May 2, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The season finale for Yale Saturday wound up echoing many of the themes from throughout the year, as the Bulldogs hung tough behind a solid defense and great goaltending but ultimately could not come through with a victory. No. 8 Georgetown broke open a game that was 4-1 at halftime by scoring four goals in a span of slightly more than three minutes early in the second half, finishing off the Bulldogs 12-4. Senior midfielder Jenn Warden had two goals in her final game for Yale, while sophomore midfielder/defender Kaitlyn Flatley and freshman midfielder/defender Erin Velez also scored. Freshman goalkeeper Whitney Quackenbush made 13 saves.
The first three minutes set the tone for the game, as Georgetown (13-5) got the opening draw control and set up on offense. The Bulldog defense shut down the Hoyas' ability to drive, and Georgetown wound up turning the ball over multiple times, but Yale could never clear the ball. Midfielder Erin Lovett was eventually able to get Georgetown on the scoreboard at 26:45 with a free position goal, one of four for the day for the Hoyas.
The Bulldogs were not able to set up on attack until six minutes in, when junior midfielder/defender Natalie Reid blocked a shot by attacker Jacqueline Giles and Quackenbush scooped up the ground ball. But Yale was unable to get a shot off, and midfielder Mary Beth Brophy extended Georgetown's lead to 2-0 at 21:55.
Two more big defensive plays -- a drawn charge by sophomore defender Fielding Kidd and a save by Quackenbush -- kept the score close, and Yale finally got its first shot on goal when Warden fed junior midfielder Sarah David in front. But Georgetown goalie Caitlin Formby made the first of her four saves, and shortly after that Brophy gave the Hoyas a 3-0 lead and the Bulldogs called time.
Flatley's tally at 12:56 got Yale (5-11) within two, but the rest of the half belonged to the defenses. The lone goal in the final 12:55 came from Georgetown midfielder Ashby Kaestner. Quackenbush made a huge save on Giles with four minutes to play, who was all alone in front after taking a pass off a free position attempt from attacker Sarah Seats but could not get the ball past the Bulldog rookie. Attacker Molly Ford hit the post and Reid controlled the ground ball as time expired in the first half.
The four-goal half represented quite a change from what Georgetown had been used to recently. The Hoyas had put up some impressive goal totals in the last month, including 21 against Louisville, 19 against UConn and 18 against Cincinnati. They finally took control of this game with that 4-0 run that went from 29:33 to 26:29 of the second half, getting goals from four different players.
Yale was able to get two quick goals from Warden and Velez (off a Warden assist) to get within 8-3 with 21:26 to play. The first came when Warden chased down an errant pass and drove to the goal; the second came when Warden drew the attention of the defense and passed to a wide-open Velez in front for a bounce shot.
The Yale defense and Quackenbush continued to make things difficult for the Hoya attack, and at one point attacker Molly Ford even resorted to trying a no-look sidearm shot around a Yale defender that Quackenbush stopped easily. But with the majority of the play taking place in Yale's end of the field, it was only a matter of time before Georgetown pieced together another run -- this one a four-goal run that took nearly nine minutes and put the game out of reach.
Warden did squeeze in one last memorable moment for her career. She was checked to the face in the final minute, sending a Georgetown player off with a yellow card and sending Warden to the 8-meter arc for a free-position attempt with a huge red welt forming on her forehead. She delivered the 118th goal of her career, finishing sixth all-time at Yale in that category. She also finished seventh in points (156) and tied for 11th in assists (38).
This was the final game for both Warden and senior midfielder Taylor Fragapane, the team captain. The two led Yale to 38 victories (14 Ivy League victories) and an NCAA Tournament appearance in their tenure.
Yale will announce its post-season team award winners and 2009-10 captain next week.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity