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Local Rivalry Resumes as Fairfield Visits Reese Wednesday Afternoon

Jenna Block. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Jenna Block. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs, Stags Meet for 12th Time

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Fairfield women's lacrosse team lost only three games all season in 2009, including one at the end (to Penn in the first round of the NCAA Tournament) and one near the beginning. That first loss was an 11-10 overtime defeat at the hands of Yale, the second straight time the Bulldogs beat the Stags by a goal. The local rivalry resumes Wednesday afternoon at Reese Stadium (4 p.m.).

Yale's win last season marked one of just four times that Fairfield's high-powered offense was held to 10 or fewer goals in a game. Sophomore goalie Whitney Quackenbush (Manhasset, N.Y.) made her varsity debut, coming on in relief to make six saves in the final 36 minutes while allowing only three goals. That enabled Yale to rally from an 8-4 deficit early in the second half, and three goals in a span of eight minutes by senior attacker Jessica Sturgill (Ellicott City, Md.) late in regulation helped send the game to overtime, where senior attacker Jenna Block (Owings Mills, Md.) won it.

Those three also played key roles in Yale's season-opening 8-5 win over Holy Cross last Saturday at Reese. Sturgill had two goals, Block had an assist, and Quackenbush made 11 saves. The Bulldogs also benefited from contributions from their freshmen. It took midfielder Devon Rhodes (East Northport, N.Y.) all of 2:48 to score her first collegiate goal, and she finished with three goals and two assists. It was the first hat trick by a Yale freshman since 2006. Midfielder Kristen Chapman (Belmont, Mass.) also scored, and midfielder Brittany De Lea (Wading River, N.Y.) had an assist, to round out the scoring contributions from the freshman class.

The Yale defense was led by three caused turnovers from senior defender Michele Fiorentino (Berwyn, Pa.) and two from junior defender/midfielder Kaitlyn Flatley (Berwyn, Pa.). Flatley had four ground balls, while Fiorentino and senior defender Claire Eliasberg (San Diego, Calif.) had three each.

Fairfield (1-0, 0-0 MAAC) opened its season with a 20-12 win against Monmouth Feb. 21, led by seven goals from attacker Erin Rigby that were part of a 12-0 run midway through the game by the Stags. Rigby, a second team All-MAAC selection last season, has a 41-game point scoring streak going. Midfielder Kristen Coleman added four goals, giving her a school-record 182 points for her career. In addition to being named the MAAC Offensive Player of the Year, she was first team All-MAAC and second team All-Region last year.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity