The Yale women’s lacrosse team traveled north over the weekend to face Dartmouth, where it only mustered half its opponent’s goals, falling 10–5 and thus dipping below 0.500 in Ivy League play for the first time since March 3.
At the end of the up-and-down game, the Bulldogs (5–8, 2–3 Ivy) fell to extend their longest winless streak of the season to four games while the Big Green (6–6, 2–3) extended its own run by winning its fifth consecutive home game to remain undefeated at Scully-Fahey Field. Saturday’s contest was more competitive than the scoreline may indicate, as Yale remained within three goals of its opponent until the final five minutes. But in the end, Dartmouth midfleider Jaclyn Leto — one of the nation’s top scorers — proved too much for Yale to handle.
“I don’t think the final score is entirely reflective of the strong effort we put forth on Saturday,” captain and defender Kate Walker ’16 said. “Our defense was particularly gritty, and the entire team hustled and fought to the very end. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough to put us ahead of Dartmouth but I’m proud of the toughness we exhibited and I think that it bodes well for our final two regular season games.”
Yale was the first to strike with attacker Hope Hanley ’17 scoring off an assist from attacker Kiwi Comizio ’18 nearly seven minutes into the afternoon. Yale was able to hold Leto, and the entire Dartmouth squad, scoreless for more than 10 minutes, but the prolific scorer could not be contained much longer, eventually beating the Eli defense to knot the game at one-apiece. Less than a minute later, Comizio notched one of her own to push Yale ahead once more.
At that point Dartmouth initiated the game’s first lopsided run, scoring four unanswered goals, two more of which came from Leto. Dartmouth carried a 5–2 advantage into the locker room at halftime, after outshooting Yale 12–8 and controlling seven of eight draw controls.
The Elis came out of the intermission with a pair of goals, the first from attacker Lauren Wackerle ’16 and the second from Comizio, to cut the deficit to just one. The surge came in the midst of seven straight Yale shots to open the second half but the Bulldogs would never notch an equalizer.
Once again, it was Leto who took control as she scored her fourth goal and then dished out her first assist of the day to push the lead back up to three and take the air out of Yale’s comeback. With her scoring average now boosted to 3.45 goals per game, Leto currently ranks 10th in the nation.
The Bulldogs put together one last push to tie, as Wackerle scored again, but Dartmouth again responded in full force, scoring three straight to squash the comeback attempt and ice the victory.
In the low-scoring Yale performance, attacker Tess McEvoy ’17 was held without a goal for the first time in eight outings. Over those eight prior contests, the team’s leading scorer — McEvoy’s 32 goals are 18 more than the next highest, Hanley — averaged more than three goals per game.
“Dartmouth’s game plan was definitely to shut [McEvoy] down,” defender Victoria Moore ’17 said. “They face-guarded her and it was difficult for her to get a shot off. This week we will get back to the basics and playing our game no matter what the other team’s defense throws at us.”
Dartmouth goalie freshman Charlotte Wahle, who entered the game with the 11th-worst save percentage in the nation, had arguably the best game of her young career.
Wahle tied her personal best for saves with 10 and posted her second-highest single-game save percentage, at 66.7 percent, in slowing the Bulldogs.
“We were generating shots but couldn’t get enough to fall,” head coach Erica LaGrow said. “A few of our shots hit the post during critical moments of the game. We needed that to change the momentum.”
Many of the peripheral stats reflected Walker’s belief that the game might have been closer than the final scoreline suggested. Dartmouth outshot Yale by only two, it acquired only one more groundball and actually committed three more turnovers than the Elis. Still, the final score pulled Dartmouth even with Yale in the Ancient Eight standings, as the two teams are now tied for fifth.
The Elis play their second-to-last game of the regular season against Penn next Saturday at 3 p.m. with a chance to climb into the top half of the Ivy League.