For the third consecutive time in a week, members of the Yale women’s lacrosse team donned their jerseys in the comfort of their dressing room at Johnson Field. With a perfect record on the current homestand, the Bulldogs took to the field on an unseasonably warm March day looking to take the finale.
No. 17 Yale (7-3, 1-1 Ivy) played UMass (5-4, 0-0 A-10) yesterday, coming off back-to-back victories against Boston University and Dartmouth. The Elis defeated UMass, 13-9, to secure their eighth-straight victory against the Minutewomen. The Bulldogs went up 7-1 in a completely dominant first half, but nearly gave it away by allowing eight goals after the break.
Although this was not an Ivy game for the Bulldogs, players emphasized the importance of the encounter for the team’s regional standings.
“We’re known to be a little inconsistent, and we wanted to prove that the wins against BU and Dartmouth weren’t just flukes,” Taylor Fragapane ’09 said. “This was important also as a regional game, in terms of NCAA bid.”
Lauren Taylor ’08, who earned the Ivy League’s Offensive Player of the Week on Monday, said the team was not satisfied with its game and needed to improve in certain areas. With three goals, Taylor shared the highest number of goals scored in the match against UMass with Jenn Warden ’09.
“We were just sloppy today and did not execute as well,” she said. “We need to work on being more consistent and making the same plays and getting them right every game … There’s a ton to work on — it’s not even technical aspects that are hurting us, it’s basically mental mistakes.”
The Bulldogs entered yesterday’s game eighth in the nation, allowing only 8.56 goals per game and looking strong both defensively and offensively. But team members complained that yesterday’s margin of victory was small.
“With 10 minutes left, we kind of fell apart,” Fragapane said. “Even though we weren’t that satisfied with the win, a win’s a win, and we’ll take what we can get.”
This was the team’s first match since classes resumed, and players were looking forward to support from friends. The last time the two teams faced off against each other was in 1998, and even though Yale holds a better record this season against the teams’ common opponents, Elis said they approached the game with caution.
“Coming into this game, we needed to make sure we kept the momentum going,” midfielder Lindsay Levin ’07 said. “Midweek games are tougher, and so even though this opponent isn’t ranked as high, the win is as important.”
The Bulldogs travel to Cambridge on Saturday to face Ancient Eight foe Harvard. The second-place Elis aim to avenge last year’s 11-8 loss to the Crimson at Johnson Field and hope to spoil Harvard’s 2007 Ivy League debut. Though Yale ranks above the Cantabs, Fragapane said the team is not taking the visit lightly.
“We are definitely going for revenge against Harvard,” Fragapane said. “We lost against them last year and we’re not going to let that happen again … After the past few wins, we’ve shown everyone that we’re going to put up a fight.”