The Yale women’s lacrosse team travels north to face Dartmouth on Saturday in an attempt to end its three-game losing skid while becoming the first team to beat the Big Green on its home turf.
The matchup between the Bulldogs (5–7, 2–2 Ivy) and Big Green (5–6, 1–3) marks the second of a four-game stretch at the end of the regular season in which Yale plays solely Ivy League foes. The Elis have limped into this final stretch, now coming off three losses in a row. Much of the same can be said about Dartmouth, which, likewise, has lost its last three games.
The battle in New Hampshire, then, will be over which team can begin to put together a strong end to its season.
“I think [the game is] an important factor in setting the tone against Penn and Harvard in the next two weeks,” goalie Sydney Marks ’18 said. “This is a very good Dartmouth team, and beating them after a solid 60 minutes of play will give us nothing but some serious momentum.”
In order for the Bulldogs to win, they will need to stop Dartmouth senior midfielder Jaclyn Leto, who has done it all for her team. In addition to leading the Big Green in draw controls (34) and causing the most turnovers (14), her 38 goals top the Ivy League and are tied for 20th in the nation.
Dartmouth relies heavily on the talents of Leto, who has scored 20 more goals than midfielder Taryn Deck, the Big Green’s second-leading scorer. Even with such a talented leader on the field, Dartmouth is 75th in the nation with a middling 9.09 goals per game.
“[Leto] is someone that we will definitely be on the look out for in the game. She’s a serious threat for Dartmouth, but we won’t change how we play,” defender Victoria Moore ’17 said. “We are going to work together as a unit, and that’s how we will find success Saturday against Leto and the Dartmouth attack.”
But Yale has its own offensive juggernaut, attacker Tess McEvoy ’17, who leads the Eli attack in a similar way. McEvoy has scored 32 times this season — 19 more than any other Eli and on 43 more shots.
McEvoy will look to exploit what has been Dartmouth’s biggest issue this year: goalkeeping. Dartmouth goalie Charlotte Wahle is a freshman who has started every game, but has the 11th-lowest save percentage in the nation with a 36.8-percent mark.
And in the Big Green’s last three games, Wahle has stopped just 31.7 percent of the shots sent her way. By comparison, Marks, in her first full season as a starter, is 27th in the nation with a 47.8 save percentage.
Either because Dartmouth’s defense is allowing particularly good shots or the shots are simply not being stopped, the Big Green is 83rd out of 110 Division I teams and last in the Ivy League with 11.55 goals allowed per game. Yale, with an 89th-best scoring mark of 8.42 goals per game, will seek to increase that average against a weak defense.
Still, traveling up to Hanover has proved particularly difficult for teams this season. Dartmouth has yet to cede a game at Scully-Fahey Field, and confounding the difficulty of the task ahead of the Bulldogs is their own 1–5 away record this season, as opposed to its 4–2 mark at home.
“Perhaps it’s a consistency problem in that you never know which Yale women’s lacrosse team is coming to play, but otherwise I just don’t know,” Marks said. “We’re certainly looking to reverse this statistic for our very last away game.”
The game will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday.