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It's seven games into the season and the Princeton women's soccer team has its best record, at 4-1-2, through seven contests since 2008. But the Ivy League campaign is where seasons are made, and that schedule will begin Saturday at 4 p.m. at Roberts Stadium against Yale.
If you're attending: Lots 16, 20, 23, 32 and the parking garage, labeled on this map, will be available for spectator parking. Walk past the tennis courts to Roberts Stadium. Admission is free.
||Head to Head: Princeton vs. Yale
|NCAA Second Round
||Goals Per Game
|Tyler Lussi (6)
||Melissa Gavin (5)
|Darcy Hargadon (3-1-2 W-L-T, 0.93 GAA)
||Rachel Ames (3-2-0 W-L-T, 2.21 GAA)
||All-Time Record vs. Opponent
||Last Win vs. Opponent
On Yale: Rachel Ames and Elise Wilcox have truly split time in net, with each going the distance over the first two games. Since then, Ames has played the first half of the last five games and Wilcox has played the second half. Ames has a GAA of 2.21 with a 3-2 record, and Wilcox has a 2.00 GAA while going 1-1 in her decisions. Melissa Gavin has five of the team's 11 goals this season. The Bulldogs scored six goals between two games against Towson and Hartford, but struggled on offense last weekend while scoring one goal combined in two losses against Sacred Heart and Fairfield.
What's it all mean?: With just seven games in the Ivy season, the Ivy opener can give a boost to start or put a team in a hole. Every year since 2006, a win in the Ivy opener led to a winning Ivy season (2007, 2008, 2010, 2012) and a loss in the Ivy opener led to a losing Ivy season (2009, 2011). The last year that goes against the trend, and the only year to do so since 1999, is 2005, when Princeton lost the Ivy opener to Yale and rebounded to finish 5-2 in the league.
Home sweet... home?: Princeton will aim to defeat Yale in Princeton for the first time since 2003, but the Tigers haven't been good guests in New Haven either. The visiting team has won each of the last six games in the series.
Hello, Yale: Princeton has opened the Ivy League with Yale every year since 2003 except once, in 2007. The Tigers opened with Dartmouth that year. In the nine Ivy-opening meetings with Yale since 2003, Princeton leads 5-4.
Last meeting: Princeton defeated Yale 2-1 in OT in New Haven. Gabriella Guzman scored in the 25th minute to tie it after Muriel Battaglia scored to put the Bulldogs ahead in the 12th minute. Yale lost on an own goal in the 97th minute, starting the Tigers at 1-0 in the Ivy. Prior to last season, the losing team had been shut out in the series four straight times.
Win or do not, there is no tie: Princeton hasn't tied in an Ivy opener since 1985. The Tigers are 17-14-2 all-time in Ivy openers, tying in 1984 and 1985.
Go Devs, Go Bears: Princeton freshman Fiona McKenna and Yale junior Muriel Battaglia share an alma mater, as both were Red Devils at Hinsdale Central in Illinois. Princeton junior Liana Cornacchio and Yale senior Katie Underwood also share an alma mater, as both were Bears at Briarcliff High School in New York.
Common foes: Princeton and Yale have the whole league schedule in common, of course, but the teams have no common non-league opponents.
Leading the charge:
Tyler Lussi scored twice more Tuesday at Fordham to give her a team-best six goals on the season. That's the most for a Princeton freshman since Vicki Anagnostopoulos '10 in 2006. Diana Matheson '08 had seven in 2004. The Princeton freshman scoring record is 13 by Sue Mooney '85 in 1981. If Lussi ends the season as the team's leading scorer, she'd be the first Tiger freshman to lead the team in scoring since Jen Hoy '13 in 2009.Come join us:
Tyler Lussi and Lauren Lazo entered last weekend as the only Tiger to have scored a goal this season. Gabrielle Ragazzo joined them with the only goal against William & Mary, and Erika Hoglund scored Tuesday at Fordham.
Rookies: Six of the eight freshman field players have seen action in at least two of the first six games with defender Fiona McKenna as the only Tiger rookie to start each of the six games.
Going dancing: Princeton advanced to the NCAA tournament last season for the eighth time under head coach Julie Shackford and won a postseason game away from Princeton for the first time in program history. The Tigers won at West Virginia, beating the Mountaineers 2-1 for their first NCAA tournament victory since 2004.
Between the posts: Princeton junior goalkeeper Darcy Hargadon is in her first year as the starter and had just one start, as a freshman, prior to this season. She has authored four shutouts this season. Senior Cecilia Di Caprio got her first career start Tuesday at Fordham as the only keeper other than Hargadon to have played this season.
Up next: The Tigers will try to go 4-0 against the Atlantic 10 this season when La Salle comes to Roberts Stadium Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Explorers are 7-2 with a visit to City Six rival Drexel on tap Thursday night in the team's last game before coming to Princeton.