Coming into Wednesday afternoon’s game against Brown, the No. 8 women’s lacrosse team was smarting from an 11-8 loss to No. 9 Notre Dame Sunday.
In that game, the Bulldogs failed to execute the basics. In yesterday’s 22-10 win over Brown, the Elis put on a veritable lacrosse clinic.
“They needed to prove that they could come back from that kind of loss,” Yale head coach Amanda O’Leary said. “They certainly came out and did it.”
One of the best all around performances of the season resulted in the Bulldogs’ (10-3, 5-1 Ivy) walloping of the Bears (4-6, 1-3) at Johnson Field. The 22-goal performance was the first time Yale had broken the 20-tally plateau since March 15, 2000.
For the Bears — a team that played close games against upper echelon Ivy teams in Cornell and Dartmouth — the 12-goal margin marked their worst loss of the season.
“It shows how potent our offense can be,” captain Megan Strenski ’02 said. “We just dominated all over.”
The Bulldogs did just about everything right against the Bears. Yale won a majority of the draw controls (15 of 25), many of which led immediately to Yale scores. The offense connected on 22 of its 38 shot attempts. The Bulldog defense thwarted every Brown attempt to establish an offensive rhythm.
“We just clicked today,” Miles Whitman ’04 said.
More than just sharp execution, the Elis outhustled their opponents. A pair of Yale goals epitomized the team’s effort.
Midway through the first half, Whitman, in a crowd of three Brown players, somehow managed to win possession on the draw. She sprinted straight down the throat of the Bear defense and, wide open in front of the net, fired in Yale’s 11th goal.
Only a few minutes later, after a Yale turnover on offense, Brown goalie Niki Caggiano took a pass behind the net. Clarissa Clarke ’03 snuck up on her right and slapped the ball out of her stick, corralled the loose ball and stepped in front of the net to beat a flustered Caggiano to give Yale a 13-3 lead in the first half.
The hustle extended to the defensive end. Late in the first half, goalie C.K. Barber ’02 sprinted out of the net to win possession for the Bulldogs on an out of bounds ball. Her second half replacement Amanda Laws ’03 turned away 11 shots to keep the Bears well out of striking range.
Most of Brown’s scoring came in the game’s final minutes, with many of Yale’s starters on the bench.
Whitman led the team with seven goals, increasing her team-leading total to 35. Katie Sargent ’05 continues to shine in her first collegiate season, scoring four goals to bring her season total to 27. Clarke, Erica Durst ’05 and Sarah Queener ’03 each had a pair of goals for the Elis.
Ten different players found the net for the Elis, who led 14-4 at halftime.
“If we are on, that is what can happen,” Strenski said of the offensive deluge.
The Bulldogs will try to build on the momentum from Wednesday’s blowout when they play at No. 5 Cornell Saturday afternoon.
That game could decide which of the two teams receives an invite to the NCAA tournament and which stays home.
“This is really big going into the Cornell game,” Whitman said.