April 14, 2012

Seniors Crow and Quackenbush Lead the Way Past Columbia, 13-9

Seven Points for Crow, Seven Saves for Quackenbush

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's lacrosse senior class may be small in numbers, but it is big in impact. So it was appropriate that on Senior Day at Reese Stadium Saturday afternoon vs. Columbia, it was the two members of the Class of 2012 -- attacker Caroline Crow (Davidsonville, Md.) and goalkeeper Whitney Quackenbush (Manhasset, N.Y.) who led the way in a 13-9 victory. Crow had five goals and two assists, while Quackenbush made seven saves.

"It was fitting that today, Whitney had the team's back and Caroline took the lead on the attack," said Anne Phillips, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse. "They have played huge roles for this team over the past four years, and they did a tremendous job today."

Crow got things started with the game's first goal 44 seconds in, converting an assist from sophomore attacker Jen DeVito. That extended Crow's point scoring-streak to 10 games, and DeVito now has a six-game scoring streak as well.

But Columbia would score three of the next four goals as Yale (4-8, 1-4 Ivy League) started slowly. Crow scored off an assist by freshman midfielder Cathryn Avallone during that span, but it wasn't until freshman midfielder Christina Doherty scored off a free position attempt that Yale really got going. That began a five-goal run by the Bulldogs, including one more from Crow, a pair from junior attacker Devon Rhodes and one from freshman midfielder Erin Magnuson that made it 7-3 with 5:18 left in the half. Crow and Rhodes also had assists during that span.

The Yale defense in front of Quackenbush, meanwhile, made life difficult for the Lions. Between the time that attacker Kacie Johnson scored Columbia's third goal and when midfielder Paige Cuscovitch scored the Lions' fourth goal just before halftime -- a span of 18 minutes -- the Bulldogs allowed only one shot on goal, and that one was stopped by Quackenbush. Yale also won five of six draw controls in that time frame, including three by sophomore attacker Meghan Murray.

Crow went back to work quickly in the second half, grabbing the draw control and scoring 17 seconds in. Freshmen then delivered two more goals, as Avallone set up midfielder Reilly Foote for one and attacker Kerri Fleishhacker scored another to make it 10-4 with 27:19 to play.

But Columbia (2-10, 0-6 Ivy League) would not go quietly. The Lions went on a 5-1 run to pull within two goals with 13:36 to play. Yale's only goal during that run came from Fleishhacker off a Magnuson assist.

Columbia goalie Skylar Dabbar made a great save on Crow from right in front of the cage with less than 12 minutes to play, but Quackenbush answered with a denial of midfielder Katie Angulo from point-blank range two minutes later.

This was Quackenbush's first game in nearly a month, but it was clear that she still had the form that had earned her 50 starts over her four seasons in New Haven.

"Whitney has played in big games before and come up huge for us," said Phillips. "She earned the chance to start today, and made some key saves -- particularly in the second half."

After another great save by Dabbar, this time on Avallone, it was Crow who finally got the Bulldogs back on the board. She drove in for an unassisted goal with 6:26 to play that provided some much-needed breathing room.

"She made a beautiful shot top-shelf, and took a little wind out of Columbia's sails," said Phillips.

Columbia midfielder Taylor Gattinella hit the post with 4:30 left, and sophomore defender Kallie Parchman grabbed the ground ball. After a series of saves by Dabbar, who finished with 10, the Lions mounted one more threat. But Quackenbush got low to deny Johnson what would have been her 40th goal of the season with 2:30 to play, and the Bulldogs cleared. Avallone's goal with 1:31 to play, off a Crow assist, made the final 13-9.

Seven points for Crow, Yale's captain, is the most by a Bulldog since Rhodes had eight in a 17-13 win vs. Harvard Apr. 3, 2010.

"That's what you would expect from a senior captain, and then some," said Phillips.

It was a telling sign of the mutual respect among Yale's goalies that one of the first people to congratulate Quackenbush after the game was sophomore goalkeeper Erin McMullan, who had started the past five games.

For Crow, Saturday was another high point in a senior season that has helped answer the question of what she could do if completely healthy. She now has doubled her previous career high in goals (24 to 12) and has more than doubled her career highs in assists (11 to 5) and points (35 to 17). Crow has also played in a career-high 12 games, as she had been limited to no more than 11 by various injuries in each of her first three years.

"This is the first year that she has played the whole season," Phillips said. "That's why you're seeing the tremendous results she has had. She's a great player."

And while Saturday was Senior Day, it was actually not Crow and Quackenbush's last scheduled game on the Reese Stadium turf. That comes Wednesday, when the Bulldogs host Brown at 4 p.m.

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