Taking to the field on a gloomy Saturday, the Yale women’s lacrosse team dropped another close conference game, falling 12–11 to Dartmouth.
The Big Green (6–8, 1–5 Ivy) headed into the matchup at Reese Stadium winless in Ivy League play, but two critical three-goal runs in each half allowed it to edge the Bulldogs, whose late comeback fell short. It was the third time that the Elis (7–8, 1–5) lost a conference game by a score of one goal, having previously been defeated 14–13 by Harvard and 15–14 by Columbia. The loss dropped Yale down to last place in the Ivy League, a spot it shares with Dartmouth and Brown.
“The team played very, very hard, and we definitely wanted it, but it was just one of those days where things didn’t work out in our favor,” goaltender Sydney Marks ’18 said. “Dartmouth is a strong team, but they were certainly beatable.”
The first 20 minutes of the game had both teams neck and neck, as both the Bulldogs and the Big Green traded goals. Dartmouth took the lead thrice, but each time, Yale responded to tie the game with goals from midfielder Madeleine Gramigna ’18, and attackers Maggie Pizzo ’18 and Hope Hanley ’17.
However, after Hanley scored to knot the game at 3–3, the Big Green had a dominant stretch of play, scoring three unanswered goals in under three minutes. Though attacker Izzy Nixon ’19 eventually broke Yale’s scoreless stretch with a tally with 1:22 left in the half, Dartmouth had the last word before the intermission after Cara DePippo scored with just 32 seconds remaining.
Yale, down 7–4 to start the second, bounced back with gusto with a dominant run in the first six minutes. The Bulldogs scored four straight goals, with Hanley, Nixon and Gramigna finding the back of the net for the second time and Yale’s leading goal-scorer, captain and attacker Tess McEvoy ’17, getting on the board.
The Elis took the lead for the first time in the contest with the fourth goal in that sequence, but after a scoreboard malfunction put the game on hold in the midst of the Elis’ best stretch of the game, the momentum swung the other way after the 2 hour and 15 minute delay. Dartmouth tied it up less than a minute later, starting another three-goal run that left Yale chasing the equalizer once again.
Though the Bulldogs came within one goal three times in the last ten minutes of play, their late push-back wasn’t enough to push the game into overtime. Down by two goals with less than 90 seconds to play, Yale had a number of close calls, including a shot going just wide and one bouncing off the post, and finally came within one after Hanley set up McEvoy, but this score left just 12 seconds on the clock.
Yale lost the draw control battle for only the fourth time this season, with Dartmouth emerging with a 15–10 advantage in one of the Elis’ stronger areas of the game. They ran into the Ivy League draw control leader in the Big Green’s midfielder Kathryn Giroux, and though Dartmouth had more turnovers than the Bulldogs, Giroux’s play gave her team the edge in the possession game.
The Bulldogs outshot the Big Green 40–26, marking just the third game this season when the team shot below .300 in a contest, having previously done so only against nationally ranked competition in No. 6 Princeton and No. 12 Cornell.
On a day when Yale’s six seniors, all of whom started, were honored in their last game at Reese Stadium, the class of 2017 showed exactly why they will be sorely missed next season. In particular, Hanley and McEvoy — standouts all season — both made their mark. Both scored twice, and Hanley also added four assists, setting the new Yale record for single-season helpers at 48.
The triumph over Yale on Saturday ended a five-game losing streak for the Big Green and helped the away team notch its first Ivy League victory since April 2016. In the last nine seasons, Yale is just 2–7 against Dartmouth.
Despite the loss at home, the Bulldogs can still post their best record in the past three seasons. In four years of competition at Reese Stadium, Yale’s senior class accumulated a 20–13 mark.
Yale goes on the road to finish its season at No. 10 Penn next Sunday looking to defeat the Quakers for the first time since 2004.