Courtesy of Steve Musco

After losing to key rivals Harvard and Brown in consecutive away matches, the Yale women’s lacrosse team (4–6, 0–4 Ivy) failed to press its home advantage against Cornell (7–4, 3–0) this Saturday, losing to the Big Red 18–12.

While the Bulldogs’ 6–1 deficit put the team in a poor initial position, they answered in the second half with a 4–0 run to bring the score to a competitive two-point margin. Yet Cornell’s strength proved too much for Yale, and in similar fashion to previous matches, the Elis’ high-scoring offense never managed to even the score during the match, marking the Bulldogs’ fourth loss out of four Ancient Eight games for the 2019 season.

“It was a close game for us, and at one point we even managed to get within two points,” attacker Isabelle Webster ’21 said. “We made great strides and are ready to take on UConn next week.”

Unlike in their previous matches against Brown and Harvard, the Elis weren’t able to stake an early lead against the Big Red. A 6–1 run by Cornell caught Yale off guard and left it fighting from behind from the onset.

Despite this early deficit, strong play by key offensive players kept the pressure on Cornell following the Big Red’s initial run. Captain and midfielder Izzy Nixon ’19 had a stellar 10 draw controls on the day, just weeks after breaking the Ivy League career record for draw controls with her 296th. Meanwhile, midfielder Olivia Markert ’21 made her fair share of draw controls with five to help defeat Cornell in the category by a two-point margin.

After just over 14 minutes had passed and Yale remained scoreless, attacker Olivia Penoyer ’22 finally notched Yale’s first goal, thus launching a small comeback to bring the score to 11–6 at the close of the first half. Then, the Elis regrouped at the start of the second half and launched a 4–0 run in one of their most impressive comebacks of the season. Nixon scored twice during the run, while a goal from midfielder Sam Higgins ’21 pulled the team to 13–11 with 16:16 left on the clock.

While Yale’s offense helped narrow Cornell’s lead, the team’s defensive power was on full display and kept the Big Red offense at bay. Notably, goalkeeper Clare Boone ’22 guarded the net for the final 30 minutes of the match and made an impressive six saves. Overall, Yale’s defense notched 10 saves, while Cornell made just four.

“It was great to be back at Reese after being on the road, and we fought hard throughout,” Hannah Burgess ’20 said.

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, Cornell took control of the game once more in the final minutes of play. After Yale missed two chances to bring the team to within a single goal, Cornell rallied with a 5–1 run to close out the match, bringing its Ivy record to 3–0 this season with the six-goal win.

Yale’s loss to Cornell marks the first defeat for the Elis in New Haven this season. After this weekend, the team will try to lean on its earlier victories at Reese Stadium as it hosts key rivals in the ensuing weeks. The University of Connecticut will send its players down from Hartford on April 10 to face off against the Bulldogs, and home matches against Ivies Princeton and Dartmouth will wrap up a busy April and spring season. In order to improve its 0–3 Ivy record, Yale is especially hoping to make a strong showing at these two matches, as well as at an away game against Columbia.

Yale faces off against UConn at 3 p.m. on Wednesday at Reese Stadium.

Alex Reedy | alex.reedy@yale.edu