W. LACROSSE | No. 5 Penn bests Elis

Midfielder Devon Rhodes ’13 shields the ball form a Fairfield defender on March 3. Rhodes leads the team with 13 goals and five assists.
Midfielder Devon Rhodes ’13 shields the ball form a Fairfield defender on March 3. Rhodes leads the team with 13 goals and five assists. Photo by Betsey Di Bonaventura.

The women’s lacrosse team improved its record to 3–4 (1–1 Ivy) with two wins and three losses in five contests over the break.

After falling to James Madison and UMass in the first week of play, the Bulldogs won two in a row before dropping a close decision to No. 5 Penn last Saturday. Yale’s two wins came in one-goal contests as the Elis beat Marist 9–8 and opened Ivy play with a nail-biting 8–7 win over Brown at Reese Stadium.

“We made huge strides from the first week to the second week,” said defender/midfielder Kaitlyn Flatley ’11, who scored the game-winning goal against Brown with just nine seconds remaining. “The second week we finally came together and played as a team.”

The Bulldogs kicked off their second week with the Wednesday afternoon contest against the Bears (2–3, 0–2).

Within just six minutes of regulation play, the Elis found themselves trailing 3–0. But by about the mid-point of the first half, the defense found its groove, and attacker Devon Rhodes ’13 scored twice to bring the Bulldogs back in the game. Soon after, attacker Jenna Block ’10 placed one past Brown goalie Isabel Harvey to tie the game with just 10 minutes left in the half. It looked like Yale would go into the break tied until a Brown attacker took advantage of a loose ball in front of Yale’s net and snuck one past goalie Whitney Quackenbush ’12 with just one second remaining.

The second half started off quickly with Block’s second goal of the day to tie it 4–4 just minutes into the period. The scoring continued back and forth, with two Bulldog goals from attacker Caroline Crow ’12 and Rhodes matching a pair of Brown goals. But it was Flatley who silenced the Bears, scoring Yale’s final two goals, including the game-winner as the final whistle sounded.

“Being able to come from behind and pull out a win in the last seconds showed us we have the determination to fight until the very end,” Flatley said.

The Elis retained this momentum heading into their final spring break contest against defending Ivy champions Penn. Quackenbush and the Bulldogs held the Quakers — who had defeated their previous two opponents by an average of 15 goals — to just seven tallies.

“I was really proud of the way we played against Penn,” captain and defender Claire Eliasberg ’10 said. “In my four years here this was the closest we’ve ever come to beating them.”

She added: “I think we realized if we play to our potential we can compete against any team on our schedule, and that gives us great confidence moving forward.”

Flatley started the scoring with the first two goals of the game to make it 2–0 midway through the first half. But the Quakers quickly responded to make it 2–1 going into halftime.

In the first few minutes of the second half, Penn erased the deficit as Ali DeLuca took advantage of two Bulldog yellow cards to tie the game. The Quakers were able to maintain a two-goal lead for part of the second half, despite a free position goal from Flatley. But the Bulldogs pulled back into the game with goals from Crow and attacker Jess Sturgill ’10 to tie it 5–5 with 10 minutes remaining. The Elis fell short of the upset they were looking for as the Quakers scored the final two goals of the game and solidified the score at 7–5.

“Our main goal for the season is to make the Ivy League tournament,” Eliasberg said. “Beating Brown and playing well against Penn were both steps in the right direction. But we know we can be better, and we want to keep improving.”

The Elis will look to use this momentum as they travel to Boston to face BU at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

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