NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Looking to play the role of spoiler in the regular season finale, the Yale women's lacrosse team rallied from an eight-goal deficit early in the second half against No. 19 Dartmouth Saturday afternoon at Reese Stadium. The Bulldogs scored three straight goals, whittling the deficit down to five. But with an Ivy League title on the line for the Big Green, Dartmouth's offense came alive and scored the final nine goals of the game. The 23-9 win gives Dartmouth a share of the Ivy League title (with Princeton), its first Ivy crown since 2011.
Yale (6-9, 1-6 Ivy League) hung with the Big Green for most of the first half after falling behind 5-2. Two goals in a span of just over 10 minutes by first-year attacker Oliva Penoyer bookended a stretch in which the Bulldogs also got goals from sophomore midfielders Olivia Markert and Sam Higgins, leaving the Bulldogs trailing just 10-6 with 5:30 left in the half.
But Dartmouth (11-4, 6-1 Ivy League) scored the final three goals of the first half and the first goal of the second half, threatening to pull away. Higgins then ignited a 3-0 run that also included goals from senior attacker Addie Zinsner and Markert.
The Big Green answered quickly after Markert's goal, scoring a minute later to get the lead back to six. Dartmouth added on to the lead steadily from there -- including three more goals from attacker Michelle Yu, sister of Yale junior midfielder Vanessa Yu. Michelle Yu finished the day with five goals, one of four Dartmouth players with hat tricks.
Higgins led Yale in points (3-1-4) and ground balls (three). Penoyer added three points (2-1-3). Markert had a pair of goals, while Zinsner and first-year attacker Rachel Anderson finished with one each.
Senior attacker Izzy Nixon led Yale with five draw controls, bringing her Ivy League record total for the season to 154. Dartmouth's Kathryn Giroux -- who has been battling back-and-forth with Nixon for multiple Ivy draw control records -- finished the regular season with 137. Nixon ends her career with 381 draws in 56 games, an average of 6.8 per game that puts her atop the Ivy League leaderboard in that category as well. Giroux is second, averaging 6.5 draws per game (395 in 61 games).
After the game Yale honored its seniors, including Nixon, Zinsner, defender Keri Cavallo and manager Julia Sullivan. That group saw the team make great progress in four years, including a single-season goal total this year (188) that ranks eighth in Yale history. Yale also had 89 assists this season, the fourth-best total in school history, and 277 points, the fourth-best total in school history.
The Bulldogs now look ahead to next year, when they return their top four point scorers and 12 players who started at least seven games.
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Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity