Roster Heavy with Freshmen and Sophomores
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Entering the third season with Anne Phillips as Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse, Yale appears ready to reap the benefits of the recruiting efforts of Phillips and her staff. The Bulldogs' roster includes 17 freshmen and sophomores -- plenty of young talent to supplement the leadership provided by the eight juniors and seniors. With 14 letter winners and 10 starters returning from last season, the Bulldogs figure to continue the upward trend that started a year ago. A spot in the Ivy League tournament eluded Yale by the slimmest of margins last year, and this year's Bulldogs aim to change that.
Yale was in contention for one of the four spots in the inaugural Ivy tournament up until the final game last year, as a loss at Cornell in the finale ultimately forced the Bulldogs to settle for a tie for fifth. With the majority of the starters from last season returning, including a pair of All-Ivy League honorees and the top two scorers, there is plenty of reason to believe the Bulldogs can be even better this year. The addition of a freshman class of 10 that includes multiple All-Americans only adds to the sense of optimism for a season that will be highlighted by the dedication of Reese Stadium, the recently renovated home of Yale lacrosse and soccer, on Apr. 9.
Here is a position-by-position look at the team:
Junior Whitney Quackenbush remains one of the Bulldogs' primary building blocks after an honorable mention All-Ivy League selection last season. She faced a barrage of nearly 400 shots, yet still emerged with one of the 15 best save percentages in the country (.493). That was right in line with her similarly stellar .492 mark the previous year, making it all the more clear that the Bulldogs know what they can expect from her going forward.
Out of necessity, Quackenbush played every minute of every game last season -- she was the only goalie on Yale's roster. She can ditch her "Iron Woman" imitation for 2011, as the Bulldogs have added freshman Erin McMullan (Wading River, N.Y.) as another goalie option. McMullan was an honorable mention All-American last year at Shoreham-Wading River, where she won a New York State championship, Long Island championship and Suffolk county championship each year she played.
The defense in front of Yale's two goalies will be particularly young, with six of the eight defenders freshmen or sophomores. The three seniors, Augusta Hixon, Fielding Kidd and Mahi Trivellas, will provide plenty of leadership. The Bulldogs tabbed Kidd as their captain for 2011 in large part because of the vocal leadership she has provided ever since her freshman season. She also brings toughness, entering 2011 with a streak of 33 consecutive games played despite dealing with a litany of injuries. Hixon is a speedy, athletic player who has developed into a regular after seeing time in just five games two years ago. Trivellas has overcome injuries to earn a regular spot on the field, and is particularly tough on draws. That tenacity earned her eight starts as a midfielder last season.
A quartet of talented sophomores figure to make an impact defensively as well. Adrianna Amendola battled injury throughout her freshman season, but returned to play in the final seven games. Danielle Barcak joins the team this season. She played Yale club lacrosse last season, and played at Catonsville (Md.) High before that, advancing to the state finals in 2008. Brittany De Lea played midfield last season and was limited to nine games by injury but showed an ability to contribute. Chloe Drimal started 11 games last season and, at six feet tall, provides an imposing presence defensively.
A pair of freshmen round out Yale's defensive corps. Kallie Parchman (Baltimore, Md.) was team captain and Co-MVP at Roland Park School, where her team was ranked as high as No. 32 in the country. Katherine Sherrill (New York, N.Y.) joins Yale from Philips Andover, where she won the school's Abbot Athletic Award.
Two seniors who have been key parts of the Yale lineup throughout their careers lead the way in the midfield. Kaitlyn Flatley, who may also see time as a defender, has steadily emerged as one of the best two-way threats in the Ivy League. If you're looking for consistency you won't find a much better example than the stretch of six straight games late last season where Flatley scored exactly two goals in every game. She finished second on the team in goals (21), points (22) and caused turnovers (18). That goal total was 18 more than her previous career high, indicative of the work that she put in to improving.
Classmate Logan Greer -- who will join the team once squash season is over, as she just captained Yale to an undefeated national championship in that sport -- always finds ways to contribute, whether by scoring a goal, chasing down a draw control or a ground ball, or causing a turnover. She started 10 games and scored six goals a year ago.
The development of the sophomore class of midfielders figures to be one of the keys to Yale's season, as this talented group already has some impressive accomplishments and is capable of more. Kristen Chapman started 14 games last year, finishing second on the team in draw controls (18) and tied for fourth in ground balls (14). Devon Rhodes was a second team All-Ivy League selection who delivered some memorable performances, including an eight-goal outburst in Yale's 17-13 win over Harvard. She finished with the team lead in goals (27), points (35) and draw controls (23), becoming just the fifth freshman in Yale history to lead the team in goals and points. Six-footer Kelsea Smith scratched the surface of her potential with a pair of goals in 11 games played.
The freshmen midfield class includes Ashley McCormick (Paoli, Pa.), Julie Mongan (Malvern, Pa.), Courteney Rutter (Summit, N.J.) and Adrienne Tarver (Pikesville, Md.). McCormick, who was part of the U.S. Olympic Development Program as a soccer player, captained the lacrosse team at Episcopal Academy. Mongan, another six-footer, was all-area at Villa Maria Academy. Rutter was an honorable mention All-American at Oak Knoll, where her team was Group 1 State Champions in 2010. Tarver is a two-time All-American who won back-to-back conference championships with The Park School.
The lone senior attacker is Myra Trivellas, Mahi's twin sister. She brings the same type of fire and tenacity to the field. Myra's speed makes her dangerous in transition, and helped earn her 14 starts last season. She contributed six goals.
Junior Caroline Crow gives the Bulldogs a left-handed low attack option and is coming off a breakthrough season. She earned Yale's most improved player award last year primarily because her freshman season was derailed by injury. She bounced back as a sophomore to start nine games and score 12 goals. Her stick skills and speed make her a key part of Yale's ride as well.
Freshman Jen DeVito (Wading River, N.Y.) is an All-American who is coming off a 70-goal season for Shoreham-Wading River. Meghan Murray (Chatham, N.J.) is two-time All-American who was part of a pair of Group 2 State championships while at Chatham High. Sabine van der Linden (London, England) joins the Bulldogs from across the pond, where she has trained for England's U-19 World Cup team.
Yale opens the 2011 season at Holy Cross Saturday. The Bulldogs' first home game will be next Wednesday vs. Boston College, as that game has been moved to Reese Stadium because of the impact the winter weather has had on the field at BC.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity