Crow Adds a Hat Trick and a Pair of Assists
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – If the Marist women's lacrosse team wasn't quite ready for Yale sophomore attacker Jen DeVito, it was understandable. Hampered by an injury earlier in the year, DeVito had just one goal on four shots in five games entering Wednesday afternoon's game at Tenney Stadium. But those stats changed dramatically against the Red Foxes, as DeVito erupted for a career-high five goals on six shots. That ultimately made the difference as the Bulldogs came away with a 13-9 win.
"Jen's a great shooter, and she shot really well today," said Anne Phillips, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse. "She has the ability to help us with that, especially on the fast break. We've needed her game. Today, we don't win without her."
DeVito, a high school All-American, also came along gradually in her freshman year, scoring 11 goals in the final eight games after scoring four in her first six. On Wednesday, she got started on her big day early. After a yellow card on Marist, sophomore attacker Meghan Murray grabbed a pass just outside the crease to the left of Marist goalie Ashley Casiano. As Murray drove in front and the defense collapsed around her, she wisely fed the ball to DeVito instead of forcing a shot, and DeVito buried it at 25:29.
Yale (3-5) never trailed in the game, but the Red Foxes would not be put away easily. Attacker Ashley Miller beat a double team to tie the game a minute after DeVito's goal. That ended a scoreless streak of 36:18 for sophomore goalkeeper Erin McMullan and the Yale defense, dating back to last Saturday's game vs. Harvard.
A free position goal by freshman midfielder Erin Magnuson put Yale back ahead at 22:58, but a turnover in the midfield by the Bulldogs enabled Marist to knot things up again two minutes later.
Senior attacker Caroline Crow joined DeVito in the five-point club Wednesday with three goals and two assists. Crow's first tally came at 18:48 of the first, as she came around from behind and fired one in to put Yale up 3-2.
Five minutes later, Marist attacker Ariel Kramer bounced one in off the post to tie the game 3-3. Once again, the Bulldogs responded quickly. After sophomore defender Katherine Sherrill caused a turnover in the Yale end, the Bulldogs worked the ball up to Magnuson in the midfield. She finished the clear and then just kept going to goal, putting in her second of the game and third of the season at 12:17.
A free position goal by Marist then brought the game its fourth tie. Thanks to DeVito, it wound up being the last. McMullan came up with a big save on a free position shot to deny Marist the chance to take the lead with 8:30 left in the half, and four minutes later a Marist turnover in the midfield gave DeVito a breakaway.
"She had 30 yards to go, and it was just her and the goalie," Phillips said. "That's a long time to think about a shot, create an angle and bury it. A lot of people would have just hit the goalie or shot wide."
DeVito fired the ball in stride as she crossed into the 8-meter arc, putting Yale up 5-4. Freshman attacker Kerri Fleishhacker hit the post a minute later, keeping the lead at one heading into halftime.
Casiano made a pair of saves on Yale free position shots at the start of the second half, part of a 12-save day for her. But any thoughts of her stealing a win from the Bulldogs ended as Yale continued piling on the shots -- 18 in the second half on the heels of 16 in the first half, tying the team's season high with 34 for the game.
"One of our problems had been not enough shots," Phillips said. "We wanted to make sure we took enough shots to win today. This was also the first time this season that we had significantly more ground balls than our opponent (25 to 16), and we cleared the ball very well (19 for 19). Those possessions were huge."
That 25 ground ball total included a game-high six ground balls for sophomore defender Adrienne Tarver.
"She's got great feet as a defender, and she doesn't foul," Phillips said. "She's always in the right position, and if an attacker has any kind of weakness with how they handle the ball, she can exploit it. Today we talked about 'two-point plays' -- causing the turnover AND getting the ground ball. She helped a lot with that."
Marist (1-9) hung around thanks to a goal by midfielder Jamie Romano that made it 8-6 with 13:57 to play, but Yale responded with a three-goal run. After Crow scored on a free position, she fed DeVito for a goal to make it 10-6 with 9:44 to play. After freshman attacker Cathryn Avallone got the draw control Yale scored 22 seconds later. Following a foul on Marist in the midfield, Avallone lofted a pass to Crow down by the goal and Crow quickly moved the ball to freshman midfielder Christina Doherty at the top of the arc. Doherty drove in to put in her fourth goal of the year.
Marist got back on the scoreboard with 8:12 to play, but a free position goal by freshman midfielder Reilly Foote three minutes later got the lead back to five.
Foote also played a big role in turning the tide on the draw control for the Bulldogs. After winning just two draws in the first half, Yale won six in the second and Foote had three.
"That was a change that worked, putting Reilly on the draw," Phillips said. "She was able to offset what the Marist kid was doing there."
Kramer scored on a free position goal with 3:50 left, but McMullan made a save after Marist got the ensuing draw control. That enabled Yale to run down the clock. Sophomore defender Courteney Rutter, getting the chance to play some midfield, drew a free position shot with less than three minutes to play. She passed out of that to enable the Bulldogs to kill some more time, and was rewarded for her discipline with a goal a minute later -- her first of the season. Marist scored with 37 seconds left for the 13-9 final.
DeVito's big day was all the more important considering that two of Yale's top three goal scorers entering the day -- Avallone and junior attacker Devon Rhodes, who had combined for 23 goals -- did not score on Wednesday.
"That's important, because our offense isn't designed around one player," said Phillips. "A team can always shut down one of your good players, and then everyone has to step up. It was nice to see us do it today."
Yale travels to Colgate Saturday for a 1 p.m. game.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity