February 27, 2010

Yale Starts Season Right, Beats Holy Cross 8-5

Rhodes Leads All Scorers with Three Goals and Two Assists

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Facing a team that was playing its third game, and with five freshmen seeing extensive action, Saturday afternoon's game vs. Holy Cross could have been an early-season pitfall for the Yale women's lacrosse team. But the Bulldogs feel this is not your average freshman class, and the newcomers began showing they belong in the 8-5 Yale win. Freshman midfielder Devon Rhodes led the way with three goals and two assists, and classmates Kristen Chapman and Brittany De Lea were among the eight other Bulldogs with points on the day. Sophomore goalie Whitney Quackenbush made 11 saves for the win.

"We had a lot of people playing their first Division I lacrosse game out there today," said Anne Phillips, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse. "This bodes well for the future."

It helped that the Bulldogs got off to a quick start, as senior defender Michele Fiorentino's caused turnover ignited a fast break three minutes into the game that ended with junior midfielder Mahi Trivellas feeding Rhodes for her first career goal. Senior attacker Jessica Sturgill, Yale's top returning goal scorer, extended the lead to 2-0 90 seconds later.

Yale (1-0, 0-0 Ivy League) was in the midst of trying to kill off its first of five yellow cards when Holy Cross got its first goal, from Ali Baird at 15:33. But three minutes later, during a Holy Cross penalty, Sturgill buried a perfect feed from Rhodes to get the lead to 3-1.

"And they're only going to get better working together," Phillips said of her two tall (6'0" for Rhodes, 5'10" for Sturgill) and talented goal scorers.

It was another busy day all-around for junior defender/midfielder Kaitlyn Flatley. Coming off an All-Ivy season, her Saturday included a team-high four ground balls, a pair of caused turnovers, and a nice goal at 4:52 of the first in which she dodged her way through a pack of defenders just inside the 8-meter arc.

Junior attacker Myra Trivellas sent Yale into halftime with a 5-1 lead by scoring off a pass from Rhodes at 2:29. Holy Cross keeper Amy Martin made one of the best of her 10 saves to deny junior attacker/midfielder Ariana Papier on a fast break 10 seconds later.

After Martin denied a shot from Sturgill off a Rhodes feed a minute into the second, senior midfielder Sarah David was able to work the ball back to Rhodes for a goal at 27:10 that made it 6-1. A free position goal by Kat Sutton and a goal by Annie Boylan brought the Crusaders within three with 20 minutes left, but Chapman stopped that run by depositing a pass from senior attacker Jenna Block for her first career goal at 19:58.

"Krissy Chapman is a very formidable midfielder, and I was really pleased with the way she played today," said Phillips. "She's allowed us to move some of our more experienced players to other positions."

Rhodes capped her day by scoring off a feed from De Lea with 13:14 left in the game. Holy Cross (0-3, 0-0 Patriot League) got a pair of goals in the final nine minutes but could not get much else going against Quackenbush, who stuffed a free position shot by Sutton with six minutes to play.

Yale wound up with a 22-17 edge in shots and an 8-6 edge in draw controls.

"I told them in the locker room, we're still trying to find the right combination of players but we're confident we have the talent to win," Phillips said. "We won the draw controls, and if we just shot 50 per cent this would have been a much different game. We only got one free position shot because we didn't drive hard enough to get fouled. But from a first-game perspective, we have everything we need."

Yale hosts Fairfield Wednesday at 4 p.m.

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