Coming off two weekend wins against California and Lehigh, the women’s lacrosse team will look to extend its win streak versus No. 18 Princeton on Alumnae Day.
The Tigers (6-3, 3-0 Ivy) are undefeated in the Ivy League this season and riding their own three-game win streak, most recently beating No. 14 Cornell. This Saturday, Elis from past years will return to Reese Stadium to watch the Bulldogs attempt to keep its streak alive.
“Alumnae Day is a great opportunity to see old teammates and other former players who have put on a Yale jersey,” goalkeeper Erin McMullan ’14 said. “Although it is a special day, we all recognize that we need to stay focused and play hard for 60 minutes.”
While the Bulldogs (6-4, 0-3 Ivy) do have experience playing ranked teams, as Dartmouth was No. 12 at the time of their matchup on March 2, the team has not been successful in the Ivy League, going 0-3 in those contests. Yale’s offense ranks fourth in the Ivy League with 11.50 goals per game and 25.80 shots per game.
Captain Devon Rhodes ’13 leads the offense with 36 points; she is ranked fourth in the Ivy League in assists with 13, while her teammate, attacker Jen DeVito ’14, ranks fifth in the league with 12. Freshman midfielder Nicole Daniggelis ’16, recently named co-Ivy League Player of the week, has scored in all eight games she has played this season, racking up 22 goals, which puts her third in the conference in goals per game with 2.75. She has also been prolific on draw controls, securing 46 and breaking the school record of 44 set back in 2004.
“We work really well together as an offense, and a lot of times I’m just in the right place at the right time because of my teammates,” Daniggelis said.
Many other Bulldogs are close to their single season records including Rhodes, who is four goals away from her career high, and Cathryn Avallone ’15 and Kerri Fleishhacker ’15, who are both three goals away from breaking their own records. Devito has already broken her assist record this season and is three goals away from breaking her goal record.
“I think we recently crossed a threshold — things are finally began to click,” Rhodes said. “We are finally playing as a cohesive unit and every person on the offense is producing which is something that we didn’t necessarily have in years past.”
This year, Yale struggled with defense. The Elis rank sixth in the Ivy League in goals allowed per game and have usually struggled with turnovers and fouls this season. However, McMullan is having a good year in the net, ranking second in the Ivy League in saves per game with a 7.00 average. She is on pace to break her save record this season, in addition to having already broken her win record.
“We are proud of our 6-4 record, but are by no means satisfied,” McMullan said. “We play to win every game, and have high hopes for the remainder of the season. We plan to take it one game at a time, starting with Princeton on Saturday.”
Princeton comes to Reese Stadium as the second-highest scoring team in the Ivy League with the third-stingiest defense and third fewest caused turnovers per game. However, the Tigers have committed the most turnovers in the league per game and are dead last in the conference on ground balls, so the Elis will look to capitalize in these categories. The Tigers are led by last year’s Ivy League rookie of the year, sophomore attacker Erin McMunn, who ranks first in the Ivy League for points per game with 40 on the season. Junior midfielder Sarah Lloyd has been a duel threat for Princeton this season with 10 assists and eight goals thus far.
While Saturday’s home game will not be the last for Yale’s two seniors, Rhodes and defender Adrianna Amendola ’13, it will be the last alumnae game they will experience.
“Though it’s bittersweet that it is the last alumnae game that where I will be playing, it definitely won’t be my last that I attend,” Rhodes said. “I can’t wait to come back next year to support the girls.”
Yale will take on Princeton at 12:00 p.m. at Reese Stadium on Saturday.