Following the Bulldogs’ successful season opener against Holy Cross, the team has high hopes for this season. During the game, attacker and leading scorer Devon Rhodes ’13 scored four of Yale’s goals to lead the Elis to a 17–13 win against the Crusaders. The News sat down with Rhodes, an American
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Studies major from East Northport, N.Y., to talk about the team’s progress.
Q How was the kickoff game of the season? What did you think about the team’s play?
A I think we did really well. We looked fast. Last year we had [a] tumultuous season, but we bounced back. To start the season with a big win is huge.
Q What was the biggest difference in the team’s play, compared to last season’s?
A Definitely speed. The nine freshmen upped the speed [of the game]. We have [a] different confidence this year. Last year, we started with a loss [against Holy Cross], but this was a revenge game.
Q What happened last season? The team did not fully meet its expectations and finished last in the Ivies.
A Last season a lot of players quit the team. I think we got off [on the wrong foot]. The team was really low after a few losses, and then after that it was just downhill.
Q How are practices structured?
A We go to the weight room twice a week, and we have practice every day at Reese [Stadium], either from 1:30 to 3:30 or from 6 to 8. We basically spend about four, five hours a day [practicing]. We will be staying here during [the first part of] spring break and then we [the team] will be going to Florida for five days.
Q As one of the team’s key players, do you ever feel pressure to perform?
A I don’t think there is actually any extra pressure. We look at the stats before matches, and I am sure the opponents do too. Defenders can see who has the most points, and since I have scored the most goals, I could be a player to watch, which could stress me a bit.
Q When did you start playing lacrosse?
A I have been playing lacrosse since third grade. My whole family, starting from my grandparents, played lacrosse too.
Q Tell us about your high school lacrosse days. Did high school help prepare you to become a better player at Yale?
A I played for a club team called the Yellow Jackets in Long Island. Since lacrosse is very popular in that area, it was automatically very competitive, and I was fortunate to play in such competitive environment. I actually hope to make to the national team at one point.
Q What are some of the difficulties you face as a lacrosse player at Yale?
A It’s completely doable to be an athlete and student at Yale. Time commitment is the most difficult challenge since you put in five hours in practice on a daily basis. It is somewhat frustrating, but I can handle it.
Q What was the most memorable, unforgettable match for you at Yale?
A My freshman year, we played against Harvard. It was my first big rivalry match. It was a beautiful day, and I scored eight goals in the game. We beat them, and it was just great.
Q Do you plan to continue playing lacrosse after graduation?
A Yes. There are not that many opportunities for girls to play, but I still want to have it in part of my life.
Q What are your goals for the season?
A I think as a team, we definitely hope to get to the Ivy Championship. Personally, it would be an honor to be in the All Ivy, but to be more practical, I want to lower my turnover and increase my shot percentage.