Bulldogs Go Out as Winners, Top Brown 10-8 in Finale

PROVIDENCE, R.I. Yale ended its season on high note on Saturday afternoon at Stevenson Field, topping Brown 10-8 and finishing with the team's best single-season win total since 2008. Freshman midfielder Nicole Daniggelis had a hat trick and senior attacker Devon Rhodes had two points as she finished her career ranked in Yale's top 15 in all three scoring categories (assists, goals and points).

This was the final career game for the Bulldogs' two seniors -- Rhodes, Yale's captain, and defender Adrianna Amendola.

"A lot of things came together today -- offense, defense and goaltending," said Anne Phillips, Yale head coach. "Following up on that tough loss to BU this past Wednesday when we nearly rallied from an eight-goal deficit but wound up losing by one, this was a great team effort. Overall, we really started to play at a different level as the season wore on. That's what happens when you have so many younger players playing and developing."

While neither team had a chance at the Ivy League playoffs, there was still plenty to play for on this sunny and warm Saturday afternoon. The Bears -- who pushed 2013 Ivy League champion Penn to overtime before losing last weekend -- were one win away from tying their program record for wins, while the Bulldogs were seeking a winning season.

Brown (9-6, 2-5 Ivy League) scored the game's first goal, but after that Yale (8-7, 2-5 Ivy League) gradually began taking control. After free position goals by Rhodes and Daniggelis gave Yale a 2-1 lead, the Bears would never have the lead again.

Brown did come back to tie the game on two occasions, starting with a free position goal by midfielder Abby Bunting that knotted the score at 2-2 at 15:31.

Shortly after that Daniggelis had a free position shot partially blocked, but Rhodes was perfectly positioned behind the cage. She caught the ball after it sailed over the crossbar and then immediately sent it back in front of the cage, where junior attacker Jen DeVito caught it and scored to make it 3-2 Yale at 13:08.

That wound up being the final point of Rhodes' career at Yale, as she ended up 12th on Yale's career points list (135), 13th on Yale's career goals list (101) and 15th on Yale's career assists list (34).

"She was my first recruit at Yale," said Phillips. "We struggled and had three losing seasons in her first three years. I'm proud of her for sticking with the program. She stepped up as a senior and really helped all of our younger players. She helped them realize they could change things. She also did a lot for them as far as confidence, and was great for team chemistry. She set the stage for the future of the program, and that's her legacy."

Brown tied the game again when a free position attempt enabled attacker Bre Hudgins to pass to attacker Danielle Mastro for a goal at 8:29.

But Yale scored the final three goals of the half, starting with the first career goal for freshman midfielder Tori Virtue. Virtue got wide-open in front of the cage and buried a feed from DeVito at 5:10.

Daniggelis extended the lead when she made Brown goalie Kellie Roddy pay for straying too far from the cage on a clear attempt. Daniggelis chased her down near the restraining line, stick-checked the ball away from her and scooped up the ground ball. Daniggelis was temporarily stopped by a Brown foul, but after the restart she took a few steps before firing in a long-distance shot with the net open and Roddy far out of position.

The Bulldogs kept up the offensive pressure as the half came to a close. With 20.6 seconds remaining, DeVito fed sophomore midfielder Erin Magnuson for catch-and shoot to make it 6-3 at halftime. DeVito and Rhodes would finish the day tied for third in the Ivy League with 16 assists each.

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