Steven Musco

The Yale women’s lacrosse team has faced its share of wide deficits and close games in 2018. On Tuesday, it overcame both challenges to earn a 13–12 victory at home.

The Bulldogs (7–3, 2–1 Ivy) bounced back from tough losses last week against No. 2 Boston College and conference foe Cornell to defeat Marist (4–4, 0–0 MAAC) at Reese Stadium. Despite a concerning start to the match in which the Elis fell behind by as many as six tallies in the first half, a five-goal effort from rookie midfielder Olivia Markert ’21 led the Bulldogs to a win in a match that remained tight through the end.

“It takes a lot of heart to mount a successful comeback,” Markert said. “In the second half, we really worked to do the little things and take it one play at a time. There is a lot of trust on our team, so when we are behind, we can be confident that if we play our game and work hard we will be successful.”

The Elis have started games poorly in recent weeks. Although Yale put up an impressive 4–3 first-half effort against Boston College — its most formidable opponent to date — the team struggled to produce the same successful starts against Niagara and Cornell.

The slow starts have yielded mixed results for the Elis. They rallied to play a dominant second half against Niagara resulting in a 14–7 victory, but allowed Cornell to score six times before earning a goal of their own and were ultimately unable to recover, falling 13–8.

Marist notched the first tally of Tuesday’s game three minutes into the first period to take the lead, but Markert responded less than 30 seconds later to tie the score at one. But even after defender Kiwi Comizio ’18 scored a second goal for the Elis to knot the score 10 minutes in, Yale struggled to keep up through the rest of the half. Marist scored six consecutive times in seven minutes — five of which came from free-position shots — to leave the Elis trailing 8–2 with just seven minutes remaining.

Attacker Izzy Nixon ’19 jump-started the Elis ultimately unsuccessful comeback campaign against Cornell last weekend with her team’s first tally. Again on Tuesday, she broke an opponent’s six-goal scoring streak, this time with just three minutes to halftime. The Red Foxes and Bulldogs each registered another goal before the half, and Yale entered the second frame trailing 9–4.

After halftime, Markert came back roaring to power Yale’s comeback effort. She notched her second tally of the match less than a minute into the half and followed it up 40 seconds later to earn her first collegiate hat trick. Marist midfielder Hailey Wagner attempted to break up Markert’s run with a third goal of her own, but she could not stop Markert’s momentum.

The rookie midfielder responded with another goal, and then again, after Marist scored to bring the score to 11–7. Markert’s fifth and final goal of the evening spurred a Yale outburst that saw the Bulldogs come back under mounting pressure from the clock, scoring five times in succession, tying the match up at 11 before a goal by captain and midfielder Madeleine Gramigna ’18 with just five minutes remaining put Yale ahead for the first time all match. The Red Foxes grittily held on and equalized to 12 less than a minute later with a player-advantage tally, but midfielder Barrett Carlson ’20 knocked another one in to pull ahead to 13–12 and hand the Elis the win.

“All we were yelling to each other was ‘Next one, next one. Chip away!’ because that’s simply what was going to have to be done,” goalie Sydney Marks ’18 said. “Playing smart but having urgency can clash sometimes, so it’s about finding a balance, and I think we were able to do that come the second half. We had each other’s backs and that’s all that mattered for this win, even if it wasn’t pretty.”

Markert’s five-goal game is the third by an Eli player this season — rookie attacker Kayla Duperrouzel ’21, who was sidelined against Marist by a shin injury, scored five times against UMass, and Nixon did it against Brown. Again, Yale benefited from strong goaltending, with Marks making seven saves, and offensive depth, as five players scored for the Bulldogs.

“I’m really proud of the way my team fought,” Duperrouzel said. “They did a great job of digging deep and really willing the win. We outscored them 9–3 in the second half, which really demonstrated what we are capable of when we play hard and play smart. It took guts and a lot of heart, but we were able to get the job done.”

Yale next hosts No. 10 Towson at Reese Stadium on Friday at 4 p.m.

Angela Xiao | angela.xiao@yale.edu