The women’s lacrosse team has been looking tired recently. Tired of all the winning, that is.
The No. 13 Bulldogs (8-3, 2-1 Ivy) took their fourth straight victory yesterday afternoon at Johnson Field, overwhelming Holy Cross (3-8, 1-3 Patriot), 19-9. The Elis have now outscored their opponents, 51-18, in the last three games and are feeling confident as they stare down No. 2 Princeton in anticipation of Saturday’s faceoff in New Jersey.
“We felt really good today, especially coming off the last four or five games altogether,” attacker Meredith Callahan ’08 said. “We have been focusing on playing hard from the first whistle and playing a full 60 minutes and today was a great example of that.”
Midfielder Lauren Taylor ’08 opened things up for the Bulldogs right off the bat, converting a free position shot to make the score 1-0 in the third minute of the game. Just 38 seconds later, attacker Jess Sturgill ’10 followed up Taylor’s goal with an unassisted tally of her own. Linden Ellis ’09 — coming off a career-high four-goal outing against Harvard — put another one away to widen the Elis’ lead to three around the 20 minute mark.
But the Crusaders responded to the Bulldogs’ opening charge with a three-goal run of their own, knotting the score at 3-3 with 15:55 left in the first half.
Rather than breaking their momentum, however, the visitors’ surge seemed to invigorate the Elis, who rattled off eight unanswered goals to bring the half to a close. Taylor, Jenn Warden ’09 and Taylor Fragapane ’09 took turns finding the back of the net, finishing the period with a combined total of nine goals. Callahan picked up three assists before the break as well.
And the Bulldog barrage continued in the second half — the Elis scored another six straight before the Crusaders could even get a word in. Captain Kat Peetz ’08 and rookie Ariana Papier ’11 joined Fragapane, Taylor and Ellis on the scoreboard in that span, securing a commanding 17-3 lead for Yale with 18 minutes remaining on the clock.
Holy Cross finally managed to find the back of the net after nearly 30 scoreless minutes, tallying back-to-back goals at 17:06 and 14:40 to make the score, 17-5. But the Bulldogs responded yet again when Lindsey Demarco ’10 set up Fragapane for her fifth tally of the afternoon. Fragapane finished second in scoring behind Taylor, who hit the next six times yesterday.
After another Crusader goal, Demarco put away one of her own with 6:40 left. Although the visitors finished the game with three straight goals, it was far too little to overcome the 10-goal deficit, leaving the Bulldogs with a final 19-9 victory.
The Eli netminders needed only four saves to record a win over the Crusaders. Although Ivy Defensive Player of the Week Ellen Cameron ’08 made the start between the pipes, she was pulled midway through the second half to give rookie Katie Janian ’11 a look. Janian turned in a solid performance, coming up with three stops.
“[Janian] did great,” Callahan said. “She was really aggressive coming out of the crease, which was awesome to see and she had a couple of really nice saves.”
Going into the game, head coach Laura Field stressed that the Bulldogs could not overlook Holy Cross and they would be focusing primarily on the Crusaders until Wednesday. Now, after easily disposing of Holy Cross, the Elis can turn their attention to more important things – Saturday’s meeting with Princeton (7-0, 1-0), a game that will arguably make or break their season.
Last year, the Elis erased a 4-0 deficit to win a 6-5 buzzerbeater in New Haven, upsetting the perennial powerhouse to steal the second place spot in the Ancient Eight title race and earn an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Saturday, the undefeated Tigers will have a chance to avenge last year’s loss as the two squads contend for the same end — a possible Ivy League championship and another trip to the tournament.