In its matchup against the top-ranked team in NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse, Yale (4–1, 1–0 Ivy) fell to Boston College (8–0, 2–1 ACC) in a 21–9 defeat.

In the leadup to their toughest game of the season, the Bulldogs had won their first four games of the season. The match was set to be Yale’s first one of the season against a top-10 team, with Yale hoping to be the first team to get the better of Boston College.

“[We are focusing on] handling the game with composure no matter the time and score,” Chloe Conaghan ’24 said to the News prior to the game.

Though the Elis finished the game strong, winning the fourth quarter 3–2, they fell behind early to a strong Boston College team. At the end of the first quarter, Boston College had tallied 10 goals to Yale’s three. 

Though the Bulldogs have had their fair share of come-from-behind victories in the past, Sunday’s game proved to be an obstacle too great to overcome. Boston College was able to retain its lead in the latter three quarters.

“Boston College is an extremely talented and well coached team. They earned the victory today.  The opportunity to compete against the best in the country will only make our program better long term. We will certainly learn from this game, and it will prepare us for the remainder of our rigorous schedule starting with Notre Dame next Sunday,” head coach Erica Bamford said after the match.

The Bulldogs will hope to bounce back in their next outing in Naples, Florida against another tough opponent in No. 16 Notre Dame (3–5, 1–2 ACC).

Despite Notre Dame’s lackluster record so far this season, the team will surely be a true test of the Bulldogs’ mettle. The Fighting Irish have had plenty of chances to play against great competition and have put up great fights, losing 17–16 against both No. 3 Syracuse and No. 5 Northwestern, with the Syracuse loss coming in overtime. They also defeated No. 14 University of Virginia, 12–10, at home.

Last week, Notre Dame put on a show against No. 20 Jacksonville (3–3, 0–0 ASUN), outscoring the Dolphins 20–5. The Irish put up 47 shots to Jacksonville’s 19.

Yale will have to focus on shutting down shot opportunities and reducing its turnovers against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish forced 17 Dolphin turnovers, many of which led to scoring opportunities.

Last week, the Bulldogs held a much stronger Boston College team to 35 shots, and will hope to have a strong defensive display again this weekend. Throughout the season, Yale has been able to disrupt the flow of the opposition offense, holding Dartmouth assistless and Boston College to just three assists.

On the offensive side, Taylor Everson ’25, Fallon Vaughn ’25, Olivia Markert ’22 and Olivia Penoyer ’23 will be the ones to watch. Everson scored a hat trick last weekend, while Vaughn, Markert and Penoyer have steadily been leading the offense all year. 

The Bulldogs plan to head into this week’s matchup continuing what they have done well and learning from last weekend’s loss.

“I think the BC game was good for us because it was the first time we had seen the game played at such a high level and speed. It really motivated us this week because we feel we can compete at a really high level. Super excited that we get another opportunity with Notre Dame next week,” captain Kelsey Dunn ’22 said.

The women’s lacrosse team will square up against Notre Dame on Sunday, March 20 at noon in Naples, Florida.