This Saturday, the Yale women’s lacrosse team notched its first Ivy victory of the season against Columbia, defeating the Lions on their own turf 17–10.
Propelled by their victory against local rival University of Connecticut at Reese Stadium on Wednesday, the Bulldogs (6–6–0, 1–5–0 Ivy) arrived in New York eager to avenge last year’s defeat at the hands of the Lions (3–8–0, 1–4–0). Yale played fiercely in the first half, securing an eight-point lead that it would never allow Columbia to reclaim for the remainder of the match. In defeating Columbia by a whopping margin, the Elis not only staked their first victory at an away match for the year but also clinched their first victory against an Ancient Eight rival.
“We really clicked together this game,” midfielder Olivia Markert ’21 said. “It was great to come out with our first Ivy win of the season.”
Much like in previous matches this season, a strong Yale offense put the team in an enviable early position. But this time, the Elis forged an unprecedented 9–1 lead in the first half, with Markert alone tallying three goals in the first 17 minutes of the game.
In the second half, Columbia staged a comeback to narrow the margin to five goals with just over 17 minutes left on the clock. However, Yale held firm, and attacker Addie Zinsner ’19 delivered once again for the Bulldogs with two goals. Alongside a goal from captain and attacker Izzy Nixon ’19, Yale extended its lead to 15–7 at the 9:25 mark, a lead that the Lions would only narrow by one goal by the conclusion of the match.
Overall, the Bulldogs have already exceeded the number of goals that they scored last year by five, with 165 compared to 2018’s 160. Zinsner in particular is on fire, scoring a career-high 15 goals and 10 in the last four games alone, making a strong statement as she concludes her collegiate career. Not to be outdone, this year’s crop of first years has contributed greatly to Yale’s success, as midfielder Jill Gollob ’22 and attacker Olivia Penoyer ’22 have scored over 30 goals apiece with 35 and 33 goals, respectively.
As usual, Nixon led the way on Saturday in draw controls, and her total of eight helped Yale claim a 16–13 lead in the category.
Yale’s defense kept the Lions in check, with goalkeeper Amelia Drake ’21 making a superb 11 saves in the net to best her Columbia counterpart by three saves. Meanwhile, midfielder Sam Higgins ’21 kept the 2018 Ivy League Midfielder of the Year, away from the net and unable to score. Higgins also scored two goals in the final minutes of the game to give the team six players contributing to Yale’s final tally.
At 17, Yale’s victory against Columbia matched last week’s game against UConn in total goals scored. Before Saturday’s match, the Elis had struggled on the road, having lost all five of their away matches despite having won five of six matches at Reese Stadium.
With consecutive wins now under their belt, the Bulldogs’ spirits are buoyed as they prepare for their final three matches of the spring season. The team faces a tough challenge against Boston College, the No. 1 team in the nation. After taking on the Eagles, the team will host Ancient Eight rivals Princeton and Dartmouth for its final two games of 2019, concluding with the Big Green on April 27.
Yale faces off against Boston College on Tuesday in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
Alex Reedy | firstname.lastname@example.org