The women’s lacrosse team opened its 25th season of play last week by mauling all three of its spring break opponents.
The No. 18 Bulldogs (3-0, 1-0 Ivy) inaugurated their new home, Johnson Field, with an 8-4 win over Hofstra (3-1) Monday and a 7-3 defeat of the University of Connecticut (1-2) Wednesday. The Elis then took to the road Saturday for their first Ivy League game of the season, where Yale dominated the University of Pennsylvania (1-3, 0-1) 10-2.
“It was important to get those wins against a much improved Hofstra team, and we needed to set the tone against UConn — a team we have never faced before,” head coach Amanda O’Leary said.
Penn showed its strength last week, losing by only one goal to powerhouse No. 11 William and Mary.
But against the Quakers Saturday, Yale outscored its opponent 5-1 in each half, controlling the entire game.
“Against Penn, we brought it all together — both on offense and defense,” O’Leary said.
Freshman standout midfielder Miles Whitman ’04 — one of the most touted recruits in the freshman class — held up to her reputation and scored six goals against the Quakers. Whitman’s speed allowed her to open the scoring for Yale at 24:27 of the first half, and she went on to score four of Yale’s five goals for the half.
“We will look to her to keep up that scoring threat,” O’Leary said.
Forward Clarissa Clarke ’03 added the last goal in the half.
Yale also received two goals from attacker Caroline Petrovick ’03 and one from sensational stickhandler Sarah Queener ’03.
Goalie Amanda Sisley ’03, who played every game in 2000 and boasted a .566 save percentage, made 17 saves for Yale.
One key to the victory was the stellar defensive play of All-American defender Megan Strenski ’02. Strenski shut down the Quakers’ most potent offensive threat, Traci Marabella, holding her to just one goal.
Yale’s 7-3 win over Connecticut, however, was not as decisive as their defeat of Penn.
The Bulldogs led throughout, but the Huskies closed to within one at 7:17. But the Elis surged ahead with three more goals by the game’s end.
Yale’s midfield showed its experience as Kate Flatley ’01 and Katherine Myers ’01 each contributed two goals.
Flatley exploded onto the offensive scene last year and has continued the barrage in 2001. While Myers developed into a defensive force last season, her transition to the midfield proved effective as she unleashed her scoring potential. Now at the center of activity for the Blue and White, she is a potent force on both offense and defense.
Attacker Clara Gillespie ’01 netted another pair, while Whitman scored the seventh.
“It was nice to see such an offensive effort from our seniors,” O’Leary said.
The Bulldogs outshot Connecticut 26-14.
Against Hofstra, defense was the key for Yale.
“Sisley came up with some big saves,” O’Leary said.
The Bulldogs also exhibited their offensive spark, lighting up the goal with 18 shots, and scored the first three goals of the match — six in the first half. Six Elis contributed goals to the attack, showing the team’s depth.
Midfielder Ali Cobbett ’03 was great in transition for the Elis and did a spectacular job marking Hofstra’s best player, Jessica Gaither, O’Leary said.
Yale’s great corps of five seniors — all of whom start — will be looked upon to continue the team’s winning streak Wednesday when the team faces New Hampshire.