The forecast for Tuesday’s lacrosse game was not promising. A possible storm almost delayed the Bulldogs’ quest to begin their first winning streak of the season.
Luckily for the Elis, that storm didn’t come.
Unfortunately for Wagner, the Bulldogs’ hurricane of an offense came instead, as Yale won their second straight game in an 18-4 rout.
The Elis’ 365 shots fell like hail, and by the time the storm had subsided, the Bulldogs (5-8, 1-4 Ivy) had decisively defeated the visiting Seahawks (4-10) in the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
“We were by no means going to look past Wagner,” attacker Jenna Block ’10 said. “We knew that we needed to come out and control the pace of the game and execute our offense.”
A total of 10 players had at least a goal in the match. Players who are no strangers to the score board led the tidal wave, including midfielder Ariana Papier ’11, who had four goals. Midfielder Jenn Warden ’09 and attacker Jessica Sturgill ’10 each added a hat trick for the Elis.
But the scoreboard was also introduced to some newcomers, including Claire Eliasberg ’11, Erin Velez ’12 and Winnie Call ’12, who each had their first career goals in the game. Kaitlyn Flatley ’11 also recorded her first goal of the season.
“The young players have had to come in to fill in for other injured players, and they’ve seized their opportunity,” head coach Anne Phillips said. “They’ve gotten into games perhaps a little earlier in their careers than normal, but that helps our program in the long run.”
What’s more impressive is that the Bulldogs had nine assists.
The number of assists attests to the team-oriented offense the Bulldogs have stressed this second half of the season. The Elis flooded the top of the eight meter and came rushing toward the net like a tsunami. The Seahawks were left dazed and confused as the could not withstand the Elis’ whirlwind attack.
“We knew we wanted to get a lot of assisted goals,” Block said. “We’ve have the 1-v-1s down, so we focused on quick passes because that’s what we’ll need in the future.”
The Bulldogs’ performance Tuesday afternoon was in stark contrast to their last performance at Reese Stadium. In April 4’s match, the Elis fell 15-6 to No. 4 Princeton (10-1, 4-0).
But in this match, the Elis would not be denied. Beginning with the opening whistle, the Bulldogs were determined to win the game.
“We saw this game as a way to improve our general ball awareness and our level of intensity — we’re going to need that going into the weekend,” Warden said.
The game looked as though it would not be a blowout when Wagner’s Carolyn Clark scored at 25:47, at which point the score was 2-1. But after that it was all Elis. The Seahawks did not score again until the last moments of the first half. With five seconds left in the first, Wagner’s Jessica Richmond took a hard foul from defender Fielding Kidd ’11. Richmond converted the free-position shot, sending the score into the half 12-2.
“We played well in the first half,” Warden said. “And in the second we wanted to be very deliberate in our attack and work on our movement.”
When a team is leading by 10 or more goals, the clock becomes continuous, unceasing for penalties or goals. The second half took exactly 30 minutes, as the Bulldogs never relinquish their ten goal lead.
“In this game we played well and executed,” Phillips said. “And we’ll look to build off of that success as we prepare for Cornell.”
After Tuesday’s win, the Bulldogs inch closer to their goal of finishing the season at .500. With three games left in the season — all against Ivy League opponents — the Elis must win out to achieve their goal.
The Bulldogs continue their quest on Saturday when they host No. 17 Cornell (7-4, 2-3) at 1 p.m.