Courtesy of Steve Musco

Looking to extend its winning streak to three games, the Yale women’s lacrosse team kicked off Ivy League play this Saturday against No. 6 Penn. But in the team’s second loss of the season, it suffered a 15–4 defeat to the Quakers.

The Bulldogs (2–2, 0–1 Ivy) came to Franklin Field in Philadelphia seeking to capitalize on their momentum from defeating local foes Quinnipiac and Hartford, which marked a strong start to the regular season. Penn (4–0, 1–0) — the defending Ivy co-champions — ended the Elis’ season in 2018 and the Bulldogs hoped to avenge last year’s loss. Yet the Quakers got the better of the Bulldogs for the second year in a row, expanding their previous margin of victory by eight points after pulling ahead 10–0 to start the game.

“Penn is a great team,” goalkeeper Amelia Drake ’21 said. “While Saturday wasn’t our best performance, we’re hoping to bounce back in our next game this Thursday.”

The Quakers quickly took the Elis by storm, scoring the first 10 goals of the game. That initial run by Penn was ended by a pair of first years: attacker Rachel Anderson ’22 scored off a feed from midfielder Payton Vaughn ’22. The goal, which came at the 4:47 mark of the first half, was followed under 90 seconds later by a tally from another first year — Jill Gollob ’22 — who scored off an assist by midfielder Sam Higgins ’21 for the Bulldogs’ second goal, trimming the score to 10–2.

With 11:52 left on the scoreboard, Yale trailed 12–4, but Penn demonstrated its resilience by scoring three final goals to secure the blowout victory.

In the final goal tally, midfielder Olivia Markert ’21 finished with two goals while Anderson and Gollob each had one apiece for Yale. Penn, however, ultimately gave itself a greater chance of offensive success throughout the game with 36 shots on goal compared to Yale’s 26. Despite the losing effort, captain and attacker Izzy Nixon ’19 successfully won six draw controls.

After the young Bulldog defense, which features only a single upper level student, held Hartford and Quinnipiac to a combined 11 goals, Saturday’s match presented more of a challenge against one of the top teams in the country. Nonetheless, Drake started the first half, making three saves, while fellow goalie Clare Boone ’22 played in net for the second half during which she made five saves.

Looking ahead, the team will look to rebound in two home matches against Niagara and Canisius, after which the Bulldogs will resume Ivy League play in mid-March, this time against Brown. Followed by an anticipated match against Harvard, Yale will round out the spring season with a busy April consisting of six matches, five of them against perennial Ancient Eight rivals.

Yale’s schedule will prove to be a test of the team’s grit and preparation. In addition to Penn, two of the teams on Yale’s schedule are ranked by Inside Lacrosse Poll as being among the top teams in the nation: No. 8 Princeton and No. 1 Boston College.

While Saturday’s match presented difficulties for the Bulldogs, the team hopes to build off its 7–8 record from the previous year.

The Elis will compete next against Niagara at Reese Stadium on Thursday, March 7, at 6 p.m.

Alex Reedy | .

March 5: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Yale’s loss against Penn was its first loss this season. In fact, it was Yale’s second.