Stony Brook Defeats Yale for Its Sixth Straight Win

Other than Yale, the list of teams that have held Stony Brook to fewer than 13 goals this year is a short one: No. 6 Duke, No. 5 Florida and No. 4 Maryland. The Seawolves entered the day averaging nearly 15 goals per game, and had racked up 91 goals in their five-game winning streak.

The Bulldogs built their defensive game plan around a series of match-ups, with one crucial one resting squarely on the shoulders of a freshman. Stony Brook attacker Claire Petersen entered the day leading the NCAA in points per game (6.73), having already established the team single-season records in assists (43) and points (74). She was coming off a 10-point day against Vermont. But with freshman defender Jayne Flynn on her Wednesday, Petersen was limited to just one assist.

“Jayne kept Petersen almost completely out of the mix,” said Anne Phillips, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse. “She limited Petersen's effectiveness from behind the cage, and it essentially became a 6-on-6 game. That was important.”

Stony Brook scored five times in the first 18 minutes of the game, making it look like the Bulldogs would be in for a long day. But Yale hung tough, with goals from junior attacker Devon Rhodes (assisted by DeVito), freshman attacker Kerri Fleishhacker (assisted by senior attacker Caroline Crow) and DeVito (assisted by freshman midfielder Cathryn Avallone) enabling the Bulldogs to stay within striking distance.

The assists were also a part of Yale's game plan, as the Bulldogs knew that driving on Stony Brook's defense would be tough. Crow saw her goal-scoring streak end at eight games, but she still has a point-scoring streak going after notching four assists Wednesday.

“We were scoring on their high-pressure zone inside,” said Phillips. “This was a team you couldn't drive on. We had to pass into the zone. Caroline became a feeder to create opportunities for her teammates.”

Yale wound up with multiple chances to cut the deficit to one as the first half wore on, with sophomore goalkeeper Erin McMullan making some key saves at the other end of the field (she finished with nine for the game). Rhodes just missed putting in a pass from Crow right in front of the goal with nine minutes left, and two minutes later Stony Brook keeper Frankie Caridi made a nice save on Rhodes' shot after a pass from Avallone.

With slightly more than two minutes to play, DeVito just missed converting a pass from Rhodes and Rhodes then hit the post, making it look as if Yale would remain stuck at three goals heading into the second half. But after a save by McMullan, DeVito scored off a Crow feed with 13 seconds left to pull Yale within 5-4 at the break.

The Bulldogs got possession to start the second half, but turned the ball over before they could tie the game. Midfielder Janine Hillier then scored on a free position shot to extend the Seawolves' lead to 6-4 with 28 minutes left.

With 27:18 to play, while saving a shot by DeVito, Caridi went down with an injury and left the game. She was replaced by Hannah Perruccio.

Stony Brook (11-3, 3-0 America East) scored again (midfielder Michelle Rubino) to get some breathing room at 7-4, but Yale (3-8, 0-4 Ivy League) continued to hang around. DeVito fed Rhodes from the side of the cage, and Rhodes used some quick stick handling to keep the ball away from the defense before depositing her 15th goal of the year with 22:27 to play.

But Stony Brook scored off the ensuing draw control, then extended the lead with a free position goal two minutes later.

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