their game.”

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