No. 11 Princeton at Reese Saturday

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

Yale vs. No. 11 Princeton Saturday, 1:00 p.m.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – In the midst of a stretch of three straight games against nationally ranked teams, the Yale women's lacrosse team hosts No. 11 Princeton Saturday at Reese Stadium (1:00 p.m., ESPN+). The Bulldogs have a chance to knock the Tigers out of first place in the Ivy League standings.

Last Time Out: No. 1 BC Holds Off Yale 15-10

Yale (6-7, 1-4 Ivy League) started and ended strong against No. 1 Boston College -- one of the country's two remaining unbeaten teams -- Tuesday afternoon at Alumni Stadium. The Bulldogs were tied 3-3 with the Eagles after nearly 17 minutes at the start of the game, and they ended the game with a 7-2 run in the final 21 minutes. But in between those two stretches, BC put together a 10-0 run that ultimately made the difference. The Eagles came away with a 15-10 win. Sophomore midfielder Olivia Markert (Centerville, Va.) led Yale with four goals.

Historic Season Offensively

Yale has 175 goals for the season, 10th most in school history. The school record is 205 goals, set in 2017.

The Bulldogs' 87 assists ranks fourth in school history. The school record is 113 assists, set in 1978.

Yale's 262 points are tied for sixth in school history. The school record is 304, set in 2017.

Dramatic Offensive Improvement

Yale is averaging 13.46 goals per game this season -- an improvement of 26 percent compared to last season (10.67 goals per game). The Bulldogs have scored 17 or more goals in a game six times this season after reaching that number just once last season.

Accurate Bulldogs

The Bulldogs have dramatically improved their shooting percentage, going from .382 last season to .452 this season. They are second in the Ivy League in that category, trailing only Princeton (.492).

First-year midfielder Jill Gollob (McLean, Va.) leads Yale in shooting percentage (.522, 67 shots).

Captain Nixon Making History on the Draw

Senior attacker Izzy Nixon (Greenwich, Conn.), Yale's captain, has been posting some remarkable numbers in the draw control column. Her latest accomplishment came Apr. 13 at Columbia, when she set the Ivy League single-season draw controls record. Here is a look at some of her achievements:

  • Is second in the NCAA in draw controls per game (142 in 13 games, 10.92). That mark would rank third in NCAA history. Robert Morris' Jessica Karwacki set the record (12.71) in 2014.
  • Has 142 draw controls, besting the Ivy League record she set last season (130). On pace for 174 draw controls this season, which would rank sixth in NCAA history.
  • Third in NCAA history in career draw controls per game (369 in 54 games, 6.8 per game). Leads all Ivy League players in that category -- second is Dartmouth midfielder Kathryn Giroux (377 in 59 games, 6.4 per game).
  • Broke the Ivy League career draw controls record, getting her 296th after the Bulldogs' 13th goal in the 17-7 win vs. Canisius Mar. 10. She broke the mark of 295 set by Nicole Daniggelis '16 and tied the previous weekend by Giroux.
  • Tied the Ivy League single-game record with 19 draw controls in Yale's 18-4 win vs. Hartford Feb. 26. The mark was first established by Giroux Mar. 21, 2018. The NCAA record is 24, set by Karwacki Feb. 28, 2015.
  • Has helped Yale as a team to fifth in the nation in draw control percentage (.610) and sixth in the nation in draw controls per game (16.85).

Nixon is a political science major in Pierson College. She is a graduate of Greenwich Academy.

Penoyer is Yale's Top Point Scorer

First-year attacker Olivia Penoyer (Manlius, N.Y.) leads Yale in points (33-20-53), averaging 4.08 points per game -- tied for sixth in the Ivy League. She had a streak of eight straight multiple-point games that started with a season-high nine points (5-4-9) in the 17-10 win vs. Niagara Mar. 7.

Penoyer was named Ivy League Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Apr. 15. She had six goals and four assists in two games for the week.

A graduate of Christian Brothers Academy, Penoyer is in Saybrook College.

Markert Point Streak at 24

Sophomore midfielder Olivia Markert (Centreville, Va.) tied her season high with four goals Tuesday at No. 1 BC, the third straight game she has had at least three goals. Markert has at least one point in all 24 career games. She has at least three points in nine games this season.

Markert is in Pierson College and is a graduate of Westfield High School.

Gollob Leads in Goals

First-year midfielder Jill Gollob (McLean, Va.) leads Yale in goals with 35 and is tied for sixth in the Ivy League in goals per game (2.69). She leads all Ivy League first years in goals.

Gollob is on pace to score 40 goals. She would be just the second Yale player to reach that mark since 2010 (Tess McEvoy '17, 41 goals in 2017).

Gollob has seven hat tricks and a team single-game high of six goals (Mar. 10 in the 17-7 win vs. Canisius).

A graduate of Georgetown Visitation Prep, Gollob is in Ezra Stiles College.

Higgins Finds Multiple Ways to Contribute

Sophomore midfielder Sam Higgins (Shoreham, N.Y.) is tied for sixth in the Ivy League in caused turnovers per game (1.31). She had nine vs. Niagara Mar. 7, the most by a Bulldog this season.

Higgins has at least one ground ball in 12 of 13 games this season, with a high of eight in the 17-10 win vs. Niagara Mar. 7. She can also contribute offensively. Her six assists in the game vs. UConn Apr. 10  were the most by a Yale player this season, besting her own mark of five (vs. Canisius Mar. 10). She has eight multiple-points games.

Tuesday at No. 1 BC Higgins had a career-best four draw controls. For the season she has achieved career highs in caused turnovers (19), ground balls (25), goals (17), assists (20) and points (37). She has improved her shooting percentage from .412 last season to .472 this season.

A member of the National Honor Society at Shoreham-Wading River High School, Higgins is in Silliman College at Yale.

Strength of Schedule Trending Up

All of Yale's final three opponents are ranked in the latest IWLCA poll:

  • at No. 1 BC Tuesday Apr. 16
  • vs. No. 11 Princeton Saturday Apr. 20
  • vs. No. 20 Dartmouth Saturday Apr. 27

Scouting Princeton

Princeton (10-3, 4-1 Ivy League) is riding high after a 13-11 win at No. 12 Penn Wednesday moved the Tigers into a three-way tie for first in the Ivy League. They are tied with Cornell and Dartmouth at 4-1 in Ivy games, and are seeking their sixth straight Ivy title (15th overall).

Princeton is second in the Ivy League in goals per game (13.92) and is shooting a league-best .492. Attackers Tess D'Orsi -- a former US U-19 team member -- and Elizabeth George are tied for third in the league in goals per game (3.15) and attacker Kyla Sears is second in assists per game (4.62). Goalkeeper Sam Fish is second in the league in save percentage (.477).

D'Orsi's father, Scott, is a 1990 Yale graduate and played ice hockey for the Bulldogs. Her brother Will is a junior on the Yale ice hockey team.

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Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity