The Yale women’s lacrosse team upset a nationally ranked opponent for the second time in two weeks this weekend to extend its undefeated season.
The Elis (3–0, 0–0 Ivy) travelled to face off against Quinnipiac (1–2, 0–0 MAAC) in the first match in Quinnipiac’s new stadium on Wednesday, and held off the Bobcats to secure a closer-than-anticipated 13–8 win. On Saturday, the Bulldogs returned home to Reese Stadium, hosting No. 19 UMass (1–2, 0–0 Atlantic 10), the second ranked opponent on the Elis schedule this season. Yale charged out to an 8–1 lead and held off the Minutewomen’s comeback attempts to notch a 14–9 victory in the pouring rain.
“Fundamentally, the defense has just been working incredibly hard,” goalie Sydney Marks ’18 said. “[Whether they are] coming in for film, extra footwork or stickwork, communication, staying composed and playing strongly against scout attacks. With that being said, our scout attack has done a phenomenal job preparing us for the teams we’ve played so far, and we are very fortunate to have the talent we have on this team.”
Coming off a 12–10 upset of then-No. 24 Albany with goals from eight Yale players to open the season, the Bulldogs again relied on their depth to solve both Quinnipiac and UMass. On Wednesday, the Bobcats took the early lead, scoring the game’s first pair of goals just a minute apart to pull ahead 2–0 three minutes into the match.
Two minutes later, Yale came roaring back with a tally from midfielder Barrett Carlson ’20, which began a 13-minute scoring frenzy that saw the Elis notch five consecutive goals while holding their opponents scoreless to bring the scoreboard to 5–2. The Bobcats were undeterred, responding with two more tallies of their own, before attacker Izzy Nixon ’19 scored again to widen the lead to 6–4 and conclude the period.
In the second half it was Yale that pulled ahead early, scoring the period’s first three goals. Attacker Addie Zinsner ’19 widened the lead to 8–4 with a pair of free-position shots just 25 seconds apart, and Carlson followed that up to with the third of her four goals in the game. Although the local rivals traded shots evenly for the remainder of the match, the lead Yale built up ensured that the performance was good for a 13–8 victory, although that result paled in comparison to its 21–3 triumph a year ago.
Zinsner and Carlson each contributed four goals to the Bulldogs’ total, while Nixon, last week’s Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week, notched a hat trick and rookie attacker Kayla Duperrouzel ’21, who led the way in the win against Albany, scored twice. Nixon continued her stellar performance on the draw, winning ten over the course of the match. Marks was forced to make just three saves in net, while her Bobcat counterpart had to put up a 14-save effort.
“We were a little disappointed in the way we played against Q-pac because we knew we could play with so much more hunger,” Marks said. “I think that gave us the push we needed to really come out and fight on Saturday against UMass.”
After fending off the mid-week threat from Quinnipiac, a steeper test of Yale’s depth and strength came on Saturday against UMass. The Elis are slated to play seven games against teams whose pre-season rankings are among the nation’s top-25. They began with the promising but narrow takedown of Albany, and on Saturday, they fought through poor playing conditions to build an early lead that eventually carried them to their second victory playing against the nation’s top-tier of teams.
Although Massachusetts scored the first goal of the game, midfielder Emily Granger ’18 responded a minute later to equalize. On her heels, the rookie Duperrouzel took on the role of the team’s driving offense force, scoring the game’s next four goals in the span of two-and-a-half minutes. She capitalized on the Minutewomen’s errors, as three of those four goals came from free position shots. Zinsner, Carlson and captain and midfielder Madeleine Gramigna ’18 extended the Bulldogs’ momentum with a goal each to put Yale ahead 8–1 just 15 minutes into the match.
UMass managed to sneak one goal in immediately thereafter, but Yale responded with a trio of goals before the Minutewomen notched three tallies of their own to conclude the first half with a score of 11–5.
UMass put up a more evenly-matched effort in the second half, narrowly outscoring the Bulldogs 4–3. But that recovery was not enough to overcome Yale’s stellar first half and dominance on the draw and in net.
Nixon and Gramigna recorded 12 and five draw controls respectively to contribute to the Bulldogs’ 18–7 advantage in the circle, and Marks recorded 11 saves to her counterpart’s seven to preserve a sound 14–9 victory. The Minutewomen were further hindered by their own errors, totaling 26 fouls to the Elis’ 13, with 17 in the first half, and serving two penalties, one of which allowed for the Bulldogs to score on the player advantage.
Duperrouzel finished the match with five goals, bringing her season total to ten goals and 13 points to lead the team. Granger, Carlson and Zinsner each scored twice, while Gramigna, Nixon, and midfielder Vanessa Yu ’20 each contributed one goal to bring the total number of Eli scorers to seven.
The Bulldogs open conference play next weekend, hosting Harvard on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Angela Xiao | email@example.com