Seventeen minutes into the first half, captain Caroline Crow ’12 sprinted across the field to bring the Bulldogs into the lead against Columbia. The offensive run began when attacker Jen DeVito ’14 passed to fellow attacker Devon Rhodes ’13, who passed back to DeVito. After shaking off the opponent’s defense, DeVito spotted an opportunity and quickly assisted Crow, who rushed past the remaining defenders to blast a shot that shook the Lions’ net. The scoreboard shifted to 4–3 and the flow of the game turned in Yale’s favor.
Yale would go on to beat Columbia 13–9 and maintained the lead for the rest of the game. Crow led the team with five goals.
“I am really proud of our team since we all played well and gave it our best effort,” attacker Meghan Murray ’14 said.
After suffering through four straight conference losses, the Bulldogs (4–8, 1–4 Ivy) took their first Ivy win and secured seventh place. The Lions (2–10, 0–6 Ivy), on the other hand, slipped to eighth. Head coach Anne Phillips said Columbia was a tenacious team that was very difficult to put away.
Nevertheless, the Bulldogs celebrated Senior Day, which honored Crow and goalkeeper Whitney Quackenbush ’12, with a victory in front roughly 400 spectators at Reese Stadium.
“These two seniors have played huge roles for this team over the past four years, and they did a tremendous job against Columbia,” head coach Anne Phillips said.
Crow’s scoring rampage began just 40 seconds after the face-off. After a slow break transition, DeVito passed the ball to Crow, positioned right behind Rhodes. The captain then quickly moved past her would-be blockers and stormed into the Lions’ zone for a goal.
Both teams exchanged goals for the next 17 minutes, with Columbia scoring three and the Elis adding two more, including a powerful eight-meter free position shot goal from midfielder Christina Doherty ’15. The tie broke in Yale’s favor when Crow recorded her hat trick, and the Elis controlled the game for the remainder of the first half.
Rhodes also played a significant role as she added her 16th and 17th goals of the season, and assisted midfielder Erin Magnuson ’15 for the team’s seventh goal.
After coming out of the locker room with a 7–4 record, the Elis continued to dominate the first three minutes of the second half. Crow initiated the half’s scoring with her fourth goal only 17 seconds after the face-off. Then midfielder Cathryn Avallone ’15 took the draw control, and within 10 seconds, midfielder Riley Foote’s ’15 shot found the Lions’ net, followed by yet another splendid goal from attacker Kerri Fleishhacker ’15.
“We created a lot of great scoring opportunities for ourselves and capitalized on them,” Rhodes said.
However, Yale’s scoring slew slowed down a bit as the Lions scored two goals in the following two minutes. Although Fleishhacker suppressed Columbia’s resurgence by adding her second goal of the game, the Lions quickly recovered and added three more goals within three minutes to bring the goal gap down to two.
The Bulldogs responded by stepping up their offense’s aggression, but their shots kept going just shy of the goal and deflecting off the goalposts. The string of bad luck ended when the Elis’ captain again emerged to regain the offensive drive and widen the lead again. With only six minutes remaining until the whistle, Rhodes passed to a wide-open Crow, who shot without hesitation deep into the upper side of Columbia’s net.
Although the Lions tried desperately to recuperate the deficit, goalie Quackenbush disappointed the visitors. With 2:35 remaining, as Columbia’s lead scorer Kaci Johnson rushed from the backside of the net and pulled off an unexpected powerful shot, Quackenbush went low for a superb block. The save effectively ended all hopes of recovery for the Lions, and Avallone sealed the game by scoring the match’s last goal for Yale.
“It was great that we were able to come up with a win for our seniors who have given so much to the team the past four years,” Murray said.
Besides scoring, the Bulldogs overwhelmed the Lions in every aspect, especially with ball possession, which was the pivotal component to the team’s precious win. Whereas it is usually Doherty or midfielder Sabine van der Linden ’15 who are given charge of the draws, the Bulldogs this time opted to give that job to Murray, who faced off against the Lions and recorded two more controls.
“Columbia’s Kacie Johnson was able to offset van der Linden’s draw so we adjusted and had Meghan Murray draw to herself,” Phillips said.
Yale recorded nine more shots (34–25) and one more ground balls (16–15) than the visitors, demonstrating dominance in its offense.
“Our offense is multifaceted in that every single player is an offensive threat and that is extremely difficult to defend,” Rhodes said.
The defense made a few huge stops, Murray added.
Both defender Adrienne Tarver ’14 and defender Kallie Parchman ’14 got some key ground balls, and defender Ashley McCormick ’14 and defender Katherine Sherrill ’14 had caused a few turnovers, which pushed the ball up to the attack in transition.
Yale also outdid Columbia in clears (18–13), and although the visitors recorded more saves, the home team’s defense really tightened up its zone, allowing only a few one-on-one situations against the goalkeeper. Quackenbush was then able to effectively serve as the last line of defense at crucial moments and recorded seven saves.
Yale is now in seventh place in the Ivies, right behind the Bears because with one more loss. If the Bulldogs take down Brown this Wednesday at 4 p.m. at home, they will move up to sixth. The next place up is currently occupied by tying teams Harvard, Princeton and Cornell with three wins each.
“Like Columbia, Brown is a very tenacious team, and we will have to mark closely three Brown attackers and limit their offensive opportunities,” Phillips said.
After the game, the Yale squad signed autographs for their fans.