Second-Half Surge Leads Columbia Past Yale, 10-3

Courteney Rutter. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Courteney Rutter. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Rutter Scores First Goal 

NEW YORK – The Yale women's lacrosse team held Columbia scoreless for more than 20 minutes in the first half Friday afternoon at Wien Stadium. But when the Lions finally started scoring, they didn't stop. A 2-1 Yale lead was turned into a 4-2 Columbia lead early in the second half. Freshman midfielder Courteney Rutter momentarily stopped the run by bringing Yale within one with her first career goal, but the Lions responded with the final six goals of the game to finish off a 10-3 win.

Both teams were seeking their first league victory, and Columbia (3-8, 1-4 Ivy League) had the added incentive of playing for their six seniors in their home finale. The Lions struck first, with a goal by attacker Kacie Johnson five minutes in, but other than that the Bulldogs were able to slow down the Columbia attack. Junior goalie Whitney Quackenbush denied an 8-meter shot 30 seconds after the Johnson goal, part of that stretch of more than 20 minutes in which Yale kept Columbia off the scoreboard. Quackenbush finished the day with eight saves.

Meanwhile, Yale's young attack continued to develop. With junior attacker Caroline Crow – the Bulldogs' No. 2 goal scorer --sidelined, Yale went with an even younger lineup than usual. At one point in the first half Yale's seven attackers consisted of three freshmen, three sophomores and one senior.

Those younger players produced a pair of goals to give Yale the lead, as freshman attacker Jen DeVito scored at 12:09 and sophomore attacker/midfielder Devon Rhodes scored at 6:20. That prompted a Columbia timeout.

The Lions eventually evened the game on a goal by midfielder Camille Richardson with 4:45 left in the first. Columbia had a chance to take the lead right before halftime, but freshman midfielder Adrienne Tarver caused a turnover in the final seconds. The Bulldogs pushed the ball up the field in time for Rhodes to get off a shot that Columbia keeper Karlee Blank stopped as time expired.

Goals by midfielder Paige Cuscovitch and Johnson early in the second half gave Columbia a two-goal lead, but Rutter energized the Yale sideline with her first career tally at the 15:52 mark.

Cuscovitch scored again three minutes later, prompting a Yale timeout. A minute later the Bulldogs were hit with their third yellow card, and since it was the second one of the day for senior midfielder/defender Kaitlyn Flatley she was out for the rest of the game. That further strained a Yale defense that already had a pair of starters out with injuries.

The Lions were able to extend their lead gradually thanks to the fact that they won seven of 10 draw controls in the second half. With Columbia up 7-3 with five minutes to play, freshman midfielder Ashley McCormick scooped up the ground ball after a Lion turnover. But Blank made the save on her shot -- one of 15 saves for Blank -- and the Lions then extended the lead to 8-3 with 4:25 to play. A pair of goals in the final two minutes made the final 10-3.

Cuscovitch finished with four goals and Johnson had five points (2-3-5). Senior midfielder Logan Greer led Yale with three ground balls.

Yale (2-10, 0-5 Ivy League) returns to action Apr. 23 against Cornell at Reese Stadium.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity