In its first home race of the season, the women’s crew fell short to Ivy League rival Princeton Saturday on the Housatsonic River. The No. 7 Tigers swept all five of the day’s races, earning the Eisenberg Cup for the fifth consecutive year with their varsity eight victory. The Bulldogs’ varsity four gave up its first contest of the season, ending its three-race undefeated streak.
“Princeton is very good, maybe the fastest crew in the country right now,” head coach Will Porter said. “They have depth, they have senior leadership, and they are fit.”
The day’s first race, between the varsity four boats, was the closest. The two crews battled all the way down the course, but the Tigers nailed the finish with a time of 7:13.5, three seconds faster than the Bulldogs.
In the varsity eight showdown, the Tigers exploded off the start line and ran away from the No. 11 Bulldogs. Princeton crossed the line nine seconds ahead of Yale, which finished with a time of 6.17.2. The Tigers’ win brings their all-time record against the Bulldogs to 28–11, their season record to 5-1 and their Ivy League record to 4-1. Princeton placed fourth at the NCAA Championship last year.
“The racing was tough, but it showed us what we need to work on in order to take the next step,” said captain Eliza Hastings ’13, who rowed in the first seat of the varsity eight. “We’re going to keep our focus and work to close the gap before Ivy Championships.”
The Yale second varsity eight suffered a similar fate as the first varsity eight, with Princeton jumping ahead of Yale at the starting line and leading the rest of the race. The Tigers finished nearly 10 seconds ahead of the Bulldogs, who ended with a time of 6:26.8.
“Sometimes it takes a loss in order to know just how much work we have to do,” Porter said.” It is humbling but not defeating. This team is up for any challenge. They are not scared.”
Princeton’s third varsity eight and second varsity four held onto the team’s momentum, defeating both of Yale’s boats by wide margins. Yale’s second varsity eight and varsity four rowed times of 6:50.9 and 7:14.0, respectively.
“We rowed hard but we are not at that speed yet,” Porter said. “We have time and know what we have to do.”
The Bulldogs race Radcliffe on the Charles River in Boston next Saturday and wrap up their regular season Ivy League contests next Monday against Brown. After the end of finals, the Elis will travel to Cooper River Park in Pennsauken, N.J., for the Ivy League championships.