W. LACROSSE | Elis seek win over longtime rival

In most of their games this season, the women’s lacrosse team has picked up its play in the second half.

With eight games down and just as many remaining, the Elis will need to pick up their play in the second half of the season to get back to the top of the standings.

For the women’s lacrosse team (2-6, 0-2 Ivy), a matchup against Harvard (3-5, 0-1) on Saturday could help Yale pull out of its 0-2 hole in conference play.

After losing at the hands of three nationally ranked opponents over the course of the past three weeks, the Bulldogs will take on an opponent that they are comfortable playing. That comfort level comes from Yale’s recent successes against the Cantabs. The Bulldogs have won 13 of the last 14 matchups and will be looking to continue that streak as they travel to Cambridge, Mass., on Saturday.

Harvard, however, has an offense that features two-time Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week Jess Halpern, who has 29 goals and has scored in 19 games straight dating back to last season. Meanwhile, the Crimson’s top four attackers — Halpern, Kaitlin Martin, Sara Flood and Tyler Petropoulos — have combined to score 81 of Harvard’s 98 goals so far this season. To stymie the Crimson offense, Yale will need a strong performance from goalkeeper Whitney Quackenbush ’12, who has played well in the past four games with a .547 save percentage.

And while the Elis sit in last place in the Ivy League standings, the Crimson are off to an equally slow start to the year. After winning two of their first three games, the Cantabs have since gone 1-4, losing most recently to Albany on Wednesday.

But Harvard is returning home, which could work in its favor. Their past four games, of which three were losses, all came on the road. Hosting Yale this Saturday begins a three-game home stand for the Crimson.

The rivalry game — which begins at 1 p.m. — will be first-year head coach Anne Phillips’ first one against Harvard.

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