The women’s lacrosse team suffered its largest defeat of the season on Saturday, falling to No. 18 Harvard 19–3.
The Crimson got off to a quick start with three goals within the first six minutes of the game, and the Bulldogs never recovered. Harvard dominated the Elis by winning seven of 10 draws and held the Bulldogs scoreless in the second half en route to a commanding victory. The loss extended the Bulldogs’ losing streak to three, and was the team’s seventh of the season. They have yet to win a game in the Ivy League conference.
“We didn’t give up, but it was hard to fight back after Harvard gained so much momentum,” midfielder Devon Rhodes ’13 said.
After Harvard’s initial three goals, Rhodes put Yale on the scoreboard with a goal in the eighth minute. But the Crimson answered back with four straight goals to increase its lead to 7–1. Attackers Caroline Crow ’12 and Jen DeVito ’14 kept the Bulldogs in the game with goals of their own in the 21st and 25th minutes, respectively, to put the Bulldogs back within four points.
“Four goals is not a lot to recover from,” DeVito said.
But that four-goal margin quickly grew larger. Just over three minutes later, Jenn Leffew scored another goal for the Crimson, and sparked a 12–0 Harvard run to finish the game.
Devito said the team had difficulty with draw controls against Harvard, which won nine of 14 draws. The Crimson also took 18 ground balls to Yale’s three.
“We can usually stay pretty even with the other teams in getting draws, but this time we had trouble getting the ball back,” DeVito said.
Saturday’s game was a marked departure from last season, when the Bulldogs defeated Harvard 17–13. In that game, Yale took a 12–2 lead in the first half and narrowly escaped a second half Harvard comeback in which the Crimson outscored the Bulldogs 11–6.
“After last year, we knew that Harvard wanted to come back and get revenge,” Rhodes said, adding that Harvard is a stronger team this year than in years past.
Danielle Tetreault and Jenn VanderMeulen led the Crimson with four goals each. Harvard goalie Kerry Clark saved five of eight shots on goal. For the Bulldogs, Erin McMullan ’14 saved four of 12 shots, while Whitney Quackenbush ’12 saved three of 14.
While Harvard’s 19 points was the largest total the Bulldogs have allowed this season, Devito said that the defense was not to blame.
“The defense played well, but Harvard had a few strong shooters and great shots,” DeVito said. “It’s not the defense’s fault if we can’t get [possession of] the ball first.”
The Bulldogs will have two non-conference games, against Colgate and Georgetown, this weekend before returning to Ivy League play the following week against Princeton. After the loss to Harvard, Crow said the team will re-evaluate its strategy and make adjustments before its next game.
“Our team has a lot of talent, but we are struggling this year to put our games together,” attacker Caroline Crow ’12 said.
The Bulldogs will face Colgate at home on Friday at 4 p.m. and will travel to Georgetown for a 2 p.m. game on Sunday.