The women’s lacrosse team fell in its season opener at Holy Cross on Saturday afternoon, losing 12–5 in a turnover-plagued performance.
“Everyone was really rusty,” goalie Whitney Quackenbush ’12 said. “It was hard because it was their third game but our first game. Everyone left that game feeling that we can play better.”
Holy Cross came into the game after suffering a pair of close losses, and the experience showed as a number of Yale players noted the home team came out with a lot of energy.
“They were pretty fired up to play,” attacker Caroline Crow ’12 said. “We just needed to play better than we did.”
After a save from Quackenbush 15 seconds into the game, the Crusaders reeled off five straight goals. Though Yale attempted a few shots during the Holy Cross run, the Crusaders goalie Amy Martin notched a couple of saves.
Crow finally put the Elis on the scoreboard 20 minutes into the first half with a free-position goal. The score sparked a Yale run, in which midfielder Devon Rhodes ’13 and midfielder Julie Mongan ’14 each notched a goal, cutting the Holy Cross lead to 5–3 with 3:41 left in the first half.
But the Crusaders responded, as midfield Kat Sutton scored two consecutive goals to give Holy Cross a 7–3 lead at halftime.
“Because we were down the entire game, I think our attack felt as if we had to score as fast as possible to keep us in the game instead of being patient, poised, and taking advantage of the shot opportunities,” Rhodes said. “We began to play really frantically, forcing low angle shots and shooting directly at their goalie.”
The offensive problems continued in the second half as Yale would only manage two goals in the half.
Crow started the second half with a goal for the Elis, but the Crusaders answered with two goals to make the score 9–4 with 17:59 left. Midfielder Kelsea Smith ’13 scored thirty seconds later to bring Yale within four.
Goalie Erin McMullan ’14, who came in at halftime, then made her biggest save in her first collegiate game in scooping up a shot from wide-open Crusaders midfielder Maddie Carrellas.
With just under 12 minutes to play, Holy Cross goalie Amy Martin left the field with an injury, but her freshman backup Sarah Weber held her own in getting two saves before Martin came back in the game.
Overall, the game went scoreless for 13 minutes with Holy Cross leading 9–5.
The Crusaders extended that lead in the final minutes, scoring three goals to make the final score 12–5.
The Bulldogs had 21 turnovers in the contest and were held to a 5-for-21 shooting performance. The Crusaders, on the other hand, shot 12 for 25 and dominated the battle for ground balls 23–13.
“Quite frankly, we beat ourselves,” Rhodes said. “Our offense couldn’t seem to find a steady rhythm, we were dropping passes we never normally would drop and forcing passes all over the field.”
There were some bright spots in the loss, though, as the Yale coaches pointed out to the team.
“The coaching staff was disappointed in our offensive play,” defender Fielding Kidd ’11 said, “but they also highlighted the fact that we did well on certain things like the draw control and clearing the ball.”
Additionally, the Bulldogs, who have 10 freshmen on the team, brought a number of new faces to the contest, but several Yale players said that inexperience did not play a factor in the loss.
“The lack of experience was not an issue,” Kidd said. “It was our first game and we have some kinks we need to work out. We are a very young team but we are completely capable of being a dominant team in the Ivy League.”
The Bulldogs are back in action on Wednesday with their home opener against Boston College.
Despite the loss, the Elis are confident that this will be a very successful season.
“This is the hardest working and most talented team I have ever been on at Yale,” Kidd said. “We are determined to be our best and show our Ivy competitors that we are serious competition.”
Wednesday’s game begins at 3 p.m. at Reese Stadium.