Crusaders Knock Off Bulldogs in Opener, 12-5

Caroline Crow. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Caroline Crow. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Two Goals for Caroline Crow

WORCESTER, Mass. – Plagued by turnovers, the Yale women's lacrosse team dropped its season opener Saturday afternoon at Holy Cross, 12-5.

Holy Cross (1-2, 0-0 Patriot League) had suffered a pair of close losses in its first two games, and the Crusaders clearly had worked out the kinks by the time they got to Saturday. Ultimately a 5-0 start by Holy Cross was too much for Yale (0-1, 0-0 Ivy League) to overcome, and the Bulldogs were hurt by 21 turnovers. The Crusaders also won the battle for ground balls, 23-13, and limited the Bulldogs to a 5-for-21 shooting performance.

"We said before the game that the keys would be draw controls, ground balls and shooting percentage," said Anne Phillips, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse. "We did what we wanted to do on draws [Yale won 12 of 19], but not in the other categories. And you can't have 21 turnovers and expect to win."

The first half was marked by a series of runs by each team. After a save by junior goalie Whitney Quackenbush 15 seconds into the game the Bulldogs sent a free-position shot wide two minutes later. Right after that the Crusaders reeled off five straight goals, with a couple saves by goalie Amy Martin on Yale free-position shots mixed in. Holy Cross midfielder Sara Hennessey had the first three goals, and one by attacker Cassie Rudden -- who also had a pair of assists during the run -- made it 4-0 at 14:40 and prompted a Yale timeout. But the Crusaders won the draw after the timeout and extended their lead to 5-0 on a goal by midfielder Annie Boylan.

Junior attacker Caroline Crow finally put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard with a free-position goal at 20:33. That sparked a Yale run. While Martin was able to make a save on a shot by freshman attacker Meghan Murray from right in front after a feed from sophomore midfielder Devon Rhodes, two minutes later Rhodes drove in for a goal of her own that pulled Yale within 5-2. Sophomore midfielder Kristen Chapman then set up freshman midfielder Julie Mongan for a goal to pull Yale within two.

After a save by Martin with less than two minutes to play in the first half, the Crusaders tacked on two more goals by midfielder Kat Sutton, who extended her scoring streak to 32 games with the tallies. Holy Cross went into halftime with a 7-3 lead.

Crow started the second half with a goal for the Bulldogs, but Holy Cross responded with two goals to make it 9-4 with just 17:59 to play. Sophomore midfielder Kelsea Smith's free-position goal with 17:23 to play pulled Yale within four.

Freshman goalie Erin McMullan, who came in at halftime, made her biggest save a minute later when attacker Taylor Zebrowski drew a free-position attempt and passed to a wide-open midfielder Maddie Carrellas for a shot that McMullan scooped up to keep the Bulldogs within four.

Martin caught a tough break when she had to come off the field with an injury with just under 12 minutes to play, leaving the game in the hands of freshman backup Sarah Weber. Weber made the first save of her career a big one, nabbing a shot by senior attacker Myra Trivellas after Trivellas came around from behind the net and fired from point-blank range.

Zebrowski's free-position goal with 4:12 to play made it 10-5 Holy Cross. Rudden added one more with less than three minutes to play, and Zebrowski scored again with 50.8 seconds left to make the final 12-5.

McMullan finished with six saves.

Yale hosts Boston College on Wednesday at 3 p.m. in a game that was initially scheduled to be played at BC but had to be moved due to the impact the winter weather has had on BC's field.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity