Women’s lax tries for first conference win

Six members of the women’s lacrosse team scored their first goals of the season Wednesday. After thriving as individuals, the team hopes to come together this weekend to achieve another first — their first Ivy League win of the season.

Coming off a 19-4 rout over Fairfield on Wednesday, the Elis (3-4, 0-2 Ivy) will travel to Cambridge, Mass. on Saturday looking to string two consecutive wins together for the first time this season. The Bulldogs have remained winless in the Ancient Eight so far this season, already having dropped one-goal games to Penn and Dartmouth. The matchup will be Harvard’s first against a conference opponent, and the Crimson (2-4) will enter the weekend trying to snap a four-game losing streak.

“We need to get this win in the Ivy League after losing to Penn and Dartmouth,” defender Jess Champion ’07 said. “It’s just like any other game that we need to win.”

Wednesday’s win over Fairfield came on the heels of a disappointing 9-8 loss to Dartmouth last Saturday. The recent victory showed that Yale has the capability to bounce back from a tough loss and it hopes to continue its winning ways against the Crimson. Nine Elis scored goals in the victory, and netminders Lonnie Sarnell ’06 and Casey Littlefield ’07 combined for 15 saves against the Stags.

“Everyone got a chance to show their stuff [Wednesday],” midfielder Lindsay Levin ’07 said. “Now we are just gearing up for Harvard and our first Ivy League win.”

Against Harvard, the Elis will look to avoid the mental lapses which cost them their early league contests. Against Penn Mar. 19, the Elis took a 2-0 lead and the Bulldogs notched the first goal in their matchup against Dartmouth Mar. 26 as well. But in both games, Yale was unable to hold onto its leads, and the Quakers and the Big Green stole their respective games away. Against Fairfield, however, the Bulldogs resisted the temptation to relax their guard against a traditionally weak team, and held onto their focus for the entire 60 minutes of the game — an encouraging sign for this weekend.

“I think it was a big deal that we played up to our potential on Wednesday, rather than taking the team for granted,” Champion said. “We really got a chance to work on our attack, moving the ball quickly and making sure we’re taking good shots.”

Much of Yale’s improved offensive efforts can be attributed to attacker Marya Myers ’07 and midfielder Lauren Taylor ’08. The two combined for seven goals and two assists in the Elis’ last outing, and Taylor leads the team in scoring with 15 goals.

The Crimson’s major offensive threats include Natalie Curtis and Elaine Belitsos, who each have nine goals on the season, and Caroline Hines, who has racked up a team-high nine assists this season. But despite the strong trio of attackers, the Crimson have been outscored 65-49 this year, and the Bulldogs will have to capitalize on Harvard’s scoring difficulties to get the win.

Overall, the Bulldogs will enter the weekend confident after the stellar performance against Fairfield earlier this week.

“There was never any let up,” Sarnell said. “Now we have some momentum going into Saturday’s game.”

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