What happens when you score 18 goals, get points from 11 different players, record nine saves in goal and edge your opponent in shots, ground balls and draw controls? Just ask the women’s lacrosse team.
The No. 14 Bulldogs (6-3, 1-1 Ivy) breezed past UConn (0-8, 0-2 Big East) in an 18-3 blowout at Johnson Field on Wednesday. On the heels of a narrow 9-8 overtime victory over No. 20 Dartmouth on the road last weekend, the Elis could hardly have asked for a better performance against the Huskies as they prepare to take on arch-rival Harvard when Ivy play resumes Saturday.
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“I would say that we definitely played the full 60 minutes today, which made a huge difference because we never lost our momentum,” captain Kat Peetz ’08 said. “And every person on the team contributed to the win.”
Early in the opening half, the Bulldogs sprinted to a 7-0 lead with goals from Lauren Taylor ’08, Linden Ellis ’09, Peetz, Jenn Warden ’09 and Taylor Fragapane ’09, setting the tone for a game the would never even get close.
The Huskies finally got on the board with 13:38 left in the first period, converting a free position shot to make it 7-1. But Warden responded with back-to-back tallies for the home team to widen the Bulldogs’ lead yet again. UConn’s Katie Parker gave her team some help after Warden’s second goal, and yet again the Elis had a two-goal answer for the Huskie attack, securing a commanding 11-2 lead heading into the break.
The second half saw a similar Yale scoring deluge, with some new faces joining the Eli regulars on the scoreboard. Fragapane, Jess Sturgill ’10 and Meredith Callahan ’08 each added a goal in the beginning of the period before the Bulldog bench stormed the field to close out the game.
“One of the best parts [of the game] was that the bench got to go in and contribute a lot to the actual game,” defender Natalie Reid ’10 said. “They have been contributing in other ways all season long.”
Lindsey DeMarco ’10 raced in for an unassisted goal halfway through the period, making it 15-2 with her first career goal. Although the Huskies spoiled a potential second-half shutout with a quick score two minutes later, the Elis had the final word, putting away three straight in the last six minutes of the game, all from players who had not scored before yesterday’s match.
Defender Kaitlyn Flatley ’11 — who has stepped into a starting role this season as part of the balanced Bulldog defense — got the ball from Sydney Schreppler ’10 with 5:43 left on the clock and buried it in the back of the net to make it 16-3. DeMarco set up Ariana Papier ’11 for a goal a minute later, and Papier returned the favor for DeMarco soon after. By the final whistle, the scoreboard confirmed a result that had been all but inevitable since early in the first half.
“Despite the score and UConn’s record, this is a game that has been close for us in the past, and our focus today was making sure that we played our game: winning draw controls, limiting fouls, riding the ball well and shooting better,” head coach Laura Field said.
The Bulldogs finished the day with a lead in practically every statistical category, although not all were as lopsided as the 18-3 score. The Bulldog defense limited the Huskies to just 12 shots on goal (compared to Yale’s 39), and Ellen Cameron ’08 recorded nine saves between the pipes.
The Elis also dominated draw controls, 14-8, and picked up 12 ground balls. Warden, Fragapane and Taylor topped the scoring charts with three goals apiece, and seven of their teammates got into the scoring action.
The Bulldogs now have their sights set on the weekend, when they will face rival Harvard at home. In the highly competitive Ancient Eight, the Elis cannot afford to take a single game lightly and need a victory this weekend to stay in the race for the league championship.
“Harvard is a very different team from UConn,” Field said. “[They are] putting up big numbers in the games they have played and are a very talented and athletic team. For us to win the game, we need to take the lessons of hard work and team play that we have displayed in the past week and bring them to the field on Saturday.”