Yale Surges Past Lehigh

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lehigh took a 5-4 lead early in the second half, but Yale responded in a big way to down the Mountain Hawks 16-8 on Sunday afternoon. Three Lehigh players posted multiple goals, led by three from senior Julie McBrien, while freshman Megan Paytas and sophomore Kelsey Yenco added two goals and two assists apiece.

"I thought we had a strong effort, our first half performance in particular," said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. "When we were up 4-2, I felt really good about it. I thought we were redefending well, we were playing well offensively. Then Yale got some momentum that was the difference in the game."

Lehigh only turned the ball over nine times while causing 10 of Yale's 13 turnovers, but the Bulldogs dominated the draw control which proved to be the difference. They won 21 of 25 draws including 15 from Nicole Daniggelis which tied an Ivy League record.

Fitzpatrick was stellar once again, making 13 saves including stopping 9 of 13 in the first half. It marked her fifth straight double-digit save performance. Sophomore Kelly Scott continued her strong play with five groundballs and two caused turnovers. Freshman Kendall Garden had four groundballs and a caused turnover as well.

Daniggelis scored just 32 seconds into the game, but Lehigh answered with four of the next five, from four different goal scorers, to make it 4-2 after Yenco found Paytas with 16:05 left in the first half. Yale broke a 21:23 scoreless drought with a free position goal to pull within 4-3 then Jen DeVito tied the score at four with time winding down in the first half.

McBrien gave Lehigh a 5-4 lead early in the second, but Yale used four goals in a 30-second span to take an 8-5 advantage following Daniggelis' second in 11 seconds. The Mountain Hawks answered with three of the next four to pull to 9-8 with 19:39 remaining. However, Yale scored three goals in 1:04 and added four more unanswered for the 16-8 final.

Final shots were 34-20 in favor of Yale while Lehigh held a 15-12 edge in groundballs. The Bulldogs held a 21-4 advantage in draw controls. Fitzpatrick made 13 saves before being relieved by senior MaryLeah DiNisco in the final minutes, across Yale's Erin McMullan who had seven.

"We're having more people go to the net, which is really important," said Redfern. "We're pushing our fast break better. We need some work on our redefending, but there are lots of little areas we're coming along in that we're proud of. Staying strong and sticking together for two halves when you're not winning is our biggest goal. We did that today; we didn't give up and we're proud of that."

The Mountain Hawks will return to action Wednesday against another Ivy League foe in Penn. Opening draw is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Ulrich Sports Complex.

* * * *

BETHLEHEM, Pa. For more than 40 minutes on Sunday, Yale found itself locked in a back-and-forth battle with Lehigh in which there were four ties and neither team ever led by more than three. But after the Mountain Hawks scored with 19:39 left to pull within 9-8, the Bulldogs clamped down on defense and began taking full advantage of a dominant performance on draw controls -- a school-record 21.

By the time the final whistle sounded, Yale had scored the final seven goals of the game and claimed a 16-8 win. The Bulldogs were led by four goals from freshman midfielder Nicole Daniggelis, who set the Ivy League record for draw controls in a game with 15. Freshman attacker AnnaElise Morello added her first career hat trick.

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2013-03-31



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