Hat Tricks for DeVito, Ketchum and Murray
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The seniors on the Yale women's lacrosse team went out on a winning note Saturday afternoon at Reese Stadium, helping the Bulldogs to a 14-10 victory over Stony Brook on Senior Day. They also got a glimpse of the program's future, as the freshman class accounted for nine of Yale's goals. The Bulldogs got hat tricks from one senior (midfielder Bray Ketchum) and two freshmen (attacker Jen DeVito and midfielder Meghan Murray) en route to their best offensive out put of the year.
"Today everything worked from one end of the field to the other," said Anne Phillips, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse. "We executed on attack, and some of the young players we have been bringing along produced. What they did today bodes well for the future."
The day started with a boost by a visit from Alanna, the teenager being treated for a brain tumor at Smilow Cancer Hospital that the team adopted last season. She was there to help salute the seniors from both teams in a pregame ceremony, as Yale honored Ketchum, midfielder/defender Kaitlyn Flatley, midfielder Logan Greer, defender Augusta Hixon, defender Fielding Kidd, defender/midfielder Mahi Trivellas and attacker Myra Trivellas.
Goals from the freshmen helped Yale build an early 4-1 lead, as Murray had a pair, DeVito had one (and her first assist of the season) and midfielder Adrienne Tarver added another in the opening 10 minutes.
Murray entered the day with two goals for the season, but Saturday's performance provided proof that she is capable of scoring many more for the rest of her career.
"Meg Murray is one the best inside finishers," Phillips said. "She knows how to move inside, and finally today it clicked for her. You just keep waiting for that 'Aha' moment, and that's what this was. We felt we could work the ball inside today, and that is what she is great at."
But it was after Stony Brook closed within 4-2 that the Bulldogs really got a spark, as Ketchum tallied the first goal of her career. It came at the 16:49 mark off an assist by Tarver and was punctuated by an exuberant celebration from Ketchum and her teammates.
Ketchum just joined the lacrosse team this season after four years playing ice hockey for Yale. She finished her ice hockey career in Yale's top 12 for goals, assists and points, but ironically it was in her final game as a lacrosse player that she got her first hat trick as a Bulldog.
"Bray has been so close to having a game like this all season," Phillips said. "For her to walk on to this team in midseason -- having not touched a lacrosse stick since high school -- and come to understand our offense and our ride and be a contributor is a testament to what a great athlete she is and what a great competitor she is. She kept at it all year, and without her maybe we don't win today."
Stony Brook called timeout shortly after Ketchum's goal, but the Bulldogs kept building their lead. Freshman midfielder Courteney Rutter scored her second goal of the season at 12:17, and 44 seconds later Ketchum quickly converted a feed from DeVito into another goal for a 7-2 lead.
The teams then traded goals for most of the rest of the game, a deal Yale was happy to make. DeVito and Murray (assisted by DeVito) scored again, and sophomore midfielder Kristen Chapman scored her first goal of the season (assisted by Greer), to help Yale to a 10-4 lead. That tied the team's largest lead of the season.
After a goal by Stony Brook midfielder Kaila Gottlick brought the score to 10-5, Seawolves goalie Mickey Cahill denied a shot by Ketchum as time expired in the half.
Freshman Erin McMullan came on in relief of junior Whitney Quackenbush in goal for the second half, and each would wind up with a pair of saves. A nice, driving goal by Tarver got the half started right for the Bulldogs offensively.
After Stony Brook scored on a free-position shot by midfielder Melissa Cook, the Bulldogs answered by scoring in transition after a Stony Brook turnover in the Yale end. Ketchum finished off her hat trick by burying a feed from Murray to make it 12-6 with 18:01 left in the game.
Cook and Chapman (assisted by Tarver) traded goals to make it 13-7 with 12 minutes left, and after Cahill denied a point-blank shot by DeVito the Seawolves were able to string together three straight goals to pull within 13-10 with 3:52 to play.
That made the final minutes interesting, but Yale's seniors helped keep the Seawolves from getting any closer. Greer got the draw control after the 10th Stony Brook goal, and a minute later a leaping interception by Kidd helped keep the SBU attack at bay. After a Stony Brook shot went wide and a hustling McMullan helped earn the possession for Yale, the Bulldogs ran time off the clock. Ketchum drew a free-position attempt in the final seconds and passed to DeVito for the last goal of the season, making the final 14-10 Yale.
Yale (3-12, 0-7 Ivy League) was a perfect 13-for-13 on clears, had a season-high 32 shots and tied its season high with 12 draw controls (three from Myra Trivellas). Ketchum had four of Yale's 20 ground balls.
Stony Brook (4-11, 1-5 America East) got three goals from Cook, who finished the season with 28 goals.
For the Class of 2011, Saturday's game brings an end to a unique four-year period. Phillips took over as head coach prior to 2008-09, the second season in a row Yale went through a coaching change.
"Two things at the heart of the experience for this class were change and adversity," said Phillips. "Competitive sports teaches you that you have to be determined to persevere in situations like that. That is one of the things that we will all take away from this season."
The win provides a positive end to a season that was marked by some signs of progress, including solid performances against the two teams that shared the 2011 Ivy League championship: Dartmouth and Penn. Yale had a narrow loss 9-8 to the Big Green and was one of only four teams to hold the Quakers to seven or fewer goals.
Combined with positive developments off the field that included the dedication of Reese Stadium earlier this month, it is not hard to see a brighter future ahead for the program -- especially with Saturday's win now providing the last impression of the 2011 season.
"It's fitting that the seniors had this game, where they played a huge role in a win," Phillips said. "The legacy they leave behind is a better future for the program."
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity