The Yale women’s lacrosse team emerged from spring break with a mix of wins and losses. Before meeting Boston College and Cornell on the field, the team was off to its best start in 16 years. Yet, the most recently games ended in an Ivy disappointment which blemished the team’s unbeaten league record.
The Bulldogs (6–3, 2–1 Ivy) opened spring break with a triple-overtime thriller against Canisius (4–4, 1–0 MAAC). The Elis rallied from a four-goal deficit midway with seven minutes left to tie, but the Blue Hens finally broke through early in the third extra period to hand the Elis their first loss of the season. Yale bounced back with a pair of wins against Niagara (4–5, 1–0 MAAC) and Brown (5–4, 0–3), 14–7 and 19–17 respectively, extending its Ivy record to 2–0 and overall record to 6–1, which is its best start since 2002. The following Tuesday, the Bulldogs led No. 2 Boston College (12–0, 3–0 ACC) by one at the half, but a late surge by the Eagles denied the Elis to a memorable upset as they fell 13–9, before Cornell (5–3, 2–1) snapped the Elis’ conference streak with a 13–8 victory on Saturday.
“Some of the greatest difficulties came mentally,” goalie Sydney Marks ’18 said. “Coming into some of these games, we occasionally lacked a very necessary initial sense of urgency, focus and conviction … Cornell just stung and was a disappointing loss, one that is making us re-evaluate a few things technically and mentally. We were checked out for a lot of that game, and it took until maybe halfway through the second half to ground ourselves and fight.”
Early in the season, the Bulldogs relied on their explosive and early offense, riding out early leads to overtake opponents. Over the break, they were often relegated to playing catch-up instead, letting Cornell get off to a 6–0 start before attacker Izzy Nixon ’19 broke through with a free position goal with just 12 minutes remaining in the first half to give the Bulldogs their first goal. Although the Elis got off two more goals, the Big Red soldiered on and led 8–3 entering halftime.
The Elis could not find their footing early in the second half either. Beginning with a goal from Cornell midfielder Joey Coffy less than a minute into the second period, the Big Red put up three consecutive finishes to open the half and left the Bulldogs in the dust, down 11–3 just five minutes into the period.
Yale pulled together another comeback attempt, notching the next three tallies, but the Big Red did not relent. Cornell attacker Ida Farinholt responded with a pair of goals. Although the Elis managed two more in the game’s final minutes, they could not replicate their earlier successful comebacks against Canisius and Niagara — the deficit was too much to overcome, and Yale fell 13–8 in its first Ivy loss of the season. The Big Red led 33–21 in shots.
“We have definitely struggled with consistency,” attacker Kayla Duperrouzel ’21 said. “Our coach always reminds us that growth comes out of uncomfortable situations, and these losses have definitely made us very uncomfortable. Starting strong is definitely going to be crucial for the rest of our Ivy League games. We have all learned a lot from these losses, and to be honest they really sting. The bright side is that the mistakes we made are all controllable.”
Although Yale could not keep up with the Big Red, seven players scored for the Bulldogs, demonstrating the same depth that has served the Elis well in other matches. In their victories against Niagara and Brown, the Bulldogs had six scorers each, combining for 14 and 19 goals, respectively.
In comparison, Cornell relied on a small handful of key players for its success — Farinholt, Coffy and attacker Tomasina Leska scored four, three and four goals respectively, combining for 11 of the Big Red’s 13 tallies.
With the loss, Yale now owns a two-game losing streak. The Bulldogs are currently tied for second in the Ivy League with the Big Red, who fell to Penn in its Ivy opener. The Quakers and Dartmouth remain undefeated in the conference, each with a 2–0 record, with just under a month remaining in the season.
The Bulldogs next host Marist on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Angela Xiao | email@example.com