It seems as though the women’s lacrosse team’s season will be built on comeback attempts.
Although the Bulldogs constructed a come-from-behind victory over Fairfield on Wednesday, Yale could not repeat the same feat against No. 19 James Madison on Saturday, falling 10-7 to the Dukes.
The Elis’ late 6-2 run in the second half of the match was not enough to overcome an 8-1 deficit, and the Dukes (2-0) handed the Bulldogs (1-1, 0-0 Ivy) their first loss of the season.
Coming into the game, the Elis had already proved they could overcome a deficit: Only four days earlier, the Bulldogs rallied from a 7-4 deficit at halftime to eventually top the Fairfield Stags in an 11-10 overtime victory. In addition, the Elis narrowly defeated James Madison last year, 10-9.
“This game has grown into something to look forward to,” midfielder Jenn Warden ’09 said. “It’s becoming something of a rivalry.”
But on Saturday, Yale was in a hole too large to escape. One look at the box score reveals that the Elis played the Dukes to a stalemate for a majority of the game, but James Madison’s early lead was just insurmountable for the Bulldogs.
The Dukes started the game by building an early 6-0 lead.
Although Warden was the first player for both squads to take a shot on net less than one minute into the game, it was nearly 19 minutes later before the Elis got another shot when captain and midfielder Taylor Fragapane ’09 put one on net. The Dukes outshot the Bulldogs 12-4 in just the opening half.
With less than four minutes left in the first half, the Elis finally got on the scoreboard. Warden scored an unassisted goal for the Bulldogs’ first point.
But James Madison added insult to injury before the half was over. With only four seconds left in the first, Jamie Dardine added another goal for the Dukes, who then took their lead to 7-1 going into halftime.
In the second half, it didn’t take as long for the Bulldogs to find the back of the net. But it was still James Madison who got the first goal. Five minutes into the half, the Dukes’ Kim Griffin scored the second of her three goals to extend James Madison’s lead to 8-1.
That’s when the Yale comeback began.
“We knew that it didn’t matter if we lost by one goal or 10,” Fragapane said. “So we decided to take some risks to see what works.”
Attacker Jenna Block ’10 was the first of five Elis to score in Yale’s 6-2 run. Warden had an additional two during that period, and attackers Jessica Sturgill ’10, Sarah David ’10 and Kerry Hamill ’12 each contributed a goal to the Bulldogs’ effort.
“After halftime we needed to improve our transition game,” goalie Katie Janian ’11 said. “Once we started to control the draws and get the 50-50 balls we were able to stop playing defense and get up the field.”
In the net, goalie Whitney Quackenbush ’12 had a tough time stopping the Dukes’ attack, allowing eight goals. Janian fared better when she came in for the last 16 minutes of the game. She had three saves and allowed two goals.
“How we bounce back from this game will really show the character of this team,” Warden said. “We’ve taken a lot of things away from this game and that will help us in the future.”