After a frustrating loss to No. 9 Stony Brook in which an 11–1 scoring run doomed the Elis, the Yale women’s lacrosse team responded in convincing fashion during the squad’s three games over spring break. The Bulldogs picked up a pair of victories, including their first conference win of the season, and gave a nationally ranked Ivy opponent all it could handle for the better part of the match.
Yale (5–4, 1–2 Ivy) matched its win total from all of last season with convincing road triumphs over nonconference foe Niagara (4–4, 1–0 MAAC), as well as conference opponent Brown (3–5, 0–3 Ivy). Yet against No. 7 Cornell (6–1, 3–0), the Bulldogs held a 5–3 lead at the half but only scored one goal in the second stanza as the Big Red avoided the upset at Reese Stadium.
“I think our team has been doing a really good job this season of taking it game by game, focusing on executing what we need to in order to be successful against each team while also sticking to what we do well ourselves,” attacker Kiwi Comizio ’18 said. “We have made so much progress from last season in just this half of our season.”
To begin its spring break slate, Yale traveled north to take on the Purple Eagles. Amid inclement weather conditions, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 6–3 lead behind three first-half strikes from attacker and captain Tess McEvoy ’17, the team’s leading scorer.
The Bethesda, Maryland, native would add two more to her scoring output in the following frame, as McEvoy and attacker Izzy Nixon ’19 each added three goals to bolster their team’s offensive production. The Bulldog defense chomped down on the Purple Eagles’ offense in the second half, limiting Niagara to just one goal as Yale emerged from the frigid field with a 13–4 victory, a season low in scoring for the MAAC’s top offense.
“While our team was tired and absolutely freezing, we may have come out of the starting gate a bit slow in the beginning of that game,” goalkeeper Sydney Marks ’18 said. “Once we got into more of a rhythm and settled down, we were able to play our game and just grind it out for the win.”
Five days later, the Elis picked up their first conference win of the season in a 12–10 victory over Brown. Despite trailing for most of the game, the Bulldogs mounted a 7–1 scoring run in the second half to defeat the Bears for the sixth consecutive season.
In the first half, Brown jumped out to a 9–5 lead, fueled by midfielders Hafsa Moinuddin and Zoe Verni, who each tallied two goals. Yale would go into halftime trailing by four goals, with all of its own scores coming from different players.
But after halftime the Elis excelled on both ends of the field, holding Brown scoreless for the last 24 minutes of the game while also producing seven tallies, including a go-ahead goal by midfielder Emily Granger ’18. The tally gave the Bulldogs a 12–10 triumph at Stevenson-Pincince Stadium in Providence, which included the “most exhilarating 15 minutes of our season so far,” according to Marks. Hat tricks by Comizio and Nixon headlined the Elis’ offensive eruption versus the nation’s third-stingiest scoring defense.
“We came in with a really strong game plan defensively,” head coach Erica LaGrow said. “Our seniors on defense also helped us fight back. A win like this speaks volumes about our team chemistry. I am really proud of how we competed.”
For its final performance of the span, Yale hosted Cornell as the home squad looked to defeat the nationally ranked Big Red for the first time since 2007. The Bulldogs started strong, as McEvoy and midfielder Madeleine Gramigna ’18 fired shots past Cornell goalkeeper Renee Poullott just 74 seconds into the game to put the Elis up 2–0. Three additional strikes left Yale ahead 5–3 at the half against a Cornell scoring defense, averaging just 7.67 goals per game, that ranks in the top five nationally.
However, in the second half, the Big Red’s defense reverted back to its true form. Comizio produced the Bulldogs’ only goal on 10 shots in the final 30 minutes, and 12 goals from Cornell’s offense toppled any hopes of a Yale victory. Midfielder Joey Coffy and attacker Amie Dickson paved the way for Cornell as each boasted three tallies while three other players contributed multiple goals.
“Even though the final result of the Cornell game was not what we had hoped for, I think the first half along with our two recent wins speaks to the work we’ve put in to get where we are,” Comizio said. “I am excited for us to keep getting better as we move into the second half of our season and the tougher part of our schedule.”
The Bulldogs’ season continues with a road matchup against No. 19 Boston College on Wednesday afternoon.