As the women’s lacrosse team (5-1, 1-0 Ivy) found last season, when it comes to making the NCAA tournament, there is no such thing as a “small” mistake. So despite a convincing 12-8 victory over visiting Boston University (2-4) Wednesday afternoon, Yale hopes to do more fine tuning for Saturday’s home match against Dartmouth.
“I was pretty satisfied with the way we played,” captain Clarissa Clarke ’03 said. “We played better than we did against Penn: we were much more fluid on attack than we were against Penn. But although the overall big picture was good, we lacked in the little things. It is these little things that we will be concentrating on in the next couple of days of practice.”
Nationally ranked No. 12 Yale beat the University of Pennsylvania 10-8 March 22.
Wednesday, the Bulldogs came out firing at Johnson Field. Miles Whitman ’04 and Caroline Petrovick ’03 put the Bulldogs on the board first, scoring back-to-back goals less than a minute apart for a 2-0 lead only 7:33 into the first half.
Boston responded with back-to-back goals of its own, tying the score 2-2 with 17:54 remaining in the period. Despite goals from Sarah Queener ’03, Sarah Driscoll ’05 and Katie Sargent ’05, Boston managed to tie the game again 5-5 with 7:05 left in the first half.
Three unanswered goals gave Yale an 8-6 halftime lead. Yale was whistled for eight fouls in the first frame, and three of Boston’s six goals came off free possession shots.
In the second half, Yale’s defense came alive, holding Boston to only two scores. Meanwhile, the Yale offense erupted after the intermission, scoring two goals 42 seconds apart to extend the lead to 10-6 with 27:12 left in the game.
“I was not very worried [about the closeness of the game in first half play],” head coach Amanda O’Leary said. “We have a very potent offense with a lot of very strong attackers, and I knew that once they got settled down and made the proper adjustments, we would not have any difficulty on the scoring end.”
Even with the win, Yale looks to learn from Wednesday’s contest in preparation for hosting Dartmouth Saturday. The young and upstart Dartmouth team was picked to finish 13th in the nation by Lacrosse Magazine’s preseason poll — directly behind 12th place Yale.
Dartmouth boasts one of the country’s best freshman classes. Rookie goalkeeper Devon Wills earned the starting spot and has been a critical part of the Dartmouth defense. Kristen Zimmer, Lizzy Cuneo, and Annie Leibovitz also have proved standouts.
“This year, [Dartmouth is] definitely a very strong team, maybe one of the strongest in the past three [years],” Whitman said. “The youth really doesn’t matter. They’ve got a lot of talent, and we’re looking to go in that game and play it as we would play any other team.”
Dartmouth also has speed in the midfield and on attack, which will challenge Yale more than its recent opponents. Yale needs to remedy mistakes it had against Boston, particularly controlling the draw.
“I don’t think we’ve had any consistency on the draw [against Boston],” O’Leary said. “You don’t expect to win every draw, but there are certainly things we can do to work on to win a greater percentage of the draw. It’s certainly something that we are working on and that we do need to continue to work on.”
In its four games this season, Dartmouth is 0-2 when scoring under 10 goals and is 2-0 when scoring over 10. Yale’s control of the Big Green offense will be critical to the outcome.
Despite a tough battle ahead, Yale welcomes the challenge.
“It’s definitely good to have that challenge,” Whitman said. “They have a very fast midfield and are very talented, and they’re not going to let us get away with anything. But we realize that and will be coming in prepared.”
Whitman was named Offensive Player of the Week and Amanda Laws was named Defensive Player of the Week by the Ivy League. Whitman had two goals and one assist in a 7-6 Yale win over No. 12 Notre Dame and scored four goals on seven shots and two assists in the 10-8 victory over the Quakers. Laws made nine saves in the 7-6 win over Notre Dame and 11 saves against Pennsylvania.