March 23, 2010

Yale Visits No. 13 BU Wednesday

Second of Three Straight vs. Ranked Opponents for Bulldogs

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After splitting a pair of Ivy League games at Reese Stadium last week, the Yale women’s lacrosse team travels to Boston for a non-league game at No. 13 BU Wednesday (4 p.m.). It is the second of three straight games against ranked opponents for the Bulldogs, who are coming off a near-upset of No. 7 Penn.

Yale (3-4, 1-1 Ivy League) limited Penn to just one goal in the first half Saturday, an impressive feat considering the Quakers had scored 30 goals in their two previous games. The teams were tied 5-5 until Penn went up for good with 4:50 left in the game, then sealed the 7-5 win with another late goal.

That was Yale’s third straight game decided in the final seven minutes, as the Bulldogs had beaten Marist 9-8 Mar. 13 on a late goal by junior attacker Myra Trivellas (Chadds Ford, Pa.) and Brown 8-7 last Wednesday on a goal by junior midfielder/defender Kaitlyn Flatley (Berwyn, Pa.) with nine seconds left. That was part of a five-goal week for Flatley, who was named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week on Monday.

Freshman midfielder Devon Rhodes (East Northport, N.Y.) was held scoreless for the first time in her Yale career Saturday, but still leads the team in goals (13), assists (5) and points (18). Flatley, who had a hat trick vs. Penn, has moved into a tie with senior attacker Jessica Sturgill (Ellicott City, Md.) for second on the team in goals with eight.

After shooting 40% or less in their first three games the Bulldogs have made improvements in that department lately, shooting 45% over their last four. They have also gotten better at winning draw controls; after winning just 17 of 50 in one three-game stretch they have gotten 16 of 29 in the last two games. Junior midfielder Logan Greer (Berwyn, Pa.) has eight draws in four games since re-joining the team at the conclusion of squash season.

Sophomore goalkeeper Whitney Quackenbush (Manhasset, N.Y.) is third in the Ivy League in save percentage (.520). She is the backbone of a Yale defense that is third in the league in goals-against average (8.57). Only Dartmouth (5.00) and Penn (5.29) are better.

BU (4-3, 0-0 America East) suffered its first home loss of the season last Saturday, falling to Notre Dame 7-6 in double overtime. The Fighting Irish scored the game winner on a free position shot, a fitting end to a game in which Notre Dame scored on three of four free positions and the Terriers did not even have any free position attempts. Overall this season BU has just 36 free position shots, compared to 61 for its opponents.

Prior to the loss to Notre Dame the Terriers defeated Yale’s Ivy League rival, Harvard, 13-9. BU’s three losses have all come to teams ranked in the top 15. On their way to a 15-4 record and an appearance in the NCAA tournament last year, the Terriers beat the Bulldogs 12-6. Senior midfielder Natalie Reid (Ellicott City, Md.) provided one of the highlights for Yale by scoring her first career goal. Ten of BU’s 12 goals that day came from the combination of midfielder Sarah Dalton and attacker Traci Landy. Dalton has graduated but Landy -- a second-team All-Region pick last year -- is still around, and she leads the team in goals (18) and points (19) this season. Attacker McKinley Curro, a third team All-America selection last year, is second in both categories with 11 and 18 respectively.

BU goalkeeper Rachel Klein has a .552 save percentage and a 7.94 goals-against average. She is one of the reasons why the Terriers have a winning record despite being outshot 181-169 on the season. Midfielder Corcoran Downey, who attended the same high school (Centennial) as Sturgill, leads BU defensively with 16 caused turnovers. Downey was a second team All-America East pick last year.

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