Cornell Denies Yale's Bid for Spot in Ivy Tournament

Any chance of Yale keeping momentum after Sturgill's goal was eliminated by yet another unfortunate break. The random stick check after that goal resulted in one of Yale's sticks being ruled illegal, which gave the draw control to Cornell. The Big Red eventually got a free position shot that midfielder Katie Kirk used to extend the lead to 8-5 with 10:36 to play.

Senior defender Michele Fiorentino caused a Cornell turnover with nine minutes to play, but Yale then turned the ball right back over to the Big Red. Quackenbush made a nice save on a low shot by Steinberg, but the Bulldogs turned the ball over again right after that.

Cornell called timeout with 7:18 to play and began methodically running down the clock when play resumed. That forced the Bulldogs to start pressuring, and Johnson took advantage of that for a goal at 5:09 that made it 9-5. Steinberg scored again at 3:46, and the Big Red tacked on two more goals in the final 76 seconds to make the final 12-5.

Sturgill's hat trick wound up being the highlight of the game for the Bulldogs, as she finished her career with 66 goals -- 24th on Yale's all-time list. Sturgill also had four of Yale's nine draw controls for the game.

"In addition to scoring, Jess did some great things on the draw," Phillips said. "She played well all weekend, including the game against Georgetown Friday night. She played her heart out."

In the end, it was the final game for Yale's seven seniors -- Eliasberg, Fiorentino, Sturgill, attacker Jenna Block, midfielder Sarah David, attacker Lindsey DeMarco and midfielder Natalie Reid. The Class of 2010 finishes with 35 career wins, including 14 Ivy League victories, and one NCAA Tournament appearance.

"We talked in the locker room about all of the seniors," Phillips said. "This class stayed together for four years through a lot of transition. They all contributed to the success of the program in different ways. We had hoped to have added playing in the first Ivy League Tournament to their legacy, but it wasn't meant to be."

Quackenbush finished with six saves, giving her 144 for the year. That is the most by a Yale goalie since 2000, when Amanda Sisley '03 stopped 146.

Rhodes finished as the fifth freshman in school history to lead the team in goals (27) and points (35). Flatley was second on the team in both categories with 21 goals and 22 points, numbers that are all the more impressive considering that in her first two years -- playing primarily defense -- she had five goals in 32 games. Fiorentino's one caused turnover on Sunday gave her a team-high 20 for the year, a career high.

As a team Yale finished with a slight improvement in the won-lost column in Phillips' second season -- going from 5-11 overall to 6-9 overall -- but had numerous other signs of greater progress throughout the year. The Bulldogs knocked off then-No. 13 BU on the road, and came up with a thrilling last-second win over Brown on a goal by Flatley. They also downed archrival Harvard, and beat Columbia on the second-to-last weekend of the season to keep control of their chances for an Ivy League playoff spot.

Yale also started establishing Reese Stadium, which will be dramatically transformed by renovation this coming offseason, as a tough place for opposing teams to play. The Bulldogs went 3-1 against Ivy League teams at Reese, and the lone loss was a narrow 7-5 defeat to eventual league champion Penn. No other league team held the Quakers to fewer goals, and even five-time NCAA champion Northwestern allowed Penn eight goals.

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2010-04-26



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