After defeating the defending Ivy League champions, knocking off a series of nationally ranked teams and racking up a seven-game winning streak, it seems the women’s lacrosse team can do no wrong.
Closing in on the coveted top spot in the Ancient Eight after a historic weekend, the Bulldogs traveled to New York yesterday in a quest to extend their unblemished record against Columbia. No. 12 Yale (10-3, 4-1 Ivy) defeated seventh-place Columbia (4-7, 0-5 Ivy), 16-12, in the Lions’ final home game of the season. The Bulldogs extended their winning streak to seven games with the victory.
The Elis have never lost to Columbia, although they had a scare last year when the Lions put up a tough battle in New Haven — Yale ultimately came away with a 12-9 win at Johnson Field. Columbia has had a tough go of it so far in 2007, and yesterday the Lions’ hopes of securing their first Ivy victory of the season were shattered by the dominant Bulldogs.
Still, there were a few hiccups on the way.
“Defensively, we kept making the same mistakes over and over, and that was a problem,” midfielder Taylor Fragapane ’09 said. “We played pretty well offensively. We didn’t come out so well but we were able to come back and score — at least more than they did, and that’s what matters.”
Midfielder Lauren Taylor ’08 was the highest scorer of the game with seven goals, tying her career record. The two-time first team All-Ivy midfielder has jumped into the national spotlight with her goal output this year, and yesterday brought her 2007 tally to 56, the best in Division I.
Taylor, who also pitched in with two assists, said the team overcame technical shortcomings by drawing together as a unit.
“Technically, we weren’t at the top of our game,” she said. “It’s both frustrating and exciting — we won, but we still haven’t played to our potential.”
The scoring came in spurts for both squads yesterday at Wien Stadium. With the Lions leading 3-2 nine minutes into the game, Taylor scored her first goal of the day, touching off a 5-0 run for the visiting team over the next seven minutes. Ten minutes after the break, Yale clung to a 10-8 lead before Taylor, Jenn Warden ’09 and company put together another powerful drive — the 16-8 lead would be too much for Columbia to overcome, even with a 4-0 Lion run to end the game.
Linden Ellis ’09, who scored a goal with just under two minutes remaining until halftime, said the Bulldogs were happy to defeat a resilient Columbia team despite not playing at their best.
“We knew that they weren’t on the caliber of Princeton and Dartmouth,” she said. “But we were definitely expecting them to put up a fight — they’re an up-and-coming team.”
The Elis stand in second place in the Ivy League, a game behind undefeated Penn. But the Quakers still have the toughest stretch of their schedule ahead of them, having yet to face Dartmouth and defending champion Princeton. Yale has defeated both the Big Green and the Tigers this season, and now looks to run the table with only two games left on the docket.
Several players said the Bulldogs’ chances for the Ancient Eight title and an NCAA berth are favorable.
“We know where we stand in the Ivy League,” Fragapane said. “Our main concern is to not take these games lightly, and coming out with a win in each game.”
Yale is next in action next Wednesday, when the team faces Brown in Providence.