After a bit of a bumpy start yesterday, the women’s lacrosse team straightened itself out just before halftime and notched what was both its third win of the season and its 12th consecutive series victory against the University of New Hampshire.
The Bulldogs (3-1) demolished the Wildcats (1-2) in a 14-9 final at Memorial Field in Durham, N.H., yesterday afternoon. It was their final game before heading down to the warmer climes of Florida for their traditional spring break trip — which will be a welcome change, given the icy New England weather.
“It was absolutely freezing today,” midfielder Lauren Taylor ’08 said. “I am usually able to play without gloves in any weather, but today I just had to give in.”
The cold didn’t stop the Elis from playing an intense game, though it took them a while to warm up. The Wildcats pulled ahead to an early 3-1 lead in the first 10 minutes of the match, with the Bulldogs’ sole point notched by midfielder Kat Peetz ’08 at 26:55. The Elis rallied soon after UNH’s third goal, when midfielder Lara Melniker ’07 and Taylor each slipped one past the Wildcats’ netminder, tying the score at 3-3. But they didn’t hold the lead for long, as just 11 seconds later the Wildcats’ Shaunna Kaplan beat out goaltender Ellen Cameron ’08 to take back a one-point lead.
Things finally began to heat up for the Bulldogs as defender Jenn Warden ’09 tied it up at 14:34, and Taylor snagged her second goal with just 5:23 to play in the first half, giving the Elis their first lead of the game. The half ended with the Bulldogs clinging to a tight 5-4 lead.
“[New Hampshire was] a better team than we expected, and we came out a little flat,” midfielder Taylor Fragapane ’09 said. “They were able to capitalize on a few mental errors on our part. But we stayed calm, got our composure back and were able to chip away at their lead.”
The Wildcats tied the score once again just 1:29 into the period, and the game remained close through the opening minutes of the second half. But with the score knotted at seven, the Elis had enough. Melniker snagged another goal at 18:55 to give her team a lead that it would not relinquish for the rest of the game.
Warden tallied up her third of the game at 15:10 to give the Bulldogs a two-point lead. After an open-net Wildcat goal at 14:32, she found the back of the net yet again, setting in motion a 3-0 run that would secure her squad an insurmountable 12-8 lead with less than eight minutes to play. The Wildcats swapped goalies at 4:32 after another goal brought them within three, but by then it was too late, and Warden fired in one more before Taylor capped off the scoring with 32 seconds to play.
“We spread the scoring particularly evenly today, which is always a recipe for success,” Taylor said. “And the second half was a great example of what our attack is capable of when we get fired up.”
Back from New Hampshire, team members are looking ahead to the journey down to Florida, where they will work on maintaining their intensity for the full 60 minutes, Warden said.
“Spring break will be a great opportunity for us to work hard on a lot of the necessary elements of the game that we don’t get to work on as much as we’d like in New Haven due to time and weather constraints,” she said. “Florida is always high-energy and intense, but we have a lot of fun because it’s a nice, warm change of scenery.”
After one last matchup in New Haven against Boston College on Saturday, the Bulldogs will set their sites on marquee program Notre Dame, which they face in West Palm Beach, Fla., next Wednesday.
“A win against a team like Notre Dame would definitely put us on the map,” Warden said. “And it would certainly psych us up for our first Ivy League game against Penn on the 17th.”