The Yale women’s lacrosse team played through the pouring rain in its home opener, fending off the elements and throttling Quinnipiac at Reese Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
Starting off fast and never easing their foot off the gas pedal, the Elis (1–1, 0–0 Ivy) cruised to an 11–4 victory over the Bobcats (0–2, 0–0 MAAC), earning Erica LaGrow the first win of her head-coaching career as well as the first win of the season for Yale.
“It’s great to have our first win — especially with our new coaching staff — with all the work that we’ve put in this year,” midfielder Tori Virtue ’16 said. “And its great to have it [come] on our home turf.”
The win comes four days after Yale stumbled out of the gate in its season-opener, when it gave up four goals to Lehigh in the game’s first 10 minutes. The Bulldogs responded with four unanswered goals of their own, but ultimately fell 9–7.
LaGrow emphasized the importance of the opening 10 minutes heading into this game, a call to which her team responded in resounding fashion.
“They were a critical first 10 minutes,” LaGrow said. “It set the tempo. I emphasized coming out strong, forcing our own game — playing fast, good defense and playing as a team.”
The Bulldogs bombarded the Bobcats immediately after the opening whistle, notching six goals in the first 20 minutes. Four of those goals belonged to attacker Hope Hanley ’17, who took five shots after a scoreless season opener on Saturday. Hanley scored the opening goal of the contest before fellow attacker Tess McEvoy ’17 added three consecutive goals, en route to picking up her second hat trick in as many games.
Yale wound up conceding two goals after its 6–0 start, but quickly answered with back-to-back scores to take an 8–2 lead into the second half.
In the second half, that six-goal lead grew to seven, as Yale accrued three more goals to Quinnipiac’s two.
“This win is huge for the team, for the players and for the coaches,” LaGrow said. “We are proud of all the work we put in practice and film to earn it.”
More than half of the team’s 11 goals came on free position shots, as the team scored on six of nine attempts, as compared to two of three for Quinnipiac. In addition to having more opportunities off of fouls, Yale’s defense allowed the Bobcats to take just 14 shots, less than half of the Bulldogs’ 32.
Goalie Sydney Marks ’18 performed well in net, making six saves on 10 Bobcat shots on goal to garner a first of her own. The sophomore, in her second career start, picked up the first win of her collegiate career.
“It was an overall great defensive effort, everyone contributed … [Marks] was fantastic in goal and came up with key saves and clears,” defender Victoria Moore ’17 said. “It was a total team effort today and we’re now turning our attention to [Massachusetts].”
In addition to the stout defense and strong play in net, Yale was able to limit Quinnipiac’s offense throughout the contest in part due to an impressive performance in draw controls — Yale secured 14 of 17. Attacker Nicole Daniggelis ’16, the usual faceoff taker, sat out due to injury. Attacker Izzy Nixon ’19 earned the first start of her young career, stepping into Danigellis’ place, and handled the role adeptly.
Nixon, as well as midfielder Addie Zinsner ’19, each scored their first goals of their Yale career, scoring one each, to cap off a successful night for them and the team.
“It’s exhilarating,” Nixon said of scoring her first collegiate goal. “You want to succeed not just for yourself, but for the girls beside you on the field. Every day we go out and work our hardest to get better, so it’s rewarding when the game reflects that.”
Yale will return to the road on Saturday, when it faces Massachusetts at 12 p.m.