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Second-Half Shutdown Earns Yale a 10-8 Win vs. Holy Cross in Opener

Julie Mongan. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Julie Mongan. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Three Goals for Magnuson

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – It took about 30 minutes for the Yale women's lacrosse team to shake off the rust in the season opener Saturday morning at Reese Stadium vs. Holy Cross. The Bulldogs fell behind 7-3 at halftime, but the second half was a different story. A pair of goals by junior midfielder Erin Magnuson jump-started a seven-goal run by the Bulldogs, and they wound up limiting the Crusaders to just one goal in the final 30:43 to come away with a 10-8 win.

"I think in the first half we were just too amped up, with it being our first game," said Anne Phillips, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse. "We played fast, but we weren't deliberate when we needed to be. We turned the ball over too much."

The first half actually got off to a very brief good start for Yale, as sophomore midfielder Kelly Anne Sherlock drove in for the game's first goal just over a minute in. A free position goal by Magnuson then put Yale up 2-0 two minutes in, but the rest of the half was controlled by the Crusaders. After four Holy Cross goals in a span of 13 minutes the Bulldogs called timeout, but Holy Cross (0-3) tacked on one more to extend its lead to 5-2 before sophomore attacker Nicole Daniggelis got one back on a free position shot for the Bulldogs. Crusaders attacker/midfielder Kate Martino then scored a pair in the final minute, part of a three-goal day for her, to make the lead 7-3.

The Bulldogs had committed 11 turnovers in the first half (compared to three by Holy Cross), but in the second half Yale committed just seven and Holy Cross committed eight. The Bulldogs also continued to dominate on the draw control -- they won 14 for the day, including eight by Daniggelis. Those numbers added up to plenty of possession time in the second half, and the Bulldogs took advantage of it.

"Defensively, we made stops in the second half that gave our attack time," said Phillips. "Our defense stiffened, the momentum shifted, and that's how we were able to come back."

Magnuson's pair of free position goals in the first five minutes of the second forced Holy Cross to burn a timeout, but that did not slow the Bulldogs. With 24:13 left in the game, junior midfielder Christina Doherty drove to goal and scored -- despite being fouled -- to pull Yale within one.

One of those Holy Cross turnovers then enabled Yale to tie the game, as sophomore defender Flannery Carney scooped up the ground ball in Yale's defensive zone and freshman attacker Tess McEvoy scored the game-tying goal after the clear. Yale's defenders wound up with seven of the team's 12 ground balls, led by three from senior captain Adrienne Tarver.

Senior midfielder Julie Mongan then delivered the go-ahead goal with 18:31 remaining, her third career goal -- and perhaps a sign of more to come.

"Julie Mongan did some really good things today, and helped us in transition," said Phillips. "I think she's going to perform at a high level for us this year; she'll be a player to watch."

Another goal by Doherty forced another Holy Cross timeout with 17:08 left, but senior attacker Jen DeVito added Yale's 10th goal shortly after that.

A crease violation wiped away a Holy Cross goal with less than 10 minutes to play, but the Bulldogs caught a tough break after that when McEvoy's free position shot hit the post. The Crusaders were finally able to creep closer when attacker/midfielder Sara Hennessey scored on a free position with 7:05 left.

But that would be as close as the Crusaders would get. Yale senior goalkeeper Erin McMullan came up with one of her best saves of the day to deny midfielder Avery Giorgio from the doorstep with three minutes to play, and after that Yale spent most of the final minutes running out the clock. McMullan finished with seven saves.

"Erin McMullan played well, and made some big, timely saves," said Phillips. "She also did a good job on the clear, using the clock to our advantage."

Yale (1-0) travels to Sacred Heart for a 4:00 p.m. game next Wednesday.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity