April 14, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale offense has been gradually coming together over the past few weeks, and lately some new sources of attack have come to the forefront. That trend continued in dramatic fashion on Wednesday, as the Bulldogs scored a season-high 18 goals to beat Wagner 18-4. Three different players -- freshman midfielder Winnie Call, junior defender Claire Eliasberg and freshman midfielder Erin Velez -- each scored their first career goals, and 10 different players scored at least once for Yale.
Velez' tally was part of a 12-1 run at the start of the game that immediately established control for Yale (5-8, 1-4 Ivy League). Velez buried a feed from senior midfielder Jenn Warden, who scored three goals herself in that span while assisting on three others. Junior midfielder Ariana Papier had all four of her goals for the game during that run, and she now has 10 goals in the last six games.
The Bulldogs' other four goals in the first half came from junior attacker Jessica Sturgill (two), sophomore midfielder Logan Greer and sophomore midfielder Kaitlyn Flatley. The 12-2 run spanned just less than 26 minutes, and Wagner finally ended it with a free position goal five seconds before halftime.
The Bulldogs did not let up in the second half, starting with a goal by Sturgill assisted by junior attacker Jenna Block. Then, after Wagner (4-10, 3-3 NEC) got a goal from midfielder Carolyn Clark, Yale went on a five-goal run that kept the game out of the Seahawks' reach. It started with Block putting home a feed from Call for the freshman's first point. Block's five-point day gives her 33 points for the season (11-22-33), more than tripling her point total from last year (7-3-10). Her 22 assists are tied for 10th on Yale's single-season list.
Junior attacker/midfielder Lindsey DeMarco then scored two straight for the Bulldogs, including one assisted by Warden that gave Warden a seven-point (3-4-7) day. She is now tied for seventh on Yale's career lists in both goals (110) and points (146). Warden also caused seven turnovers on Wednesday, some of which contributed to Yale limiting Wagner to a 9-for-18 performance on clear attempts.
"Jenn has been great at causing turnovers all year, but today she really looked fantastic out there," said Anne Phillips, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Football. "She was a key part of the ride."
Call then scored her first career goal to make it 17-3. She has just recently begun working her way back into the mix after being sidelined earlier in the year.
"She was having a great fall," Phillips said. "Then she got sick, and got a late start to the regular season. It's nice to see she's on her way back."
The southpaws Call and DeMarco, along with freshman attacker Caroline Crow, certainly gave Wagner a different look.
"We took advantage of our lefties today," Phillips said. "Lindsey has a really hard shot, and it was just a matter of getting her in on the goal."
Eliasberg's free position goal got Yale to 18, and also marked the continuation of a trend as Yale looks for offense from its defense. Last time out, against Columbia, junior defender Michele Fiorentino scored her first career goal and sophomore defender Augusta Hixon got her first career assist. In addition to Eliasberg's goal, the Wagner game also saw another one of Yale's top defenders -- sophomore Fielding Kidd -- set free beneath the restraining line on attack; Kidd had two shots on goal but was unable to score.
Clark scored the final goal of the game, her 24th of the year, but in the end Wagner's top scorer -- midfielder Kelly Blundin (25-17-42 entering the game) -- was limited to just one shot on goal and no points as the Yale defense controlled the game. Freshman Whitney Quackenbush played the first half in goal, and sophomore Katie Janian came on for the second half. Each made one save.
In addition to the decisive final score, Yale also held a dramatic edge in draw controls (17-7).
"This was a game where we could test some things out," said Phillips. "Some of the areas we concentrated on were draw controls and assisted goals, things we need to be mindful of moving forward."
Yale returns to Reese Stadium to host Cornell Saturday at 1:00 p.m.; it is the last home game of the season and will be Senior Day, honoring Warden and midfielder Taylor Fragapane.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (email@example.com), Yale Sports Publicity