Elis win, but Penn takes title

Going into their afternoon game against Brown, a victory was essential for the women’s lacrosse team in its pursuit of the Ivy title. But despite their stellar season, only a Penn loss later in the evening could guarantee them first-place in the league.

No. 12 Yale (11-3, 5-1 Ivy) defeated Brown (4-7, 1-3), 13-5, yesterday afternoon. For the Elis, the victory at Stevenson Field marked their eighth consecutive win this season and their 14th in a row against the Bears. Unfortunately, celebrations were cut short when No. 15 Princeton (6-4, 2-2) fell to No. 3 Penn (11-1, 6-0), 14-10, keeping the Elis at second in the Ivy League.

“It was definitely a team win,” captain Lindsay Levin ’07 said. “The game was close in the first half, and Brown put up a fight. We played well but struggled to pull it together. But we stepped it up in the second half and played as a unit.”

Despite the large margin of victory, attacker Lawrie Peck ’09 said the attack did not follow through in the first half but picked it up after halftime. The Bears managed to keep the scored knotted at 3-3 until four consecutive Eli goals opened up the game. Subsequently, the Bulldogs kept Brown off the board for the majority of the second half, en route to their 13-5 victory.

“We started going in the second half,” she said. “It was a good team effort and a strong finish. But we want to have a full 60 minutes of playing our best and doing everything right. We would really like to finish off our Ivy season with that.”

Later that night, Penn squared off against defending champion Princeton at Franklin Field. The Quakers went into the encounter with an unblemished record in the Ivy League, including wins over Yale and Dartmouth.

Immediately after the encounter with Brown, several players said they were waiting for the Princeton-Penn result.

“We’ll all really anxious to know the outcome,” midfielder Taylor Fragapane ’09 said. “But we’re really focused on beating Cornell, because if we lose to them none of this matters. I’m pretty confident that Princeton can pull out [a win against Penn]. They’re a solid program with lots of pride. They don’t have a chance if they lose. We’ll still have an outright second if we beat Cornell, so assuming we beat them we’re in a good position.”

But the Quakers kept their perfect record in the Ancient Eight with a 14-10 victory over the Tigers, which guaranteed Penn at least a share of the Ivy title and the Ivy League’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Penn has not won an Ivy League title since 1982.

Yale kicked off its Ivy campaign earlier this season on the wrong foot with a 9-3 loss to Penn. But since then, the Bulldogs got their act together and have never looked back. They defeated Princeton 6-5 in a nail-biting finish on Johnson Field on April 7.

Yale next faces Cornell on Saturday to wrap up the season on Johnson Field.

“Today was a solid win. It was good to have under our belt for Saturday,” Levin said. “We can just play our game and do what we can do to control our destiny. Right now we’re focusing our energy on Cornell. They’re a good team but we’re hoping for the best, and we still have a shot at the Ivy title.”

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