Over the past week, six seniors on the Yale women’s lacrosse team allegedly walked away from the program and prematurely concluded their collegiate athletic careers.
The team, in its fifth year under head coach Erica Bamford, included eight seniors as of last spring. Over the course of the last week, however, all but two reportedly left the team. As of Monday evening, the Bulldogs’ roster had not yet been updated to reflect the departures. Last spring, Yale finished with a 6–9 overall record and just one victory in Ivy League play. Bamford neither confirmed nor denied the members’ departures.
“In any sport, being a Division I student-athlete takes a great amount of time, commitment and sacrifice,” Bamford told the News in a written statement. “As a coach, anytime a student leaves the program, I will respect their decision to do so.”
Bamford did not respond to inquiries regarding the reasons for the seniors’ exodus. She did not confirm if, and how long before their departures, she had been informed of their intent to leave the program.
Members of the senior class told the News that they were unable to comment on the situation at the time. One asked for time to “speak with the proper channels in the athletic department” before commenting, citing “significant challenges” as the reason for the class’ “collective action.”
At Sunday’s extracurricular bazaar in Payne Whitney Gymnasium, six seniors currently listed on Yale’s varsity roster signed up for the women’s club lacrosse team, a club lacrosse player confirmed. The co-heads of the club team told the News that they were unable to confirm the identities of those who signed up, but remarked that, in recent years, the club team has not seen significant participation from current and former varsity team members.
The Elis did not elect a captain at the conclusion of last spring’s season. Instead, Bamford told the News that the team would elect a captain this fall. In contrast, midfielder Izzy Nixon ’19, captain of the 2019 squad, was elected captain in May 2018.
Over the summer, the Bulldogs earned a nod from the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association for academic achievement, posting the highest Division I team GPA for the second year in a row. Eight members of the team were also named to the Association’s Academic Honor Roll, which recognizes individual GPAs at or above 3.50. Six of the eight honorees were members of the Class of 2020.
Over the course of 15 games last season, four members of the Class of 2020 appeared in 14 or more games. The then-junior class earned 35 combined starts among all of its members.
Yale picked up a 17–10 victory over Columbia for its lone league win last season.
Angela Xiao | firstname.lastname@example.org