Yale women’s crew fell three seconds short of claiming the Case Cup against Harvard, whose crew is known as Radcliffe, in Boston on Saturday.

The first varsity boat finished with a time of 6:36.1, just shy of Radcliffe’s 6:33.1. The Bulldogs did, however, win the remaining three races. Last year, Yale swept regatta against Radcliffe, winning the first varsity piece by 18 seconds. Radcliffe’s victory this year is the first time that the school has won the Case Cup in eight years.

Rowers were optimistic about the team’s potential for doing well in the season’s remaining races, despite the loss. Captain Caroline Nash ’11 said the team was making good progress, and that some disappointments were to be expected.

“Progress is never linear. Every day, every practice, every stroke is slightly different,” Nash said. “I like to think that the more time the boat spends together the more we learn.”

Nash said there are always upsides to losses that the team can benefit from.

“The loss this weekend taught us about both [external and internal factors],” Nash said. “how we responded to the external situation, which was bad weather and foreign territory, as well as how we

approached the race and managed what was going on between our ears.”

She said that the Eastern Association of Women’s Rowing Colleges, the league that Yale competes in, was very even this year, and in order to win races, the team has to work its hardest. Nash also explained that Yale’s first varsity boat is new in its composition from last year’s and that external factors may have affected the them.

She cited weather and travel as two things that might have, but should not have, affected the first varsity boat’s performance. The only way for Yale to reach its maximum speed, she said, was for the boat to focus on itself.

All three of Yale’s other boats triumphed against Radcliffe. The second varsity race was the closest, but Yale hung on to a one second lead for the victory.

“For those three boats it was important and affirming to have victories but also a reminder that a win on Saturday doesn’t necessarily mean a win forever,” Nash said. “The season is far from over.”

Nash said the three other boats were still making improvements and, just like the varsity, were not yet at their top speeds. She noted that all crews get faster in the postseason, which is just a few weeks away.

After this weekend, Yale faces Brown on the Housatonic on Saturday, and will then travel to Camden, N.J., for the Eastern Sprints.

“It is always exciting to race Radcliffe,” Steph Madner ’11 said. “They are very strong opponents and we know we need to be at our best to be able to run with them. We did not race as we would have liked and hope to learn from it.”