Playing against one of the strongest teams in the Ivy League, the Yale women’s lacrosse team fell 17–4 to No. 16 Dartmouth on Saturday, which leaves the Bulldogs needing a win in their final game and two other teams to lose in order to reach the fourth and final playoff spot.
The Bulldogs (7–7, 2–4 Ivy) have struggled offensively against their Ivy League opponents in the second half of the season. The conference, which boasts three squads in the nation’s top-20, has remained competitive throughout the final stretch, as the Elis entered Saturday in a three-way tie for fourth place. After a loss to No. 20 Princeton last week despite strong goaltending, the Bulldogs fell to Dartmouth (10–3, 5–1) 17–4 in their last away match of the season as the Big Green outshot Yale 36–12. With the loss, Yale falls to a tie for fifth in league standings with Cornell, while Columbia now sits in fourth alone.
“The hardest part was playing against [Dartmouth’s] zone defense,” goalie Sydney Marks ’18 said. “We usually rip zones apart — often it’s fun for our team to play them, but I think they must have scouted our attack pretty well, making it tough for us to carry out successful plays. Across the board, I just don’t think that spark was there when it needed to be.”
Last week, on the road for the first time in three weeks, Marks made a season-high 17 saves to keep her team in the game against Princeton. However, the Tigers foiled the Elis’ offensive game plan handily and nabbed the 17–4 win to hold onto their place in the Ivy League Tournament.
This week, Marks delivered another reliable performance by making seven saves in the first half alone as the Big Green outshot Yale 21–5 for the period. Dartmouth, whose lone league loss was to undefeated No. 9 Penn, took advantage of Yale’s mistakes early and often. Just 30 seconds into play, a foul on the Elis gave the Big Green the first of its 10 free position shots of the half.
Dartmouth converted and extended its lead to 3–0 with just 13 minutes remaining in the first frame before Yale responded with a goal from attacker Addie Zinsner ’19 assisted by midfielder Emily Granger ’18. Immediately thereafter, another foul on Yale resulted in Dartmouth tallying another free position goal.
For the next seven minutes, the teams engaged in an aggressive back and forth — between the two squads, players were fouled eight times. Dartmouth took seven shots, including three more free positions. Although the Eli defense shut out all seven of those shots, Yale did not manage any attempts of its own until, with just five minutes remaining the period, attacker Maggie Pizzo ’18 scored off another Granger assist to bring the score to 4–2.
But the Big Green denied the Elis a chance to catch up in the final five minutes of the period, and instead pulled ahead with three more goals while shutting out Yale’s offense to lead 7–2 at halftime. Yale’s struggles derived less from an inability to contain Dartmouth, than from a dearth of offensive opportunities. The teams were evenly matched in successful clears and draw controls. But, Big Green goalies Kiera Vrindten was forced to make just two saves for the period, and the Elis earned no free position shots of their own. Marks and the defense denied seven free-position shots alone, as Dartmouth went 3–10 in the category.
After a convincing first half, the Big Green completely shut the door on an Eli comeback. Just nine minutes into the frame, Dartmouth’s five-goal scoring spree put the Elis behind 12–2. Granger broke through for her team and put an end to Dartmouth’s surge, but the Big Green responded with three consecutive goals. Rookie midfielder Olivia Markert ’21 scored Yale’s fourth and final goal before Dartmouth rounded out another pair to put the gloss on its 17–4 victory.
Yale’s lackluster performance was exacerbated as attacker Kayla Duperrouzel ’21, midfielder Barrett Carlson ’20 and defender Cooper Hall ’18 all sat out the match due to injury. Duperrouzel has been a major force on the attack in her first season with 17 goals, Carlson has emerged as a major scoring power, second on the team in goals with 20 and Hall was the team’s only returning starter on the defense at the beginning of the season.
“Dartmouth went hard in everything they did, and they played with a lot of confidence, so you have to give credit to them,” Duperrouzel said. “We struggled to convert on offense.”
Granger leads the Bulldogs in scoring for the season with 21 tallies.
Angela Xiao | email@example.com