Two milestones are in sight as the women’s basketball team hits the road this weekend to take on Penn and Princeton. Head coach Chris Gobrecht is two wins away from her 500th career coaching victory, and guard Megan Vasquez ’13 needs only 47 more points to reach the 1,000-point mark for her career.
Gobrecht began her Division I coaching career over three decades ago when she took the helm of a struggling Cal State Fullerton program in 1979. She quickly turned the program around, compiling an 18–12 record in only her third season at the school. In her sixth and final season coaching the Titans, Gobrecht led them to a 19–11 record and their first-ever appearance in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament, earning her recognition as a finalist for national Coach of the Year honors. After Cal State Fullerton, Gobrecht coached at the University of Washington, Florida State and the University of Southern California before arriving at Yale. Gobrecht currently holds a 498–423 career coaching record, and recorded 73 of those wins as head coach of the Bulldogs (11–7, 3–1 Ivy).
Vasquez has been a major part of Gobrecht’s success at Yale since her arrival two years ago. She started 14 of her 28 games as a freshman and averaged a team-high 11.5 points per game. Vasquez continued to lead the team in scoring last year and increased her average to 13.6 points per game while earning All-Ivy First Team Honors. This season she has reached a season-high 23 points three different times, but she will have to eclipse that mark to take her career total from 953 to 1,000 points over the next two games.
The Bulldogs are coming off of a strong showing last weekend when they beat Harvard for the third time in a row on Friday in Cambridge and followed up that performance with a dominating 24-point victory at Dartmouth. But team captain Michelle Cashen ’12 said the team knows that the greater challenge lies ahead.
“It’s always great to get a sweep on the road,” Cashen said, “but we have a tough weekend coming up for us so we can’t let these games give us big heads.”
The Bulldogs will face the Quakers tonight at Penn followed by a critical matchup at Princeton the next day. Penn is 1–2 in the Ivy League, with its only victory coming over winless Columbia, and the Quakers (8–9, 1–2 Ivy) should not pose a serious threat to the Elis, but the real challenge will come on Saturday.
The Bulldogs will face the first-place Tigers (13–4, 3–0 Ivy) tomorrow in a game that will have serious implications for both teams’ Ivy League title hopes. Yale currently sits in second place after having unseated Harvard last Friday, and if the team wins both of its games this weekend it will emerge no worse than tied for first place with a 4–1 conference record. Harvard and Princeton could also be 4–1 after this weekend, but the Bulldogs would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker against both teams and would be sitting in pole position in the Ivy League for the rest of the season. If they do not win, the Elis are likely to come out of the weekend in third place and will be forced to play catch-up the rest of the way.
Tipoff tonight is scheduled for 7 p.m.