Coming off of a 10-goal loss to the undefeated University of Massachusetts, the Yale women’s lacrosse team bounced back nicely against Marist with an 11–8 win on a frigid Wednesday night. The Bulldogs jumped out to an impressive start and held on to move back to 0.500 and remain unbeaten at home.
In a game rife with momentum shifts and unanswered runs, Yale (2–2, 0–0 Ivy) fought off several comeback pushes from the Red Foxes (2–2, 0–0 MAAC) with the help of a deep offense and stout play in net.
“It’s the perfect win going into this weekend against a tough team like Cornell, and I definitely think this has given us some serious momentum,” goalie Sydney Marks ’18 said. “The team fought hard until the very end, and we’re ready to face this next challenge head-on.”
The Bulldogs started the game on fire, racking up six consecutive goals in the game’s first 10 minutes.
The run was highlighted by two goals from attacker Hope Hanley ’17 and one from fellow attacker Tess McEvoy ’17, who also contributed two assists during the early onslaught.
“Those first 10 minutes really showcased our offensive potential. I think that we were operating on all cylinders — throwing quickly and precisely, seeing the open player and placing our shots,” captain and defender Kate Walker ’16 said. “If we can play the way we did for the first 10 minutes for an entire 60-minute game, we’re going to have a very successful season.”
The team’s early runaway lead would peak at six, however, as Marist struck back for two rapid goals within a minute of each other.
Marist could not take advantage of its brief momentum, as McEvoy and attacker Kiwi Comizio ’18 tacked on their second goals of the game to push the lead back to the commanding six it held before.
For the rest of the first half, Yale held Marist at an arm’s length, wasting away large chunks of time with each possession and winding down the clock with continuous ball movement in the offensive zone.
The Red Foxes snuck in a goal with 3:29 left in the half and the halftime whistle blew with the Bulldogs comfortably sitting five goals ahead, 8–3.
In the first half Yale secured goals on eight of its 12 shots, a drastic improvement from its game against UMass on Saturday, where the Bulldogs converted on just 17 percent of its shot attempts.
Less than a minute into the second half, Marist jumpstarted its comeback attempt as Kara McHugh added her first goal of the match. Yale had successfully limited the prolific scorer from finding the back of the net in the first half. McHugh entered the contest averaging 4.67 goals per game, tied for third-most in the nation.
Yale’s lead, which had seemed so secure at the half, continued to slip away as the second half unfolded. The Red Foxes tallied two more goals, their third and fourth unanswered, another one of which came from the lethal stick of McHugh. But McHugh’s emergence was short-lived as she failed to score the remainder of the game.
“After our game against UMass [last] weekend we really wanted to focus on us and our defense,” defender Victoria Moore ’17 said. “[And] our attack played phenomenal today. They did an incredible job of pulling out and tiring out the Marist defense and forced [McHugh] to run a lot which definitely helped us against her.”
Nevertheless, with the lead cut to two, Yale’s Marks made several point-blank saves to stem the Red Foxes’ swelling tide. She finished with a career-high 10 saves on the evening. Yale reeled off three unanswered goals in response: the second for midfielder Taryn Gallagher ’18, the first for midfielder Madeleine Gramigna ’18 and McEvoy’s third of the game.
Marist made one final push as Allison Gionta notched back-to-back goals, but the late scores turned out to be too little too late. After an up-and-down game, the clock struck zero with Yale emerging victorious, 11–8.
Six different players scored for Yale, highlighting the team’s depth on the attack. Also, the team held statistical advantages by significant margins in several categories. Yale secured 17 draw controls, behind the work of attacker Nicole Daniggelis ’16, to the Red Foxes’ 4. Yale also committed just four fouls to Marist’s 17.
The Bulldogs will now move on to their Ivy opener on Saturday with a road contest at Cornell.