The No. 12 women’s lacrosse team experienced both ends of the emotional spectrum this weekend, exulting in a victory over one top-10 team Saturday but lamenting wasted chances against another top-10 foe Sunday.
In their quest for an NCAA tournament berth, the Bulldogs (9-3), powered by freshman Katie Sargent’s four-goal performance, earned a 13-12 win over No. 7 ranked Duke (7-5) at Moose Krause Stadium in South Bend, Ind. The next day, though, a tired Eli team lost to No. 9 Notre Dame (9-3), 11-8.
“The Duke win was a really good overall team effort,” captain Megan Strenski ’02 said. “Then we saw what happened when we don’t do the basics.”
The day after Yale’s hard-fought victory over Duke, the Fighting Irish were able to take advantage of the Bulldogs’ fatigue and favorable officiating to secure the victory.
“They just had more energy and speed,” Sarah Queener ’03 said.
The Irish also capitalized on a discrepancy in fouls. Notre Dame was awarded 15 8-meter shots. Yale was awarded only one.
“We could use a lot of excuses — fatigue, bad reffing, the heat,” Sargent said. “But it just boiled down to we didn’t play well enough. We beat ourselves.”
The Bulldogs biggest weakness was their midfield transition. Yale had difficulty bringing the ball upfield after working hard on the defensive end to force the turnover. And when the Elis got the ball into the offensive end, they did not slow down the game’s tempo.
Despite their tired legs, the Elis claimed an early 2-1 lead just over 10 minutes into the contest before five straight Notre Dame goals gave the Irish the advantage for good.
The Elis were never able to pull closer than two goals as the teams traded scores for most of the second half.
Sargent led the team with three goals, while Queener and Sophie Melniker ’04 each added a pair of scores. The Irish outshot the Elis 32-21.
In a nip and tuck game, the Bulldogs edged the Blue Devils 13-12 Saturday. Fatigue was again a factor, this time hampering the Blue Devils, who were coming off a triple-overtime win against Notre Dame Friday afternoon.
“That Duke team was pretty tired from its triple-overtime game,” Melniker said. “Everyone went in there with a lot of confidence and we pulled it off.”
In the first half, Yale jumped out to a 9-7 lead on the strength of a hat trick by Sargent.
“I think I was just in the right place at the right time,” said Sargent, who added that she benefited from the attention the Notre Dame defense paid to other Eli offensive threats. “I just slipped in and they really didn’t know what to do.”
Sargent’s three early goals inspired a Yale spurt that took the Elis from a 6-5 deficit to a 9-6 lead.
The run began when Clarissa Clarke ’03 scored with 7:33 left in the half and in the following 2:17, Clarke, Miles Whitman ’04, and Caroline Petrovick ’03 all found the net to put Yale ahead 9-6. Duke scored the next goal to close out the half.
The second half started with more Sargent, as she raised Yale’s lead to 10-7 less than two minutes into the second half. The teams traded goals over the next 20 minutes, with the Elis leading 13-10 with eight minutes to play. Duke scored two goals in the game’s final minutes but could not get the equalizer.
Sargent’s four goals paced the Elis, with Clarke, Whitman, Driscoll and Melniker each tallying a pair.
Despite their upset of Duke, the team left South Bend with a bad taste in its mouth.
“It was tough losing the second game. It gave the whole weekend a negative feeling,” Sargent said. “I think we all wish we had another opportunity.”