On paper, the Yale-Dartmouth field hockey matchup seemed heavily tipped in Yale’s favor. But matters were different on the field.
It took two sudden death overtimes for the Bulldogs (6-5, 2-1 Ivy) to pull out a 3-2 victory over Dartmouth (1-10, 0-4 Ivy) at Johnson Field Saturday.
“Saturday was a great game because it allowed us to prove that we are a team that is willing to fight for as long as it takes to secure the win,” Driscoll said.
At the end of the second overtime, Yale had a free hit just outside the striking circle. At the whistle, forward Jana Halfon ’04 passed the ball to sweeper Meredith Hudson ’05, who was positioned at the top of the circle. Hudson then relayed the ball between a Dartmouth defender’s legs to Eli midfielder Sarah Driscoll ’05 who stood to the right. Driscoll wound up and fired a shot 5-hole, through the goalie Lauren Balukjian’s legs and into the goal.
“Driscoll is very consistent at that spot, and when she got the ball, I knew the game was about to be over,” Halfon said.
Dartmouth midfielder Jessica Saraceno opened up scoring at 28:51 in the first half. Yale responded just over a minute later as Hudson put in a shot off a penalty corner.
The teams went into the half knotted at 1-1.
Dartmouth pulled ahead with 20:15 left in the second half with a goal from rookie Audrey Knutson. The Big Green held the lead until the Bulldogs struck with 12:18 left in regulation.
The goal was set up by a penalty corner where Hudson got off a shot that was stopped by Balukijian. Halfon, though, was prepared for the rebound. She positioned herself for to get the deflection and fired in the tying goal.
Both defenses held strong for the rest of regulation and the game went into overtime tied at two.
The first overtime featured some contestable calls by the referees, but though the Elis were upset, they did not get rattled.
Goalkeeper Spike Nesburg ’04 made a spectacular save on a disputed penalty stroke.
“The stroke call was very questionable in the first OT,” Driscoll said. “But we were all completely confident in Krissy’s skills and once again she proved why she is one of the best goalies in the country.”
Near the end of the first overtime Yale launched a premature celebrated as Halfon redirected a shot by Hudson into the goal. The referees called it a no-goal on the basis that it was too high.
“It really didn’t matter what the referees were doing or not doing, since we proved that we could win that game no matter what,” Halfon said.
The game went on into a second overtime where Yale controlled the play and finally finished Dartmouth with Driscoll’s goal at 9:01.
Nesburg’s effort was key to the Bulldog’s success in overtime.
“[Nesburg] played so well and allowed us the time to work the ball up and eventually score,” Driscoll said.
The Eli women also lauded defender Brooke Worthington’s ’04 play in the backfield.
“Brooke Worthington had an amazing game,” Halfon said. “Playing with an injured hand, she still managed to stop her girls every time and distribute the ball with poise.”
Worthington was injured in a collision during Wednesday’s 3-0 victory against Quinnipiac.
The Bulldogs wrapped up the weekend with a 3-1 win over over Bucknell on Sunday.
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