Rubino Lifts No. 15 Stony Brook to Comeback Win at Yale

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale gave the top-ranked defense in the nation a run for its money Wednesday afternoon at Reese Stadium, but ultimately No. 15 Stony Brook edged the Bulldogs 11-9 on a pair of goals in the final 10:42.

Yale was frustratingly close to the upset, including a Bulldog shot with two minutes to play that hit the crossbar and then fell just inches away from the goal line. Sophomore attacker Nicole Daniggelis led the Bulldogs with six goals, while junior midfielder Christina Doherty helped Yale's defense stay nearly neck-and-neck with Stony Brook by causing six turnovers.

“We competed right from the starting whistle, and I could not be more proud,” said Anne Phillips, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse. “Stony Brook head coach Joe Spallina paid us a huge compliment after the game, saying that that was the best game plan anybody has had against them this year. We executed the game plan and played them -- a top-15 team -- as well as almost anybody on their schedule.”

The Bulldogs knew that Stony Brook's defense would pose a challenge, as the Seawolves entered the day allowing just 4.58 goals per game. Stony Brook goalie Frankie Caridi was the nation's leader in both save percentage (.597) and goals-against average (4.34). The Seawolves had been on a real roll of late, holding their last three opponents to three or fewer goals and outscoring them 45-6.

But it was clear early on that things would be different at Reese Stadium on Wednesday. Yale (7-5, 1-3 Ivy League) weathered a 3-1 run by the Seawolves in the first 10 minutes, with Daniggelis' free position goal the Bulldogs' only tally. A beautifully timed pass from senior attacker Jen DeVito to freshman attacker Tess McEvoy in front pulled Yale within 3-2 at the 20:00 mark, and draw controls by Doherty and junior midfielder Erin Magnuson quickly translated into goals by Daniggelis (unassisted) and Doherty (from DeVito) in the next 61 seconds to give Yale a lead.

Stony Brook (11-2, 2-0 America East) countered with two goals in response, but Daniggelis scored again with 27.3 seconds left in the first half to tie the score 5-5 heading into halftime.

The Seawolves had outscored their previous opponents 97-22 in the first half, so the 5-5 score Wednesday boded well for Yale. The Bulldogs then came out and scored four of the first five goals of the second half -- three by Daniggelis (two unassisted and one assisted by DeVito) and one by senior midfielder Julie Mongan (from DeVito) -- to take a 9-6 lead with 20 minutes to play.

Senior goalkeeper Erin McMullan came up with a big save, one of four stops on the day for her, to deny a Stony Brook free position shot shortly after the ninth Yale goal. But the Seawolves got the ground ball, and eventually worked the ball to a wide-open midfielder Kristen Yevoli in front. Her goal brought the score to 9-7.

Despite a Yale timeout the Seawolves kept momentum in their favor. After a wild sequence of back-and-forth turnovers, Stony Brook scored again with 12:03 to play when midfielder Michelle Rubino flicked in the rebound of her own shot. After the Seawolves got the draw control, a great spin move by Rubino in front enabled her to tie the score with 11:46 left.

A critical goal for Stony Brook came with 10:42 remaining, as midfielder Emily Mercier scored on a free position to make the score 10-9 SBU. The Seawolves wound up getting eight free position shots (compared to just two for Yale), and they scored on three of them (Yale scored on just one), making a crucial difference on the scoreboard.

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