PHILADEPHIA – The Yale women's lacrosse team capped its season off with one more record Sunday afternoon at No. 8 Penn, but unfortunately it was not enough to come away with a victory. By scoring seven goals against the stingy Quakers defense, the Bulldogs broke the school single-season goals record -- finishing with 205. Penn had more firepower on Sunday, though, outscoring the Bulldogs 18-7 and securing a share of the Ivy League title in the process.
Yale (7-9, 1-6 Ivy League) came into the game looking to play spoiler, as wins by No. 6 Princeton and No. 11 Cornell on Saturday left the Quakers in need of a sixth Ivy League win Sunday to earn a share of the title with those two. The Bulldogs got off to a good start, and held a 3-2 lead after the first 15 minutes thanks to goals by junior midfielder Emily Granger, junior attacker Maggie Pizzo and senior attacker Hope Hanley.
But Penn (13-2, 6-1 Ivy League) controlled play for the rest of the first half, outscoring Yale 7-0 to take a 9-3 lead into halftime.
One area where the Bulldogs excelled Sunday was on the draw; they had a 10-3 edge in draws in the first half, and after sophomore attacker Izzy Nixon got the opening draw of the second (one of nine on the day for her), Granger scored just 50 seconds in. But any hopes of Yale continuing to rally were wiped out by a 6-0 Penn run over the course of less than 10 minutes, which got the game to running time.
Granger finally broke up Penn's run by scoring at 14:20, making the score 15-5. At that point the school goals record came into focus, as the Bulldogs would need just two more to break the record of 204 set in 1999. Granger scored off a feed by senior attacker Tess McEvoy with 4:25 left to tie the record, but when Yale sent a shot wide and then committed a turnover with just over two minutes to play, it appeared that the Bulldogs' last chance at sole possession of the record had passed.
But Nixon managed to force a quick turnover on Penn's clear attempt, and fed Hanley in front for the record-breaker at 1:53.
That was the third major record set by the team this season, as the Bulldogs had established the marks for draw controls and points in a season earlier. Individually, Hanley finished her season with a school-record 48 assists.
Penn got seven saves from starting goalie Britt Brown (four goals allowed) and two from backup Mikaila Cheeseman (three goals allowed). Yale junior goalkeeper Sydney Marks made eight saves in 47:51, with sophomore Allie Carrigan seeing 12:09 of action midway through the second half.
Granger led Yale with four goals. The Bulldogs kept Penn's points leader, midfielder Alex Condon, relatively quiet (one goal, after scoring 41 in the other 14 games), thanks largely to the work of senior defender Emily Markham. But two other Quakers got four goals -- midfielder Emily Rogers-Healion and midfielder Gabby Rosenzweig.
Penn, which has won or shared the Ivy League title 10 times in the last 11 seasons, enters the Ivy League Tournament as the No. 2 seed and will play the No. 3 seed Princeton next Friday in the semifinals. Cornell is the top seed and hosts the tournament; the Big Red will play No. 4 seed Harvard in the semis. The winner of the tournament receives the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The game marked the career finale for Yale's six seniors -- Hanley, Markham, McEvoy, and defenders Marisa Cresham, Victoria Moore and Ashley Perselay. Yale finished the season with 304 points, a school record, and the Bulldogs' 99 assists were second-most in school history -- trailing only 1978's total of 113. The team's record-setting goal total is even more impressive considering that it marks an improvement of 87 goals compared to last season's total.