After dropping two consecutive league games in the middle of March, the women’s lacrosse team seemed to get on track two weekends ago with victories over non-conference opponents California and Lehigh. The team’s 17–6 win over the Golden Bears appeared particularly promising: leading only 9–6 at one point, the Bulldogs went on to score the last eight goals of the game.
But that script flipped when the Bulldogs reentered Ivy League play this weekend at Princeton. Yale (7–4, 1–3 Ivy) surrendered eight straight goals to start the game on Saturday and could never catch up to the Tigers (7–3, 3–1), eventually falling 15–8 in New Jersey.
“We definitely need to regroup after this loss,” defender Flannery Carney ‘16 said. “We were surprised by Princeton in the first half but we upped our play in the second and never stopped fighting.”
With the loss, the Bulldogs fell to seventh in the Ivy League standings midway through the conference schedule. Princeton, meanwhile, moved into a tie for second place with Harvard.
Yale struggled from the get-go at Sherrerd Field. Just under two minutes into the contest, Princeton midfielder Erin Slifer began the scoring barrage, notching a tally off an assist from fellow midfielder Sarah Lloyd. Four different Tigers scored in the team’s ensuing 8–0 run, including attackers Erin McMunn, Mary-Kate Sivilli and Alexandra Bruno, as well as midfielder Anna Doherty.
The Bulldogs finally got on the board with a free position shot from attacker Tess McEvoy ’17 with 4:31 remaining in the half, but at that point, the damage was done. Yale was unable to get any closer than seven goals the rest of the way.
Midfielder Lauren Wackerle ’16 said the Bulldogs were frustrated with their conference play and noted a number of areas where the team could stand to improve.
“I would say we needed to dominate more on the draw and capitalize more on our offensive possessions,” Wackerle said. “I think we need to successfully transition the ball and eliminate more turnovers.”
Yale lost the turnover battle on Saturday, particularly in the first half. The Elis gave the ball away 12 times in the opening frame while the Tigers did so only five times. Yale turns the ball over at the highest rate in the Ancient Eight, averaging 16.36 giveaways a game.
Despite the rough first half of conference play, the Elis still have an opportunity to qualify for the league’s postseason tournament. Their 1–3 record is only a game worse than the 2–2 record shared by the three teams tied for fourth in the Ivy League: Brown, Cornell and Dartmouth. The top four teams in regular season conference play earn the right to compete in the league tournament.
“We really want to focus on our final three Ivy League games in order to make it to the tournament,” Wackerle said.
The Elis will look to regroup on Wednesday when they face non-conference opponent Stony Brook at home. Action will begin at Reese Stadium at 4 p.m.