WOMEN’S LACROSSE: No. 15 Bulldogs top Princeton for first time since ’07
The women’s lacrosse season started off strong as they defeated Princeton and CCSU on Saturday and Monday, respectively.
With back-to-back wins over the weekend, Yale women’s lacrosse (4–1, 1–0 Ivy) moved up to the 15th spot in the national rankings.
The Bulldogs, who fell to the Tigers at last year’s Ivy League Tournament championship game, were not playing to repeat history. On Saturday, Mar. 4, against Princeton University (2–2, 0–1 Ivy) — who entered the game as the No. 15 team in the country — Yale scored 15 goals to pick up the first win in program history against the rival Tigers. Two days later on Mar. 6, they avoided a letdown, coasting by Central Connecticut State University 16–6 (0–2, 0–0 Northeast).
In games this past Saturday and Monday, they moved up from No. 22 to No. 15 in the national rankings and are determined to see the dedication of their training come to fruition in May’s tournaments. Additionally, attacker Jenna Collignon ’25 continues to earn accolade after accolade for her offensive playing.
“The Princeton win was so awesome largely because they were our only Ivy League loss last year and beat us in the Ivy League Tournament championship, so there was definitely a motivation for revenge going into it,” said Sophie Straka ’25. “We worked so hard in the offseason, so I would attribute the win to that combined with the extra motivation we had.”
Yale exercised this motivation by scoring four goals in the first 2:26 minutes of the game. The early offensive outburst propelled them to an early 6–1 lead, which concluded with their first win versus the Tigers since 2007.
“They compete every day in preparation for our opponents, especially in our formidable league,” head coach Erica Bamford told Yale Athletics in an interview.
The team controlled possession early in the game, winning the first three faceoffs and forcing Princeton to call a timeout less than two minutes into the game. After the break, the Bulldogs kept their momentum going, getting six goals from six different players, the last being recent Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week winner, Collignon.
Collignon received this award for the second time this season this past Monday. She currently leads the Ivy League in goals (26) and points (29), as well as being fifth nationally in goals per game and 20th nationally in points per game.
Marymegan Wright ’25 remarked that Collignon’s six goals were a highlight of the game for her. Collignon credits their win to the “fun, supportive, amazing” team culture she said her and the rest of the team’s leadership have “worked so hard to cultivate.”
To add another honor to her belt, Collignon was awarded the National Co-Offensive Player of the Week by IWLCA, just a day after winning her Ivy League accolade. This was due to her major role in the Bulldogs’ historic win against Princeton.
While the win was a big moment for the Blue and White, they know they have a long way to go to achieve their ultimate goals.
“The biggest challenge heading into the next few will be consistency — we have a long period where we have two games each week, which is pretty exhausting,” Straka said. “Maintaining consistency is going to be a huge focus these next few weeks — going into every game with the same mindset and playing our game no matter who the opponent is.”
Post-Princeton showdown, Straka facetimed her best friend and teammate Taylor Everson ’25, who is in the ICU suffering a lacrosse-related kidney injury. The team dedicated their win to Everson in their Princeton game.
On Monday, the team followed up on their success with another win against CCSU at Reese Stadium with a 16–6 win. The game featured nine goals from individual players, three of which were their first-ever goals in their Yale careers: attacker Chloe Conaghan ’24, midfielder Alex Hopkins ’25 and rookie attacker Megan Kitagawa ’26.
All three goalies on the roster played in this game — Clare Boone ’23, Cami Donadio ’25 and Luanna Summer ’24 — the third of whom has been a goalie for the Yale field hockey team for the last two fall seasons.
“We have a tough stretch coming up and ‘a target on our backs’ …seeing as we’ve had so much success towards the start of our season,” said Wright.
Prior to this game, Yale had not defeated Princeton since they won 6–5 in 2007.