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UMass Scores Final Four Goals to Beat Yale 9-5

Kaitlyn Flatley scores. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Kaitlyn Flatley scores. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Sturgill’s Hat Trick Not Enough

AMHERST, Mass. – After falling behind 2-1 to UMass 10 minutes into the game Wednesday afternoon at McGuirk Stadium, Yale spent most of the rest of the afternoon playing catch-up. But after the Bulldogs tied the game 5-5 on a free position goal by Devon Rhodes with 10:34 left in the second half, the Minutewomen scored the final four goals to come away with a 9-5 win. Senior attacker Jessica Sturgill led the Yale offense with three goals.

UMass (3-4) controlled the ball for the first four minutes, but a pair of saves by sophomore goalkeeper Whitney Quackenbush kept the Minutewomen off the scoreboard. Sturgill took quick advantage of Yale’s first possession, coming around from behind the net for a goal at 25:32.

But attacker Nina Sarcona tied the game on a free position shot 45 seconds later, then converted a nice pass from behind the net by Jackie Lyons to put UMass up 2-1 at 21:57. After midfielder Jesse O’Donnell extended the Minutewomen’s lead to 3-1, neither team scored for nearly 20 minutes. Quackenbush came up with a nice save to deny a high shot by midfielder Danielle Pelletier on a free position with three minutes left, and when Sturgill scored to bring Yale within 3-2 with 1:31 to play it looked like Yale (1-3) would have some momentum heading into halftime. But UMass got the draw -- one of 11 draws on the day for the Minutewomen as compared to five for Yale. That enabled O’Donnell to tack on a goal with just seven seconds left in the half.

Junior defender/midfielder Kaitlyn Flatley drove to the cage and got a free position attempt that she turned into a goal at 26:41 of the second. Shortly after junior defender Fielding Kidd forced the Minutewomen into a turnover by getting her stick on an attempted pass, Sturgill scored on a free position shot to tie the game 4-4 with 19:53 left.

UMass called timeout, and right after that a charging call against the Bulldogs cost Yale a chance to take the lead. O’Donnell’s goal at 16:29 put the Minutewomen up 5-4.

A nice pass by Sturgill set up Rhodes for a drive that earned her a free position shot that tied the game 5-5. A test of the UMass emergency warning alarm system then proceeded to go off in the stadium, momentarily delaying the game, and when play resumed the Minutewomen re-took control. Midfielder Jackie Lyons made a nice move into the 8-meter arc at 9:36 for a goal that made it 6-5. The Bulldogs called timeout but continued to have trouble getting, and maintaining, possession. Most of the remainder of the game was spent with the Minutewomen controlling the ball in Yale’s end. O’Donnell added another goal at 7:41, and Lyons and Sarcona tacked on two more in the final 3:31 to make the final 9-5.

“We took advantage of the few offensive opportunities we had, which is a sign of progress,” said Anne Phillips, Yale’s Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women’s Lacrosse. “But UMass beat us by doing what we did to beat them last year -- possessing the ball.”

Quackenbush finished with six saves, while UMass’ Katie Florence made two. The Minutewomen were a perfect 7-for-7 on clears, while Yale was just 6-for-10.

Yale visits Marist Saturday at Noon.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity