March 31, 2010

New Hampshire Rallies Past Yale, 13-9

Block’s Five-Point Effort Not Enough

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After falling behind New Hampshire 5-2 in the first half, the Yale women’s lacrosse team rallied back to take a 6-5 lead at the start of the second half. It was the first of three second-half leads the Bulldogs would take, but each time the Wildcats came storming back. In the end, New Hampshire utilized a 6-1 run to finish with a 13-9 win. Senior attacker Jenna Block had a season-high five-point day for Yale.

After New Hampshire (6-3, 0-0 America East) opened the scoring with a goal by attacker JoJo Curro, the Bulldogs scored the next two. Senior defender Michele Fiorentino caused a turnover, and after senior attacker Jessica Sturgill got the ground ball Yale caught New Hampshire in transition. Sophomore attacker Caroline Crow fed Block to tie the score at 22:43.

Just over a minute later Yale (4-6, 1-2 Ivy League) grabbed the lead when Block fed Sturgill in front. Sturgill’s shot was partially blocked, but she got enough of it to get it past UNH goalie Kathleen O’Keefe.

That would be Yale’s last lead until the second half. The Wildcats ran off four goals in less than three minutes, including a pair from attacker Shaunna Kaplan. That prompted a Yale timeout, and the Bulldogs regrouped after sophomore goalie Whitney Quackenbush denied a free position attempt from midfielder Allie Bratton. Junior midfielder/defender Kaitlyn Flatley started the run with a pair of goals, driving in from the left side and burying one inside the far post at 11:04 and then converting a free position shot three minutes later. She now has five straight multiple-goal games.

A minute after Flatley’s second goal, Block fed freshman midfielder Devon Rhodes in front and she rifled the ball into the upper right corner to pull Yale even heading into halftime.

Quackenbush was called for a rare foul 34 seconds into the second half, but the Bulldogs caught a break when -- with the goal cage empty and Quackenbush stationed behind the shooter -- UNH’s free position shot hit the post. A free position goal by Block right after that gave Yale a 6-5 lead.

But each of the three times Yale took the lead in the second half, New Hampshire responded. Just 20 seconds after Block’s goal midfielder Ilana Cohen tied the game. Quackenbush made a quick save on Cohen a minute later and that led to Block feeding Rhodes for another goal, but UNH tied things up again 40 seconds later on a goal by midfielder Hayley Rausch.

Sturgill’s free position goal at 22:54 gave Yale an 8-7 lead, and the Bulldogs held that lead for more than eight minutes. But when UNH started its run, it wound up being decisive. After attacker Jenny Simpson scored and gave the game its sixth tie, Curro, Bratton and Rausch tacked on goals to make it 11-8 New Hampshire with 9:23 left.

The Bulldogs had another foul on Quackenbush pass without a goal, as UNH false started on the free position, but they were unable to take advantage of the breaks. A free position goal by junior midfielder Logan Greer with 4:43 pulled Yale within two. The Bulldogs got the ensuing draw control but turned it over, and goals by midfielder Kate Keagins and Kaplan in the final minutes sealed the Wildcats’ win.

Quackenbush finished with seven saves, while O’Keefe had three and Kate Gunts had one during a brief relief stint at the start of the second half. Kaplan led all scorers with three goals, while Keagins and midfielder Allie Duclos had four caused turnovers. While the Bulldogs had only one more turnover than the Wildcats (17-16), they were hurt by losing 17 of 24 draw controls. Keagins accounted for four of those, while Rhodes had three to lead Yale. Greer had four ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers.

Yale returns to Ivy League play with an 11 a.m. game vs. Harvard on Saturday, Alumnae Day at Reese Stadium.

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

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