NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – Down 6-4 at halftime Tuesday afternoon at Niagara, the Yale women's lacrosse team turned its fortunes around in dramatic fashion in the second half. The Bulldogs outscored the Purple Eagles 10-1 in the second, winning 10 of 12 draw controls, to come away with a 14-7 win. Senior attacker Kiwi Comizio led Yale with five points (4-1-5), tying her career high, while senior midfielder Madeleine Gramigna scored four goals. Senior goalie Sydney Marks made nine saves.
The Bulldogs wound up allowing just one goal in the final 36:16.
"It was a combination of defense and Syd making some really big saves," said Erica LaGrow, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse. "We decided to play more aggressively on the ride and on defense."
Niagara (3-4, 0-0 MAAC) scored the first three goals of the game, putting the Bulldogs in a quick hole. The teams then traded goals -- including two by Comizio and one by first-year midfielder Sam Higgins -- to make the score 6-3 Niagara. Senior midfielder Emily Granger's goal at 4:05 of the first pulled Yale within two heading into halftime.
The Bulldogs struck quickly at the start of the second, scoring three goals in a span of 2:02 to take the lead. Comizio assisted on the first, scored by Gramigna, and scored the third off a Higgins assist. Yale also got a goal from junior attacker Izzy Nixon.
Niagara responded with a goal from midfielder Mackenzie Molodetz at 20:46, snapping a streak of more than 15 minutes without a goal. But after senior defender Taryn Gallagher forced a Niagara turnover, senior attacker Maggie Pizzo set up Gramigna for the go-ahead goal at 17:53. Granger then grabbed the rebound of a free position shot by Comizio that was saved and put it in for a 9-7 lead.
The Yale defense then came up with three big plays, getting two Niagara turnovers and forcing a shot clock violation. After the last of those turnovers, first-year midfielder Olivia Markert set up Comizio for a goal that made it 10-7.
"That's what we expect from Kiwi," said LaGrow. "She's quick, she's feisty, she's aggressive and she's a great finisher."
Yale then pulled away with four goals in the final 6:09, from Gramigna (one unassisted, one assisted by Higgins), Higgins and Markert.
Nixon led Yale with seven draw controls, and Granger added five.
"Izzy put it over to Emily Granger for 50-50 balls [on the draw]," LaGrow said. "Emily did a great job of coming up with those."
Yale (5-1, 1-0 Ivy League) is off to its best six-game start since starting the 2014 season 5-1. The Bulldogs host Brown Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (email@example.com), Yale Sports Publicity