Tigers Have Half-Game Lead on Yale in Ancient Eight Standings
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Past the halfway point of the league schedule, the Yale women’s lacrosse team is in position to claim one of the four spots in the inaugural Ivy League Tournament that will determine who gets the league’s automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. Wins in their final three Ancient Eight games would guarantee the Bulldogs a spot. First they look for a victory at Princeton Saturday (1 p.m.) in a game that will be televised on a tape-delay basis on Verizon FiOS1 cable systems.
Yale (5-6, 2-2 Ivy League) has had some close calls at Princeton in recent years, including an 8-7 loss in 2006 and a 9-6 loss two years ago. The Bulldogs beat the Tigers 6-5 in New Haven three years ago, but lost 15-6 at Reese Stadium last year. Junior midfielder/defender Kaitlyn Flatley (Berwyn, Pa.) had a big day with five caused turnovers, but the Tigers took advantage of 21 Yale turnovers and also had 12 free position attempts that resulted in six goals.
One of the questions heading into this Saturday’s game at Princeton Stadium is what freshman midfielder Devon Rhodes (E. Northport, N.Y.) will do for an encore. She was named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week Monday after scoring 10 goals last week, and her eight-goal day last Saturday in a 17-13 win vs. Harvard forced a review of the record books. The bad news is that, as it turns out, Rhodes was not as close to the record for goals in an Ivy League game as originally thought. The league had incorrectly listed nine goals (by Penn’s Lisa Romig vs. Dartmouth in 1981) as the mark to beat. But the good news is -- thanks in part to the research Rhodes’ big game required -- the record now belongs to a Bulldog. And the even better news is that the record holder is still closely associated with the program. Tracy Ball ‘81’s 11-goal day in a 21-4 win at Cornell in 1980 had been mistakenly omitted from the Ivy League record book for years, but Ball is now recognized as the record holder. She is the mother of Yale junior midfielder Logan Greer (Berwyn, Pa.).
Rhodes’ big game was complemented nicely by senior attacker Jenna Block (Owings Mills, Md.), who had six points (one goal and five assists) against Harvard. With 16 points (6-10-16) in her last four games, Block has moved into second on the team in scoring (8-13-21) and leads the team in assists.
Senior defender Michele Fiorentino (Berwyn, Pa.) led Yale defensively with three caused turnovers vs. Harvard. She also had three draw controls in that game, and got a pair of ground balls. Fiorentino was a key part of a defensive effort by the Bulldogs that limited Harvard to just two goals in the first 37 minutes of the game as Yale built an 11-goal lead. For the season, Fiorentino is second on the team in caused turnovers (12) and ground balls (18).
Sophomore goalkeeper Whitney Quackenbush (Manhasset, N.Y.), brings a .502 save percentage and a 9.73 goals-against average into Saturday.
Princeton (4-6, 2-1 Ivy League) opened the season ranked No. 9 in the country, but the Tigers began dropping in the polls after losing two of their first three games. Last week’s 14-12 loss to Temple and 11-8 loss to Cornell dropped them out of the rankings entirely. Still, Princeton has shown the ability to knock off top teams, including a 15-14 win in double overtime at Georgetown, currently ranked No. 14. The Bulldogs will face the Hoyas at Reese Stadium later in the season.
Four of Princeton’s losses on the season have been by three goals or less, so the Tigers could easily be 8-2 right now. Even little things such as free position shots have made a big difference. Overall, Princeton is 11-for-35 (.314) from the 8-meter arc in its six losses, including a 2-for-9 performance last week. The Tigers are 11-for-20 (.550) from the eight in their four wins.
Attacker Lizzy Drumm, who had five goals against Yale last year, leads the Tigers in goals (26) and points (33). Attacker Kristin Morrison is second in scoring (16-8-24) and also has a team-high 14 caused turnovers. Lindsey deButts leads the team in draw controls (28) and ground balls (24). Goalie Erin Tochihara, a second team All-America pick last year, has a .456 save percentage and an 11.16 goals-against average.
The Tiger roster also includes three names that are familiar to Yale lacrosse fans. Attacker Sam Ellis’ brother Jordan Ellis ’07 played for Yale, as did midfielder Cassie Pyle’s brother, Bryce Pyle ’09, and midfielder Jenna Washabaugh’s brother, Kyle Washabaugh ’08.
Saturday will be Princeton’s “Friends of Jaclyn Day”, commemorating the same program that helped Yale recently adopt Alanna, a sixth-grader being treated for a brain tumor at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. Princeton has an adoptee of its own, from New Jersey.
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Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity