Yale Enjoys Best Offensive Performance in Five Years
from press release
HAMDEN, Conn. – The Yale women's lacrosse team had its best offensive day in five years Wednesday afternoon at Quinnipiac, scoring 19 goals to top the Bobcats 19-12. Five different players had four or more points, led by sophomore midfielder Cathryn Avallone with five goals and three assists and senior attacker Devon Rhodes with six goals and one assist. Junior attacker Jen DeVito had a pair of goals and three assists, while sophomore attacker Kerri Fleishhacker had four goals and sophomore midfielder Erin Magnuson had two goals and two assists. Sophomore midfielder Christina Doherty added one assist.
Yale (1-1, 0-0 Ivy League) had fallen behind 8-4 in the first half of a 16-13 loss at Holy Cross in the season opener Saturday, but the Bulldogs made it clear from the start that Wednesday's game would be different. On a cold and rainy day the Bulldogs stormed to a 6-0 lead, including a pair of goals each for Avallone and Fleishhacker.
After letting up three goals in the first two minutes, Quinnipiac (0-1, 0-0 NEC) called timeout. That did little to slow the Bulldogs down, as they proceeded to tack on three more goals. Yale also won the first five draw controls, including three by freshman midfielder Kelly Anne Sherlock, and Quinnipiac did not even have a possession in Yale territory for the first four minutes of the game.
"That is one of the things we have been teaching -- how to build a lead, possess the ball and control things offensively," said Anne Phillips, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse. "We did that really well today."
A brief delay in the game due to a clock malfunction six minutes in did not faze the Yale attack. But after Avallone scooped up a loose ball in front of the cage and deposited the goal that put Yale up 6-0 at 23:29, Quinnipiac won the draw control and started a 5-2 run -- with a goalie change (Rachel Massicotte for starter Samantha Tilts) sandwiched in.
With the lead cut to 8-5, Yale called timeout and reeled off four of the game's next five goals. Avallone scored twice in a span of 29 seconds to start the run, first by getting wide open in front of the cage and depositing a feed from Rhodes and then by driving in from the left side to create her own shot.
After Quinnipiac attacker Kyra Ochwat scored to stop the Yale run, the teams each tacked on two more goals to make the score 12-8 Yale at halftime.
The Bulldogs then seized control in decisive fashion as the second half began. Rhodes set the tone, scoring off a feed from DeVito and then scoring on a free position shot to make it 14-8 within the first four minutes of the half. Neither team would score again for nearly 10 minutes, but after the teams traded goals halfway through the period Yale went on another run. Avallone started it by scoring shortly after a yellow card on Quinnipiac, and Rhodes and Fleishhacker then extended the lead to 18-9.
Quinnipiac avoided the possibility of running time by scoring three of the game's final four goals, but never threatened the Bulldogs in the final minutes. The only highlight for the Bobcats was an assist by attacker Sarah Allen on the final goal, which made her the school's career leader in assists with 112. But coming off a season in which she led the NCAA with 64 assists, Allen was held mostly in check by the Yale defense. She finished with one goal and two assists.
Junior goalkeeper Erin McMullan finished with eight saves, including seven in the second half. Junior defender Adrienne Tarver added a team-high four ground balls.
This was the most goals scored by Yale since a 19-9 win vs. Holy Cross Apr. 2, 2008. The last time a Yale player had eight points in a game was Apr. 3, 2010, when Rhodes pulled off that feat in a win over Harvard. Ten of Yale's 17 goals from the field Wednesday (the Bulldogs scored two on free positions) were assisted.
"The offense played as a unit," said Phillips. "They clicked and we shared the ball well. Devon played great. We were efficient and shot well, scoring on 19 of 32 shots. We also got scoring from our midfielders, which really helped."
Yale hosts No. 12 Dartmouth Saturday (1:00 p.m.) at Reese Stadium in the Ivy League opener.
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