Opposites were the name of the game for women’s lacrosse yesterday in Boston.
On the positive side, the Elis blasted out of the gate for the first time in the young season, kicking a nagging trend of slow starts. But powerhouse Boston University would only let them stick around so long, and the Bulldogs, usually strong in the latter end of the game, fell victim to a second-half implosion.
The No. 12 Terriers (4-2) extended their home winning streak at Nickerson Field to 16 games, handily subduing the Bulldogs to a 15-5 final. A 9-1 BU run at the top of the second half spelled doom for the Elis (3-4, 0-1 Ivy), who were the only team to beat the Terriers in the regular season last year.
“This is definitely a little bit of a blow for us,” midfielder Lindsay Levin ’07 said. “We came up here thinking we could pull it off again.”
Coming into yesterday’s matchup, Yale had a streak of its own to maintain, having never lost to Boston University in nine contests over nearly three decades. Though the Bulldogs’ streak is now history, it was not as if the squad went into battle daunted by BU’s imposing home record.
“Actually, most of us didn’t even know about BU’s streak,” captain Sarah Scalia ’06 said. “What was most intimidating for us was the fact that we were facing someone ranked so high.”
Off the bat, the team looked primed to repeat their 2005 upset, sticking close to the Terriers and heading into the locker room at the break down only 6-3. But once the team took the field in the second half, something was definitely wrong.
“I don’t know if we lost intensity, but it seemed like we lost confidence in ourselves,” midfielder Lauren Taylor ’08 said. “We just didn’t come out as sure in the second half. But it was strange because so many times we came out soft, but today was just the opposite.”
The Elis scored the first goal of the second half when midfielder Sara Greenberg ’09 delivered her third offering of the day, but a 6-4 deficit was as close as the Elis would get. Led by four goals from both Sarah Dalton and Jenny Hauser, the Terriers went on a nine-goal tear over the next 25 minutes. The home team was dominant on draw control, and certain Elis were frustrated over BU’s success in using the same play over and over again to rack up points.
“In the second half, they were getting draw control, and just pushed down the field over and over again,” Levin said. “They would cut up middle into the eight, get the ball into the middle, and shoot right away. We couldn’t get in front of their cutter, so they did the same repeatedly.”
After a last second Taylor Fragapane ’09 goal got the Bulldogs to within 10, the final whistle blew, and the blowout was complete. Reflecting back, Scalia could not assess blame to any particular aspect of the team’s play.
“It was an all-around loss, and it’s not really one side,” she said. “It was a total team effort, and both attack and defense had major lapses.”
But the mood was not completely negative on the bus ride back home. The Elis were happy to have the experience early on in the season playing a highly-ranked team, and look forward to a very important battle in the not-so-distant future.
“With a couple of different breaks after the half, this could have been a much closer game,” Taylor said. “Now we’re lucky to have a chance just to play them. And Dartmouth this weekend is a much more important game.”