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Quackenbush’s 16 Saves Fuel 11-9 Upset of No. 13 BU

Caroline Crow shoots. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Caroline Crow shoots. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Crow Leads Attack with First Career Hat Trick

BOSTON – After nearly knocking off a nationally ranked opponent last Saturday, the Yale women’s lacrosse team had another shot at one Wednesday afternoon. This time around, the Bulldogs took control of the game with a 5-0 run midway through and never looked back. Sophomore goalkeeper Whitney Quackenbush led the way with a career-high 16 saves -- the most by a Yale goalie in seven years -- as the Bulldogs came through with an impressive 11-9 win at No. 13 BU. That was a season high in goals for Yale, led by a hat trick from sophomore attacker Caroline Crow.

This was just the second time all season BU (4-4, 0-0 America East), which has been to the NCAA Tournament five years in a row, allowed 11 goals or more in a game. Among the teams to have come up short of that figure against the Terriers were No. 3 Duke (10 goals), No. 11 Notre Dame (7 goals in a double-overtime game) and No. 12 Vanderbilt (10 goals). Only No. 17 William & Mary (15 goals) and Yale did this good of a job of solving goalkeeper Rachel Klein and the BU defense. The Bulldogs had by far their best day of the year shooting, connecting on 11 of 13 shots.

“Offensively, we shot the lights out,” said Anne Phillips, Yale’s Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women’s Lacrosse. “From Whitney at her end, down to the other end of the field, we finally put all the pieces together. It’s been coming.”

The Terriers got the opening draw but threw the ball away, and after freshman defender Chloe Drimal picked up the ground ball the Bulldogs got down the field quickly. Crow fed freshman midfielder Devon Rhodes for the 1-0 lead.

Quackenbush then set the tone for the day with a series of saves, culminating with a point-blank denial of attacker Traci Landy. That wound up being the only shot on goal of the day for Landy, who came into the game as BU’s leading scorer with 17 goals and 18 points. She had five goals in the Terriers’ 12-6 win over Yale last year.

“Our defensive scheme neutralized her effectiveness on offense,” Phillips said. “We were able to contain their 1v1 offense with team defense.”

Rhodes picked up the ground ball after Quackenbush’s save and the Bulldogs pushed the ball up field, ending with a goal from freshman midfielder Kristen Chapman.

The Bulldog defense then faced an early turning point. The celebration of Chapman’s goal was muted by the fact that, down at the other end of the field, Drimal was still down on the turf. She eventually left the field with the trainer and did not return to the game. The Bulldogs’ depth would be put to use immediately.

“We had to adjust when Chloe went out, but we played great team defense,” Phillips said. “We had a lot of different contributors -- [senior midfielder/defender] Natalie Reid, [junior defender] Augusta Hixon, [freshman midfielder] Brittany De Lea, [freshman midfielder] Kelsea Smith.”

A Yale turnover enabled Landy to set up attacker Danielle Etrasco for a goal in transition to pull BU within 2-1 at 23:24, but Quackenbush kept the lead intact with a save on attacker McKinley Curro a minute after that. Reid, who had come in for Drimal, got the ground ball and the Bulldogs once again finished the clear quickly. After junior midfielder Logan Greer saved Yale from a potential turnover in the midfield, senior attacker Jenna Block found Crow all alone in front for a 3-1 lead at 18:55.

Landy’s tough day was underscored when a random stick check after the Yale goal found her stick to be in violation, giving Yale the draw control and forcing Landy to use another stick. The Bulldogs took advantage of that possession to extend their lead to 4-1 on a goal by junior midfielder/defender Kaitlyn Flatley at 17:49.

The Terriers mounted a rally with goals from attacker Jenny Taft (on a free position) and Curro to pull within 4-3 at 15:57, but once again the Bulldogs responded. Senior defender Claire Eliasberg got the draw control, and Rhodes set up Greer by driving to the cage and then passing. Greer drew a free position attempt, and after a pair of fouls by BU on her first two shots Greer delivered on her third, scoring her first goal of the season.

Sophomore midfielder Hannah Frey pulled BU back within one by scoring at 9:53 after a Yale turnover, but a caused turnover by Flatley denied the Terriers a chance to even the score on their next possession.

Later in the half, Flatley outran a BU player for a loose ball after a Terrier shot trickled behind the Yale goal. Flatley got in position to be awarded the ball after it went out of bounds, and that hustle paid off with a Yale goal at the other end of the field. Rhodes drew the attention of the defense and fed Block to make it 6-4 Bulldogs with 5:13 left in the half.

BU threatened in the final minute of the half, but Quackenbush made one save and another shot hit the post. The Bulldogs went into halftime with a 6-4 lead despite being outshot 20-8.

The Terriers had to start feeling it wasn’t their day when another shot hit the post early in the second half. BU called time with 25:26 to play, but right after that a false start on a free position attempt by Curro gave the ball to Yale.

The Bulldogs then ripped off four goals in a seven-minute span to take control. Flatley started the run when she was fouled just outside the 8-meter arc. With the space in front of her cleared after the foul was assessed, she had just enough room and time to take a few steps and get off a shot that eluded Klein for a 7-4 lead.

Junior attacker Myra Trivellas got the draw after Flatley’s goal, enabling Yale to extend the lead when Rhodes once again set up Block for a goal. Yale got the next draw as well but turned it over, so Quackenbush had to make another save to keep BU at bay. Hixon got the ground ball, and Trivellas scored on a free-position shot that ended Klein’s day in favor of backup Kim Elsworth. Crow finished off the run with a nice drive to the goal to make it 10-4 Yale with 17:25 left.

The rest of the game was largely in Quackenbush’s capable hands, as she made nine of her 16 saves in the second half. BU was able to get a pair of quick goals midway through to get to within 10-6, but Phillips called timeout to regroup. After a series of turnovers by both teams, Crow came through with a goal off a pass from Block to make it 11-6 with 10:49 to play.

“Halftime, and coming out of timeouts, is always critical,” Phillips said. “There is always potential for a momentum shift. For the first time today, we extended the lead. We didn’t have any lapses.”

The Terriers did score the final three goals of the game, but two of those came in the final 1:42 and there simply wasn’t enough time for BU to make a comeback. Trivellas got the draw control after the last BU goal, with four seconds left, to put the finishing touch on the big win.

“This was a whole new dimension for this team -- to learn how to play with a lead,” Phillips said. “We also scored some fast break goals, which is new. There were a lot of things we did today that we had not done in the past, and we did it against a very experienced BU team with a good goalie. This was another big step.”

It was also a little history for Quackenbush, whose previous high in saves for a game was 14 against UMass Mar. 11, 2009. The last Yale goalie to stop 16 in a game was Amanda Laws ’03, who did so in a 15-9 win over Vanderbilt Mar. 14, 2003.

Yale (4-4, 1-1 Ivy League) has now won three of four, with the lone loss in that span a 7-5 defeat at the hands of then-No. 5 Penn. The Bulldogs now turn their attention to No. 16 Dartmouth, which beat Syracuse 17-10 Wednesday. Game time on Saturday is 1 p.m.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity