On Saturday, the Yale women’s lacrosse team lost in its first game of the season against George Washington in a 13–5 game in Washington, D.C.
The Colonials (1–1, 0–0 Atlantic 10) got an early advantage on the Bulldogs (0–1, 0–1 Ivy) by scoring their first point within the beginning 30 seconds of the game. That did not phase the Elis, as they responded to that challenge with their own goal by attacker Erin Magnuson ’15. However, that was Yale’s lone goal for the rest of the half, while George Washington proceeded to score five more. The Bulldogs were able to have a fresh start for the second half, but could not catch up to the Colonials.
“There were variables out of our control, such as the weather, making it a very different game than what we are used to,” goalie Erin Mullins ’15 said. “It was heavily snowing the entire game, making visibility and footing difficult … They had cleats while we had turfs running through the sticking snow.”
For the past couple of months, the Bulldogs have been practicing outside in the New Haven winter. The team has experienced the strong winds and below-freezing temperatures. Yet even with all of this preparation, playing through a game in the middle of a snowstorm with snow already coating the field proved to be a tough feat.
Despite the “uncontrollables,” the Elis never ceased fighting back. The team opened the second half with a goal scored by attacker Tess McEvoy ’17 just 52 seconds after halftime. The Bulldogs continued their counter with goals from midfielder Sophie Mussafer ’17 and midfielder Kelly Anne Sherlock ’16. This was Mussafer’s first career goal for the Bulldogs.
Looking back on the game, in terms of improving technical details, Sherlock suggested that the Elis need to limit their turnovers, maintain possession and be able to recognize and capitalize on the opportunities for strong offense plays. Yale turned the ball over 20 times, while George Washington committed just 15 turnovers.
Mullins, on the other hand, alluded to the other major piece of competition, the mental game. According to Mullins, the Bulldogs could not keep a firm mindset in order to overpower the Colonials.
Sherlock pointed out midfielder Christina Doherty ’15, who had a pair of goals, and Mullins for maintaining their strength and performing in crucial moments.
“Christina had a really great game,” Sherlock said. “She really helped our team in crucial moments … Mullins put on a tough fight with the snow blowing in her face.”
Despite the score, the Elis and the Colonials finished with similar statistics. Yale and George Washington each had 10 draw controls, and the Bulldogs had just one fewer ground ball pickup than the Colonials, with 18 to George Washington’s 19.
Free position shots proved to be one of Yale’s weaknesses against George Washington. The Colonials went 4–7 on free position shots, while Yale connected on just one of eight attempts: Mussafer’s goal in the final minute.
“Towards the end of the game, we really started to play like ourselves,” attacker Kiwi Comizio ’18 said. “But unfortunately we ran out of time.”
The team is looking to get a win in the season much sooner rather than later, as they prepare for in-state rival Quinnipiac this Wednesday.
The Elis are aiming for an Ivy Championship, according to McEvoy. She also elaborated that the Bulldogs are looking to take each game one at a time.
“We still have a lot of work ahead of us this week,” Mullins said. “We are looking to Wednesday as a day to get back on track and restart.”
The team looks to get a win on the board at Reese Stadium this Wednesday against Quinnipiac at 4 p.m.