Coming off a disappointing loss to Dartmouth on Saturday, the women’s lacrosse team looked to end March on a high note as the Bulldogs welcomed the University of New Hampshire to Reese Stadium on Wednesday. But the Wildcats (6–3) used a 6–1 run down the stretch to pull away and defeat the Elis (4–6, 1–2 Ivy) by a score of 13–9.
“We were prepared and ready for UNH, and to be honest, it was not UNH who beat us,” said defender Fielding Kidd ’11. “We beat ourselves.”
The beginning of the first half proved that this game would not mirror the 12–4 UNH win in the schools’ meeting last season. Even though it was the Wildcats who started off the scoring, the Bulldogs answered quickly with two goals, from attackers Jenna Block ’10 and Jess Sturgill ’10, to make it 2–1. But after the third tally of the game by Sturgill, the Wildcats started to pull away as they scored three unanswered goals midway through the half to make it 5–2.
Only minutes later, the Bulldogs showed they were still fighting when defender/midfielder Kaitlyn Flatley ’11 scored twice and attacker Devon Rhodes ’13 scored once to tie the game at five going into halftime.
“At times during the game I thought we could have taken a bigger lead and taken advantage of the opportunities we had,” Block said. “But we struggled to get the draw and ground balls, and they were able to kill the clock on their attacking end.”
The Bulldogs started out the second half with a little luck at minute 29:09 when goalie Whitney Quackenbush ’12 fouled a Wildcat attacker, resulting in a free position on an open net for UNH. But the Wildcat was not able to find the open net as she hit the post, and the Bulldogs were able to recover the ball. Two minutes later, Block was able to place the ball past UNH goalie Kathleen O’Keefe on a free position to give Yale the 6–5 lead. But just 20 seconds later, the Wildcats answered with a goal to bring the game back to a tie.
Quackenbush gave the Bulldogs another boost at 25:00 with a crucial save that led to Rhodes’ second goal of the day off of an assist from Block. The Wildcats answered a minute later with another tying goal to make it 7–7. The back-and-forth scoring continued when Sturgill was fouled and scored off of a free position to make it 8–7.
“I wish we had turned the ball over less in the midfield and on attack, and we need to work on ground balls under pressure and draw controls,” Sturgill said. “We could have easily won today if we had more of each of those.”
About midway through the second half, the Wildcats had a run of four unanswered goals in less than five minutes, starting with a Bulldog turnover at minute 14:10. Even though the Bulldogs escaped another free-position on an open net for the Wildcats, they found themselves trailing 11–8 with nine minutes remaining.
The Elis showed one last burst as they held the Wildcats scoreless while killing off two three-minute penalties against Logan Greer ’11 and Rhodes. Greer made her re-entry to the game known as she scored off a free position at minute 4:43 to bring the Bulldogs within two. But the comeback was not enough as UNH scored two more to make it 13–9 before the final whistle blew.
“With UNH, we came out hard in the first but started to let the game slip away from us in the second,” Kidd said. “Our goal for Harvard is to compete the whole 60 minutes.”
The Bulldogs return home Saturday to face the rival Crimson on Alumnae Day at Reese Stadium at 11 a.m.