Rhodes Leads Team with One Goal, Two Assists
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Trailing 3-1 against Fairfield Wednesday afternoon at Reese Stadium, the Yale Bulldogs rallied for three straight goals to take a 4-3 lead 20 minutes into the game. But the Stags responded in dramatic fashion, putting together an 8-0 run over the next 25 minutes to take control. Fairfield attacker Erin Rigby led all scorers with five goals as the Stags came away with a 14-5 win.
"We hung in there for the first 20 minutes, then got a lead," said Anne Phillips, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse. "We had a chance to make it a two-goal lead, but shot it into their goalie's stick. They came down and scored, and that was the turning point of the game."
Adding to the frustration for Yale was the fact that Fairfield's run came after the Stags lost their all-time leader in points scored, midfielder Kristen Coleman, who got her second yellow card just 12:30 into the game. The score was 2-1 Fairfield at that point, with Yale's goal coming when freshman midfielder Devon Rhodes found sophomore attacker Winnie Call wide open in front of the net at 23:06.
After Rigby extended Fairfield's lead to 3-1 at 14:25 of the first, junior attacker Myra Trivellas scored on a free position shot to start Yale's run. Senior attacker Jessica Sturgill made a nice move through the 8-meter arc to score at 10:59, and Rhodes caused a turnover on the ensuing draw control and was able to score in transition to give Yale the lead.
But a free position goal by Rigby 90 seconds later started the Stags' big run, which included six straight goals to end the first half and two more at the start of the second half. Plagued by turnovers (20) and fouls (31), the Bulldogs wound up being outshot 32-16 for the game.
"We lost this game on the ground," Phillips said. "Ground balls [Fairfield led 26-15 in that category]. Fairfield beat us to the ball, and we fouled to give them more and more opportunities."
Sophomore goalie Whitney Quackenbush did her best to keep her team in the game, stopping three of Fairfield's six free position shots and finishing with 12 saves. But she did not receive much offensive support, as the Bulldogs were not able to get the ball over the restraining line for the first 10 minutes of the second half. Their lone goal of the period was another tally by Call, set up by Rhodes.
Call thus wound up being one of the bright spots for the Bulldogs, upping her career goal total from one to three in the span of one game. Like many of her classmates, Call was sidelined for most of last season -- she and sophomore attacker Kerry Hamill, who made her return to field Wednesday after an injury suffered nearly a year ago, played just eight games combined in 2009. Yale (1-1, 0-0 Ivy League) also had three freshmen starting Wednesday. That lack of experience, combined with the fact that the Bulldogs have had their depth diminished by injury and illness, has led to some early-season growing pains.
"We shot poorly, and we didn't take enough shots," Phillips said. "We were around 30 percent, which is where we were against Holy Cross in the season opener. It's not like we don't know what the problem is. We have the talent, and the ability to fix the problem, we just haven't fixed it yet."
Fairfield (2-0, 0-0 MAAC) got two goals each from attacker Amanda Best, attacker Katie MacKay, midfielder Chloe Mangan and attacker Caitlin Young. Katie Keenan made seven saves.
Yale hosts JMU Saturday at 1 p.m.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity