Dukes Benefit from 11-5 Edge on Draw Controls
HARRISONBURG, Va. – For most of the first half Wednesday afternoon, Yale stayed within striking distance of No. 10 James Madison. But after the Bulldogs pulled within 4-3 with less than three minutes left in the half, the Dukes tacked on one more goal before halftime. They then scored the first three goals of the second half, effectively eliminating any chance of an upset. The final was 9-5.
Yale (0-4, 0-0 Ivy League) might have been hoping for better weather by heading south in the first week of spring break, but the Bulldogs definitely did not get it. Wednesday's game was initially scheduled to be played on JMU's grass field at 4 p.m., but it was moved to the turf field for a 2 p.m. start due to the cold, rainy and windy conditions in the forecast.
Both teams warmed up in a steady rain, but that stopped early in the game and -- other than the low temperature -- conditions wound up not being much of a factor. After junior goalie Whitney Quackenbush stopped a pair of free-position shots in the first two minutes, junior attacker Caroline Crow put Yale up 1-0 with a goal at 27:47.
JMU goalie Alex Menghetti turned aside a pair of Yale free positions that could have extended the lead, and a free-position goal by midfielder Caitlin Sullivan tied things up at 22:31 and started a run of three straight goals by the Dukes.
Sophomore midfielder Kelsea Smith helped the Bulldogs re-claim some momentum by driving to the goal and drawing a foul with less than six minutes to play in the half. She was fouled on her first free-position attempt and buried her second one to pull Yale within 3-2.
"We have been working on some things with Kelsea lately, and she did a great job driving and generating scoring chances today," said Anne Phillips, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse.
JMU (4-0, 0-0 CAA) scored on just two of its first six free position attempts, but midfielder Ashley Kimener buried the seventh to make it 4-2 at 4:09. A free-position goal by sophomore midfielder Devon Rhodes got the Bulldogs within one, but that wound up being as close as they would get the rest of the way. JMU got the draw control after that goal, enabling attacker Mary Kate Lomady to set up attacker/midfielder Monica Zabel for a goal that made the score 5-3 JMU at the half.
JMU wound up winning seven of nine draws in the first half and 11 of 16 for the game.
"We knew all the draw control sets and where the ball was going on each one," Phillips said. "We just didn't get the ball."
Scoring the first three goals of the second half enabled the Dukes to build a comfortable lead despite having two more free-position shots saved by Quackenbush, who finished with seven stops. Rhodes scored again with 10:12 to play, but JMU answered with a goal off a Yale turnover with 6:01 to play. After that the Dukes got the draw control and operated their offense patiently, running valuable time off the clock. A turnover enabled Smith to fire a hard shot on goal that Menghetti got a piece of; the ball still had enough speed to trickle past her and put Yale on the board with 2:06 to play. That wound up being the final goal of the game. Menghetti made saves on Crow and Rhodes in the final two minutes and finished with nine stops.
Yale returns to New Haven to host Marist on Saturday at 11:30 a.m., part of a doubleheader at Reese Stadium that also includes a Yale men's lacrosse game vs. Lehigh.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity