The Yale women’s lacrosse team came out on top in a face-off against Bryant University, the other Bulldogs, of Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Both teams entered the game with mirroring records of two wins and one loss. At the outset, however, Yale (3–1, 0–0 Ivy) had the stronger desire to gain another win as they prevailed over Bryant (2–2, 0–0 Northeast) on Wednesday largely thanks to nine unanswered goals in the first half. Despite their inauspicious start, the Bryant Bulldogs came back and threatened the Elis with eight of their own goals. But in the end, Yale stood its ground and finished the game by finding the net one last time with 18 seconds left on the board, ending with a 12–8 score.
“We have really stepped up our game recently and valued possession all over the field,” defender Flannery Carney ’16 said.
Keeping the ball in Bulldog hands was crucial in staying ahead of Bryant. Along with possession, the Elis also greatly prioritized the ability to capitalize when the opportunity presents itself. The team had 23 total shots and converted on 12 of them, in comparison to Bryant’s 24 shots with only eight scored. Captain Kerri Fleishhacker ’15 tallied three goals against Bryant, while midfielders Taryn Gallagher ’18 and Lauren Wackerle ’16 scored their first goals of the season in this game.
While the offensive push was present throughout the game, the defense was also doing its share of the work on the other end of the field. A force proving to be formidable force against Bryant was goalkeeper Erin Mullins ’15, who was named Ivy League Co-Defensive Player of the Week this past Monday. Mullins had a perfect save percentage during the 30 minutes that she played in the first half, putting her teammates in a great position entering the second half.
At the start of the second half, the Bryant Bulldogs clearly decided that they did not want to be sent back to the pound yet. Throughout the second half, Bryant slowly worked to close the score gap.
With 5:11 remaining on the clock, Bryant had countered with six goals to make the score 11–6. Even with Bryant gaining on its tail, Yale managed to remain confident.
“We came out flat in the second half. Bryant had a few quick goals, and they gained some confidence and momentum,” defender Victoria Moore ’17 said. “We didn’t panic.”
According to midfielder Kelly Anne Sherlock ’16, the Bulldogs’ shots were not getting past the Bryant goalkeeper like they were in the first half, which allowed Bryant to get back into the game. Daja Andrews, Bryant’s goalie in the first half, saved only two out of 11 Eli shots. She was then replaced by Samantha Santeramo, who allowed just three of Yale’s eight total shots to find the back of the net.
Attacker AnnaElise Morello ’16, a staff reporter for YTV, thought that the increase in turnovers in the second half for the Elis also let Bryant stay competitive towards the end of the game. Yale committed nine turnovers in the second half and 15 for the whole game, while Bryant only turned the ball over 11 times.
Despite the Yale women’s lacrosse team struggling a little bit more in the second half, the Elis were able to withstand Bryant’s late run, as attacker Erin Magnuson ’15 solidified the win on a free position shot in the final moments of the game.
“At the end of the day, we pulled it together,” Morello said.
The women’s lacrosse team begins its Ivy League conference slate this Saturday in a home game against Cornell at 11 a.m.