Earning a starting spot as a freshman, Taylor Lane began her career on the Yale University women’s lacrosse team with a one goal, one assist effort in a season-opening win against Sacred Heart University on Feb. 19, a performance that was a prelude of things to come from the 2020 Greenwich Academy graduate.
Lane, a midfielder, wasted little time in making an impact on Yale’s successful squad, quickly emerging as one of the Bulldogs best all-around players, while amassing impressive statistics in multiple categories.
Yale registered one of its most successful seasons in program history, winning 11 games for the first time since 2008 and qualifying for the four-team Ivy League Tournament for the first time ever.
And Lane, a Norwalk resident, played a pivotal role in Yale’s standout 2022 season.
Showcasing her playmaking ability, Lane started all 17 of the Bulldogs’ games as a freshman, recording 28 goals and seven assists. She finished her first season ranked fourth on team in goals (28) and points (35 and fifth in assists (7). Like her playing days at Greenwich Academy in Greenwich, Lane showed that she was more than a scorer/point producer. She was Yale’s leader in draw controls with 53 on the season and was ranked second in caused turnovers (14).
Her outstanding first season at Yale earned her First Team All-Ivy honors – she was a unanimous selection.
“I had an amazing experience my first year at Yale,” Lane said. “It was a surprise seeing my name on that Ivy League award. “I’m so thankful for my teammates. I could not have done that without them.”
After graduating from Greenwich Academy in 2020, Lane took a year off before beginning her career as a student-athlete at Yale University due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her senior lacrosse season at GA was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic and COVID forced the cancellation of the Ivy League’s 2021 lacrosse season, so Lane and her Yale teammates who were also supposed to be freshmen in 2020, took a year off. This 2021-2022 school year marked their first at Yale, so they still have three years of lacrosse eligibility remaining.
“I was lucky to spend some time at home, get a job and get an internship,” Lane said. “Putting college on hold for a year – that was a really hard decision. I couldn’t have been happier with my decision to take time off. Everyone came back ready to work.”
Indeed, Lane and her freshman teammates were eager to get their collegiate lacrosse careers started once the 2021-2022 school year commenced.
“I was definitely nervous going back after playing competitively for so long, then having time off. That is something my entire team faced, which is why we achieved so much this year. We had to lift each other up.”
Since the 2021 Ivy League season was cancelled, Yale’s 2022 roster included a wealth of freshmen.
“Our entire class took time off, so we became freshmen this year, along with the 2021 freshmen,” Lane said. “So, we had 17 freshmen on the team. We are all really similar. We love lacrosse and we became best friends pretty quickly.”
Coached by Erica Bamford, a former U.S. National Team member, Yale posted a regular season record of 10-5, including a 6-1 mark in the Ivy League. The Bulldogs were 11-6 overall and 7-2 in league play. The 2022 season saw Yale defeat the University of Pennsylvania for the first time since 2004 and earn its first win against Dartmouth since 2015.
“We achieved so many milestones this year,” Lane said. “It was the first time in school history a Yale lacrosse team went 6-0 in its first six Ivy League games during the regular season. “Our team exceeded expectations and we went to the Ivy League Tournament.”
Making its first appearance in the Ivy League Tournament, Yale was victorious against Cornell in the tourney’s semifinal round, 16-6. Lane tallied two goals and added a team-best five draw controls, while gathering a team-high three ground balls.
In the championship game of the Ivy League Tournament on May 8, top-seeded Princeton (14-3, 7-0 Ivy League) topped second-seeded Yale, 19-9, for the title.
“Credit to them, they are an amazing, talented,” Lane said of Princeton. “We are such a young team with our 17 freshmen and we’ll be even hungrier next year.”
Ranked No. 23 in the nation heading into the championship game of the Ivy League Tournament against Princeton, the Bulldogs would have received an automatic bid into the NCAA Division I Tournament with a triumph in the title game. Princeton, however, earned the spot in the tournament and Yale just missed getting an at-large bid into the NCAA tourney, despite its national ranking. Fifteen teams got automatic bids into the NCAA Tournament and 14 team were selected at large.
“If you win the Ivy League Tournament, you get an automatic bid, so it is hard to make it,” Lane said. “We kind of thought maybe we had a shot. We will do anything we can to be there next year. Coach always says, you can’t win an Ivy League championship today, but you sure can lose it, so we have to continue to work really hard.”
During her Greenwich Academy days, Lane played on the school’s lacrosse and soccer squads. She served as one of the captains of GA’s lacrosse team her senior year and was selected as NEPSAC Western New England All-Star during her time with the Gators. A recipient of Greenwich Academy’s Wyman Award (2019) and Alan Gilchrist Award (2018) Lane was part of GA teams that registered a record of 48-6 over the course of three seasons.
On the soccer field at Greenwich Academy, she was one of the captains her senior season and was a two-time All-FAA Team selection, while receiving FAA Honorable Mention recognition once. Lane received the school’s Golden Boot Award for soccer in 2020 and was a key athlete on three FAA Tournament championship teams.
Lane had numerous impressive games offensively this past season for Yale. She scored a season/career high six goals in a 14-10 loss against Stony Brook on April 25, had four goals in a 15-13 win over Brown (April 2), recorded a hat trick with one assist (15-9 victory vs. Cornell, April 6) and had three goals with an assist in the Bulldogs’ 20-15 victory against Army (April 5). Lane also helped the team gain key possessions by becoming the Bulldogs’ leader in draw controls.
Her first season with Yale also saw Lane adjust to a new role on the field.
“I started as a midfielder and midway through the season, I played a more attacking role,” she said. “I was behind the crease a lot, which was totally new for me. It took a couple of weeks for me to adapt to that role for the season.”
“I spent extra hours watching film and learning that new position and it went well,” she continued. “I am still learning the ropes, as I transition to being an attacker behind the crease. In the midfield there was a lot of running, I miss that sometimes. But what I like about the crease attacker position is that you see the whole field. It’s like a quarterback position. It definitely made me a better playmaker on the field.”
Prior to the 2022 season, Lane got a feel of what it was like to compete at the collegiate level when the team took part in a couple of fall ball tournaments and trained together.
“The fall was a learning period,” she said. “Even though we didn’t have as many games in the fall, we had fall ball tournaments, which helped us learn how to adapt. It was pretty terrifying last fall, but our coach gave us so much confidence in the spring.”
When the 2022 season began in February, Lane hit the ground running, quickly sparking the squad.
“Our team is really selfless which allows everyone to have individual success,” she said. “I give credit to our coaches. They believe in us, which gives us a lot of confidence.”
While at Greenwich Academy, Lane was part of a GA lacrosse team that had seven other 2020 seniors go on to play collegiate athletics – Tessa Brooks (Georgetown lacrosse), Eliza Bowman (Johns Hopkins lacrosse), Katie Goldsmith (Georgetown lacrosse), Grace Schulze (Princeton field hockey), Kayla Tillman, Binney Huffman (Harvard lacrosse) and Cate Spaulding (Skidmore lacrosse). Lane and some members of the group are still able to gather during the offseason.
“We had such an amazing group, I don’t think that type of group comes around too often,” Lane said. “We work out together just like old times and have a GA reunion every time.”
Following a superb freshman season, Lane is primed to take the lacrosse field as a sophomore with the team having such high expectations.
“Our coach, she was extremely celebratory of all we achieved this year,” Lane said. “She made a point though that we are done celebrating our wins from last year. It means nothing if we can’t achieve more this year.”
An economics major, Lane enjoys all Yale has to offer.
“Yale – is the perfect place for me,” she said. Everyone is so motivated. Athletes and non-athletes to do well and the school holds me accountable. I love playing lacrosse there, it is the perfect after school activity. My team is full of such lovers of the game. Everyone is so happy to be there. College sports has its ups-and-downs, but every single person for on our team has taught me to be grateful that we are there and be grateful for the people that got you there.”
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