Harvard Beats Yale 11-8

Julie Mongan. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Julie Mongan. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Fall to 5-2

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After allowing two early goals to the Yale women's lacrosse team Saturday afternoon at Johnson Field, Harvard clamped down defensively and went on a 9-4 run to go ahead 9-6 with 23:45 to play. While the Bulldogs did fight back with a pair of late goals to close to within 9-8 with 11:08 remaining, the Crimson shut Yale out the rest of the way and came away with an 11-8 victory.

Yale (5-2, 1-2 Ivy League) went ahead 2-0 in the first eight minutes. Sophomore attacker Nicole Daniggelis scored off an assist by senior attacker Jen DeVito, and junior midfielder Erin Magnuson scored shortly after a save by senior goalkeeper Erin McMullan and a ground ball by sophomore defender Kate Walker.

But in the next 39:31 the Bulldogs scored just four more times, and Harvard (4-3, 2-1 Ivy League) began pulling away. A 5-1 run gave the Crimson a 5-3 lead midway through the first, with only a goal by junior midfielder Christina Doherty -- assisted by junior attacker Kerri Fleishhacker -- disrupting the Crimson's momentum.

Yale did battle back by scoring two of the final three goals of the first half, as DeVito bounced in a free position shot and Daniggelis whipped one in to pull the Bulldogs within 6-5 at halftime. But Harvard midfielder Audrey Todd grabbed the opening draw control of the second half and scored just 13 seconds in. Junior midfielder Cathryn Avallone drove in for a goal less than a minute after that, but the Crimson quickly re-established control with a pair of goals to lead 9-6.

DeVito utilized a free position attempt to find Magnuson for a goal with 13:02 to play, and shortly after that Daniggelis drove and drew a yellow card on Harvard defender Isabella Wager. Harvard goalie Kelly Weis denied Daniggelis' free position shot, but when the Crimson attempted to clear senior midfielder Julie Mongan caused a turnover in the midfield and freshman defender Victoria Moore got the ground ball. The Bulldogs worked the ball up quickly, and Fleishhacker fed Daniggelis for a goal that pulled the Bulldogs back within one with 11:08 to play.

But that would be as close as Yale got the rest of the way. The Bulldogs had a chance to tie but turned the ball over with just over eight minutes remaining, and Harvard attacker Marisa Romeo scored her fifth goal of the day with 6:59 to play.

The Crimson slowed down the pace of the game with each of its final possessions, and a goal by attacker Megan Hennessey with 3:46 left made the score 11-8. Weis turned away a free position shot by Daniggelis with just over two minutes remaining, then made a save on Doherty with 90 seconds to play to snuff out Yale's final threat.

McMullan finished with seven saves, while Weis made eight. Senior defender Adrienne Tarver led all players in ground balls with four, but as a team Harvard won the ground ball battle 13-8. The Crimson committed only seven turnovers, while Yale had 10. Hennessey had a game-high five draw controls, while Mongan led Yale with four. Daniggelis had three draw controls and took over as Yale's all-time leader in that category. She had entered the game with 126 career draw controls, tied for first with Jenn Warden '09.

After opening the season with five wins, the Bulldogs have dropped two in a row. They return to action Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. at Boston University.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity