NEW HAVEN, Conn. - After two close one-goal games to start the season, the 12th-ranked Dartmouth women's lacrosse team opened up a lead and never looked back Saturday, taking down Yale, 10-6, in both teams' Ivy League opener.
The Big Green are now 3-0 on the year and 1-0 in conference play after defeating the Bulldogs for the fifth straight season. Yale drops to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in Ivy play after suffering the four-goal loss in its 2013 home debut.
Leading the charge for the visitors on Saturday at Reese Stadium was senior Hana Bowers with four goals. The reigning Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week also added two assists for a six-point afternoon. Her four goals and six points were both new single-game highs for the co-captain from Old Greenwich, Conn.
The team's offensive output was matched by a strong collective defensive showing, limiting the Elis to just 16 shot attempts on the afternoon to the Green's 31.
"I thought the defense was spectacular today," head coach Amy Patton said. "They were communicating really well and on the same page all afternoon. Even when Yale was getting shots, I thought we did a great job of pressuring them.
"We stuck to the game plan and really executed," Patton continued. "We had right around 30 shots and that's where we want to be on a regular basis. For our first Ivy game, I was very pleased with our effort today."
The Big Green seemingly dominated in every facet of the game. Dartmouth held advantages in shots on goal (21-12), ground balls (20-13) and draw controls (10-8), while turning the ball over eight fewer times (18-10) and being whistled for five fewer fouls (27-22).
At the core of the team's strong defensive outing was senior midfielder Kelsey Johnson. One of the Big Green's three captains this year, Johnson was dominant on this day in New Haven, picking up six ground balls and causing three turnovers, both new career highs.
Junior Kristen Giovanniello recorded six saves in earning another victory in the circle. Her goalkeeping counterpart in Yale's Erin McMullan stopped 11, but allowed 10 to suffer her second loss of the spring.
A physical battle between two Ivy rivals saw eight yellow cards issued on the afternoon with the home team whistled for six.
The Big Green remain on the road for their next outing, travelling to Boston University on Wednesday, March 6 for a 3 p.m. game against the Terriers.