Courtesy of Sam Rubin '95/Yale Athletics

In its first conference game of the season, the Yale women’s lacrosse team (4–0, 1–0 Ivy) defeated Dartmouth College (1–2, 0–1 Ivy) in a 12–9 victory.

In the leadup to their Ancient Eight opener, the Bulldogs had won their first three games of the season. The match was both teams’ first conference game, as Yale got the best of Big Green, winning by three goals.

“Going into the Dartmouth game, we are fully prepared for any situation thrown at us. We are super competitive and determined to win our first Ivy League game because when it comes to Ivy games, it’s more than just a game,” Alex Hopkins ’25 said. 

The Elis started the game down three goals in the first quarter but retook the lead as the period ended 4–3. The game remained close till midway through the second quarter, at which point Yale took a 6–5 lead and never gave it up.

In last week’s game, the Bulldogs also trailed early on against Albany (1–3, 0–0 AEC), but took the lead in the second quarter, and never looked back. 

“I am so happy for our women today. Olivia Markert ’22 and Olivia Penoyer ’23 did a tremendous job leading our young, balanced offense. Our defenders played as a unit in front of goalkeeper Clare Boone ’23, who came up with some critical saves down the stretch,” head coach Erica Bamford said after the game.

So far this season, Yale has had a significant edge over opponents when it comes to picking up ground balls. However, on Saturday, the team picked up 10 ground balls to Dartmouth’s 11.

“It was a great game with both teams fighting till the end, and we’re glad to stay undefeated,” Meghan McCarthy ’25 said.

Yale is currently off to its best start to the season since 2018. If the team wins next week against No. 1 Boston College (6–0, 2–0 ACC), it will be its greatest start to a campaign since 2014.

Boston College has been ranked No. 1 every week this season, and has been dominant in all games thus far, winning all their matchups by at least six goals and winning one game by 17.

“I am excited to get back to practice in preparation for No.1 BC next week,” Bamford said. 

The Bulldogs were previously looking to improve their shooting percentage, an area in which Bamford and the team were hoping to strengthen after the first week, during which about 64 percent of their shots were on target. Since their first game, that number has risen and hovered a little above 75 percent. The team took 30 shots against Dartmouth, with 23 being on target and 12 hitting the back of the net.

Markert and Penoyer each had four points on Saturday afternoon, both netting three goals and an assist. Rookie standout Fallon Vaughn ’25 had three points on two goals and an assist.

On the defensive end, the Blue and White showed off their grit by disrupting the flow of Dartmouth’s offense, keeping the entire team assistless. The Bulldogs gave up 28 shots, with 18 of them being on goal. Boone made nine saves. 

The women’s lacrosse team’s next game will be against Boston College at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 13 in Chestnut Hill, MA.