W. lax rolls in unexpected home game

A chance to take the field to the sound of their new warm-up CD, familiar faces in the bleachers and a reprieve from the hour-long drive up I-91 — for the women’s lacrosse team, the weather forecast on Wednesday brought news of play-preventing conditions at UConn, and with it an unexpected home game.

Yale (2-0) defeated UConn (1-1) 11-7 yesterday, in a game where the Elis dominated in the first half and nearly gave it all away in the second. Following the late scare, the Elis managed to scrape together a well-fought victory.

The competition was moved from the Huskies’ snow-covered home field in Storrs to Johnson Field, giving the Bulldogs a chance to compete in New Haven. The late-afternoon match did not officially count as a home game for the Elis, who still donned their away attire, but they enjoyed taking advantage of their own turf.

Yale plays its first official home game on Mar. 10.

“We were really excited because we have fewer home games than last year,” attacker Lawrie Peck ’09 said. “It’s always nice to have home games, and family and friends in the stands.”

Yale most recently played UConn last March, getting the better of the Huskies 6-5 in overtime — that time, in a real home game at Johnson Field. After defeating Fairfield on Monday, the Bulldogs looked to score their second consecutive win against another team from the Nutmeg State.

“UConn’s always been tough,” defender Jenn Warden ’09 said. “It’s always good to beat local teams. We came out really strong and didn’t let up even when they rallied back. We were playing a composed game on both ends of the field.”

Warden scored the first goal to get the ball rolling, and the Elis catapulted to a 7-2 lead by halftime. She would finish the game with two goals.

“I think [Warden’s] first goal set the tone for the whole game,” Peck said. “She had a good game and got everyone pumped up and going.”

After a stellar first half, the Elis faltered in the second as their five-point lead shrunk to a mere two with a score of 8-6. The second-half score was 5-4 in favor of the Huskies, but the Bulldogs’ first-half advantage was enough to carry them until the end.

“The lead in the beginning definitely helped,” Warden said. “Our team is a lot better this year, with stronger players all around and on both ends. We relied on a few people last year, but everyone is getting a chance to play this year and the defense is deep.”

Team members said they got a scare when the lead narrowed and UConn started closing in.

“We were only up at one point by two, and that was kind of frightening,” Peck said. “They started catching up and had the momentum going for them. Our coach got nervous, and we stepped it up a notch.”

The Elis travel to Harrisonburg, Va. on Saturday to face James Madison. Players said James Madison is going to be their biggest competitor so far, and that the team has been saving new plays for the match.

“We’re working on a few things for JMU,” defender Jess Champion ’08 said. “We’re going to work tomorrow to fix some things for Saturday. I haven’t had a chance to watch the tape yet, but they have a lot of great players. We’re going to be pretty evenly matched.”

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