The Yale women’s lacrosse team saw their season get cut short after just two games against other Ancient Eight teams. The Elis recorded a win against Brown in their penultimate game prior to the cancellation of sporting competition across the country before notching a final bittersweet victory against Fresno State in a 13–12 overtime thriller. 

The team has suffered in recent years and survived a tumultuous offseason that saw six seniors leave the squad prematurely. Only two members of the class of 2020 — captain Vanessa Yu ’20 and defender Bronwyn Davies ’20 — competed for the Elis this spring.

The seeming lack of senior experience on the team did not seem to have much of an effect on the Bulldogs’ performances, however, with the smaller squad recording just two losses in six games this year. The Elis fell to nationally-ranked Penn and suffered a come-from-behind loss against Albany in their second match of the season. Standout performances came against La Salle and Hartford, with the team scoring upwards of 15 goals each game. 

Next season will see the Elis take to the field at Reese Stadium with a new class of fresh-eyed recruits ready to demonstrate their skills and stake their claim for a spot on the starting lineup. The team will be fortunate to retain midfielder Olivia Markert ’21, who was the Blue and White’s top goalscorer in 2020. Her 20 goals came in six games, all of which she started.

“We’re a young team — we want to build our brand.” Markert said. “We really want to be a gritty team and a team that is able to play the full 60 minutes.” 

Her experience will be instrumental in allowing the young Yale team to challenge for a spot at the very top.

The Bulldogs will also benefit from the creativity on offense displayed this season by attacker Olivia Penoyer ’22, who topped the charts for assists last season. Penoyer managed to create eight goals for her teammates, while also latching on to eight of her teammates’ passes to score goals of her own. 

Defensively, Yale has benefitted from strong performances provided by goalkeepers Clare Boone ’22 and Amelia Drake ’21. The duo have been a wall in the face of the opposition attack, with Boone maintaining a .521 save percentage and Drake making 16 saves in her two appearances.

Olivia Markert ’21 led the Elis with two goals in their February loss against Penn. (Photo:

Another Eli having a standout season before its abrupt end was midfielder Bri Carrasquillo ’23. The first year from Alpharetta, Georgia, also started all six games during her debut season. During the six matches, she recorded an unbelievable tally of 16 goals and 31 draw controls, helping the team convert opportunities and gain possession of the ball. 

Carrasquillo also scored the overtime game-winner against Fresno in Yale’s last match of the season, slotting the ball past the goalkeeper in a showcase of composure and skill. She was not the only Eli to score a game-winning goal last season, as Anna Vetsch ’23 also came up clutch with a strike in the final 90 seconds against Brown during the previous week. 

According to head coach Erica Bamford, “the Ivy League is one of the strongest women’s lacrosse conferences in the country, and each game [is uniquely] challenging.”

Top-class performances from first years like those delivered by Vestch and Carrasquillo are a testament to the Elis’ hopes in 2021 as they set their sights on goals far above what they have achieved in recent years.

Yale outscored its opponents 71–67 in 2020. 

Ryan Chiao |