Crossing the halfway point in the Ivy League season, the Yale women’s lacrosse team fell to Columbia, as a weak start combined with difficulty playing clean culminated with a narrow loss.
The Elis (7–5, 2–2 Ivy) hosted Columbia on Saturday after a tough loss against No. 7 Towson last week. Yale dug itself into a hole early, falling behind by six goals entering the half. Although the team bounced back in the second period, at one point tying the score at 10, it ultimately fell to Columbia 12–10 in the final minutes of the match. The Bulldogs enter a three-way tie for fourth place in the Ivy League after this defeat, with just three games remaining.
“We just did not come out as strong as we needed to,” attacker Kayla Duperrouzel ’21 said. “Part of the excitement of such a competitive Ivy League this year is how each and every game is completely up for grabs. But that also means every second counts. We turned it around in the second half, but in tough games like this it takes a full 60 minutes to get the results we want.”
Yale has played competitively with some of the nation’s best teams, ending the first periods against No. 2 Boston College and No. 7 Towson down by one and two goals, respectively. However, it has recently allowed less-menacing opponents, such as Cornell and Columbia, to distance themselves in the opening frame.
In the Bulldogs’ last conference match against Cornell, the Big Red got off to a 6–0 start before Yale could manage a single goal, and the Elis entered halftime down 8–3. Although the Elis recovered to play a 5–5 second half, it was not enough to overcome the steep early deficit. A week later when Yale hosted Marist, the Bulldogs fell behind early again, as Marist led by as much as 8–2 late in the first half and concluded the period up 9–4. This time, the Bulldogs hit their stride just in time. They tied the match at 12 before midfielder Barrett Carlson ’20 scored to give the Elis their first lead of the game and, ultimately, a 13–12 victory. On Saturday, history repeated itself at Reese Stadium. The Bulldogs got off on the wrong foot as the Lions earned the first draw control of the match, despite attacker Izzy Nixon ’19 leading the nation in draw controls per game. Nixon would go on to win 10 draw controls for the match to bring her season total to 112, breaking the previous Ivy League record of 109.
Two Yale fouls in the opening 30 seconds of the match gave Columbia an early free position shot. The Lions missed and then tried again, forcing goalie Sydney Marks ’18 to make her first of eight saves for the day. Columbia earned the first goal of the game three minutes in and followed it up a minute later on another free position shot to lead Yale 2–0.
The Bulldogs responded with a pair of shots that hit the post and were saved by Columbia goalie Kelsey Gedin before Carlson scooped up a ground ball and converted to give Yale its first goal of the day.
For the next seven minutes, the Bulldogs and Lions played a scoreless game. The Elis struggled to play clean, giving Columbia a third and fourth free position shot. The Lions converted on the fourth opportunity, ending the goal-less stretch and pulling ahead 3–1. Columbia earned a fifth free position attempt before midfielder Olivia Markert ’21 converted on Yale’s first free position to bring the deficit back to one.
While the first 15 minutes of the match had been characterized by close back-and-forth play, the Lions dominated the remainder of the period. They shut the Elis out completely while notching five goals, with the last one coming nearly at the halftime buzzer, and closing out the period 8–2.
Two weeks ago, Yale was down by five goals at the half when Markert scored to begin the second period. She went on to score four more times to lead a Yale comeback attempt that saw the Bulldogs go 9–3 in the second half. On Saturday, Markert similarly opened the second half in scoring, although, it took her five minutes this time to leave the dent. After the Lions scored another, Markert returned on the player advantage and with a free position attempt, completing the hat trick. Attacker Emily Granger ’18 followed 30 seconds later, before Columbia notched another goal to make their lead 10–5.
In the remaining 18 minutes, the Elis came close to pulling off another near-unimaginable comeback. Beginning with a free position goal from attacker Addie Zinsner ’19, the Elis scored five consecutive times in six minutes. Zinsner notched a hat trick, while Granger and captain and midfielder Madeleine Gramigna ’18 each contributed a goal. Of the five tallies, three came on free positions and one while the Elis were on the player advantage.
Zinsner scored her final goal, with an assist from Carlson, to knot the score at 10 with eight minutes remaining. But a yellow card on Yale, combined with another free position attempt for the Lions, allowed Columbia to pull ahead again with four minutes left. Two minutes later, the Lions notched another insurance tally, and the game concluded with a 12–10 Yale loss.
Fouls disadvantaged both squads, but Yale gave its opponents more early opportunities to take advantage of its mistakes. In the first period, the Bulldogs fouled 20 times to the Lions’ eight. While the script flipped in the second period, as the Lions led 16–6 in second-half fouls, the Bulldogs’ corrections came too little too late to solve the Lions. Nine of the game’s 22 goals were scored on free position attempts.
The Bulldogs travel to play Princeton next week.
Angela Xiao | email@example.com