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Another Nationally Ranked Foe Awaits Bulldogs Saturday in Hanover

Fielding Kidd. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Fielding Kidd. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Travels to No. 16 Dartmouth Seeking Second Ivy League Win

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – In its last two games, the Yale women’s lacrosse team proved that it can play with some of the top teams in the country. Wednesday’s 11-9 win at No. 13 BU came on the heels of a narrow 7-5 loss to No. 7 Penn last Saturday. There is no let-up in the schedule for the Bulldogs, as they travel to Hanover to take on No. 16 Dartmouth at 1 p.m.

Yale (4-4, 1-1 Ivy League) has had four straight games decided by two goals or fewer, and the Bulldogs have won three of him. Sophomore goalkeeper Whitney Quackenbush (Manhasset, N.Y.) has been the difference maker, making 39 saves in those four games while Yale’s opponents have made just 15. Quackenbush is coming off a career-high 16-save effort vs. BU, which raised her save percentage to .540. It was the most saves in a game by a Yale goalie since Amanda Laws ’03 also stopped 16 in a 15-9 win over Vanderbilt Mar. 14, 2003.

Junior midfielder/defender Kaitlyn Flatley (Berwyn, Pa.) has also played a key role defensively, with six of her 11 caused turnovers for the season coming in the last four games. She also has seven goals and an assist in that span. The Bulldogs have gradually been adding offensive weapons, as eight different players have scored goals in the last three games. Sophomore attacker Caroline Crow (Davidson, Md.) had her first career hat trick Wednesday vs. BU, and junior midfielder Logan Greer (Berwyn, Pa.) scored her first goal of the season in that game. Senior attacker Jenna Block (Owings Mills, Md.) had a four-point game against the Terriers, the most points she has had in a game since a five-point effort vs. Wagner last April.

Freshman midfielder Devon Rhodes (East Northport, N.Y.) leads Yale in goals (14), assists (7), points (21) and draw controls (12). She’s also one of four different Bulldogs with a game-winning goal, a list that also includes Crow, Flatley and junior attacker Myra Trivellas (Chadds Ford, Pa.).

After a season-opening 9-8 loss at New Hampshire, Dartmouth (4-1, 1-0 Ivy League) has been on quite a roll. The Big Green has won four in a row, outscoring its opponents 66-21. Dartmouth is coming off a convincing 17-10 win at No. 6 Syracuse, and the Big Green’s last Ivy League game was a 15-1 thrashing of Columbia at Scully-Fahey Field. Combine that with a 22-2 win over Vermont earlier in the year in Hanover and it’s clear that Dartmouth has enjoyed its home-field advantage.

Dartmouth is second in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 6.00 goals per game. Only Penn (5.50) is better. Dartmouth’s goalies have faced just 68 shots on goal, in part because Dartmouth’s opponents have trouble hanging on to the ball. The Big Green has 58 caused turnovers, led by nine from midfielder Sarah Plumb and eight each from defender Shannie MacKenzie and midfielder Greta Meyer.

The Big Green beat Yale 8-6 last year at Reese Stadium, snapping a string of three straight wins in the series by the Bulldogs. The game was tied 4-4 after a goal by senior attacker Jessica Sturgill (Ellicott City, Md.) early in the second half, but Dartmouth scored three straight goals to take control. Yale was hurt by giving up 10 free position shots (four of which led to goals) while getting only two. But overall it was one of the Bulldogs’ best defensive performances -- only BU, Duke, Penn and Princeton held the Big Green to eight or fewer goals last year.

Meyer had two goals vs. the Bulldogs last year and attacker Kat Collins had three. The five-foot-11 Collins, who was an All-Northeast selection last season, is one of three Dartmouth players on the Tewaaraton Award Watch List. She is joined by midfielder/defender Colleen Olsen, a second team All-Region pick in 2009, and goalie Julie Wadland. Wadland’s .545 save percentage tops the Ivy League right now, five percentage points ahead of Quackenbush.