March 19, 2010

Bulldogs Host Defending Ivy Champs Saturday

No. 5 Penn Brings 23-Game Ivy Winning Streak to Reese

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale was justifiably excited after a memorable last-second win against Brown Wednesday afternoon at Reese Stadium. But the challenge that the Bulldogs will face next was apparent from the score posted at Franklin Field later that night: Penn 14, St. Joseph’s 0. The fifth-ranked Quakers, coming off their first shutout since 1978, bring a streak of 23 straight wins in Ivy League games to Reese for Saturday’s 1 p.m. game. They have won three straight league titles.

Yale (3-3, 1-0 Ivy League) is 1-0 in the Ivy League for the first time since 2004, which is also the last time the Bulldogs beat the Quakers. Penn was Yale’s Ivy League opener from 1999 through 2008, but this year Yale moved Brown up in the schedule and beat the Bears 8-7 to start Ancient Eight play. Junior midfielder/defender Kaitlyn Flatley (Berwyn, Pa.) scored the final two goals of the game for Yale, including the dramatic game-winner with nine seconds left. Her two goals came on four shots, part of the best shooting day of the season so far for the Bulldogs (8 for 18, .444).

Freshman midfielder Devon Rhodes (East Northport, N.Y.) had her third career hat trick Wednesday, and now leads the team in goals (13), assists (5) and points (18). Senior attacker Jenna Block (Owings Mills, Md.) added a pair of goals, and sophomore attacker Caroline Crow (Davidson, Md.) scored her first goal of the season.

Flatley now has a career-high five goals this season, and she is also one of the team’s top defensive players. She leads the Bulldogs in caused turnovers with 10, and she is second in ground balls with 11. Sophomore goalkeeper Whitney Quackenbush (Manhasset, N.Y.) leads in ground balls with 13. She has a .527 save percentage.

Penn (5-1, 1-0 Ivy League) had 10 different players score in the last game, led by five points from attacker Erin Brennan. The Quaker offense is led by midfielder Ali DeLuca, who has 17 goals and 22 points.

DeLuca, a second team All-America selection last season, is one of four Quakers on the Tewaaraton Award Watch List. The list also includes attacker Courtney Lubbe, midfielder Emma Spiro and goalie Emily Szelest. Szelest has a .508 save percentage and a 5.55 goals-against average this season. She allowed Yale just one goal in 30 minutes of work last year, but also only had to make one save. The Quakers outshot the Bulldogs 21-8 in the 10-4 win, and won all 14 draw controls.

While the Quakers have won five in a row in the series, Yale had beaten Penn 10 in a row before that. Overall the series, which dates back to 1977, is 18-14-1 in favor of the Bulldogs. This season marks the 30th anniversary of Yale’s 1980 Ivy League title, which the Bulldogs shared with the Quakers. The two teams tied 3-3 that year, and both finished 4-0-2 in the league -- the first year of formal Ivy League competition. The Bulldogs’ leading scorer that year was Tracy Ball ’81 with 65 goals and 24 assists. On Saturday Ball’s daughter, junior midfielder Logan Greer (Berwyn, Pa.), gets another shot at the Quakers.

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