Field hockey blanks Rhode Island

All the Elis had to do was start scoring.

The field hockey team (3-5, 0-2 Ivy) snapped a two-game losing streak with a solid 5-0 win against the University of Rhode Island (3-7) at Johnson Field Saturday. The Elis had only scored nine goals in the seven contests before this weekend’s victory, five of which came in the Bulldogs’ first two matchups.

“We’re pretty excited about how we played,” forward Rachel Lentz ’07 said. “We accomplished a lot of our goals — we scored first and dominated. Being able to win 5-0 is great.”

The Elis got on the board quickly when, only 7:05 into the game, forward Buffy Topp ’05 scored her team-leading fifth goal of the season on a deflection of a shot from defender Heather Orrico ’07.

Topp would strike again with 8:56 remaining in the first half off an assist from midfielder Harriet Thayer ’08.

“It’s great to score first,” Topp said. “I find that when I score I’m happy because I’m jump-starting the team. It was also nice that after we scored we stayed elevated. We kept the offense coming.”

Despite possessing the lead at halftime, the Bulldogs showed no sign of easing up on the Rams as three different Elis found their way into the Rhode Island net during the second half.

Less than 10 minutes into the second half, forward Meredith Howell ’05 put in a rebound off Rhode Island goalkeeper MJ Britt for her second goal of the season. With 11:02 remaining, midfielder Grace Morris ’06 scored her first ever collegiate goal by deflecting a shot from defender Meredith Hudson ’05.

The final score was notched by captain defender Chrissy Hall ’05, the third Eli defender to tally points Saturday. Britt made the initial save on a Yale penalty corner shot, but Hall was there for the put-in.

Yale dominated the game from start to finish, outshooting the Rams 23-3 and drawing nine penalty corners to their opponents’ two.

Another noteworthy performance came from Eli goaltender Elizabeth Friedlander ’07, who posted a three-save shutout in only her second collegiate start.

Several Bulldogs said that the big difference in Saturday’s game was being able to finish on offensive opportunities.

“For a couple games now, we’ve played well up to offensive circle,” Howell said. “This time we finished — we put the ball in the net.”

If the Elis have found their groove, this week’s action provides a genuine chance for the Bulldogs to repeat Saturday’s thrashing of a weak team.

The Elis return to Johnson Field Wednesday to face Quinnipiac. In 2004, the Bobcats (3-9) have been outscored 36-13 and have been outshot 170-122.

The Bulldogs have confidence coming out of Saturday’s game and are optimistic about Wednesday’s matchup, but team members stress that in order to do well, they must stick to the game plan that worked well Saturday.

“We’re excited to play [Quinnipiac], but we don’t really focus on our opponents,” midfielder Sarah Driscoll ’05 said. “We’re going to play our game and try to do what we did well against Rhode Island.”

The Bulldogs have a tough road schedule ahead of them, with trips to Hanover and Boston over the next two weekends to face Dartmouth, No. 17 Harvard and Boston University, all strong teams that have performed well this season.

The Elis are aware that a win Wednesday would be a huge mental boost, one that could give the Bulldogs key impetus going into their tough upcoming matches.

“Every win is a big win, but if we can get some momentum going into the Ivy games it would be great,” Howell said.

Field hockey midfielder Sarah Driscoll ’05 battles a Rhode Island opponent for control of the ball in Saturday’s game at Johnson Field. Yale won the game, 5-0, to snap a two-game losing streak and finally ignite offensively as a team.
Eric Seymour
Field hockey midfielder Sarah Driscoll ’05 battles a Rhode Island opponent for control of the ball in Saturday’s game at Johnson Field. Yale won the game, 5-0, to snap a two-game losing streak and finally ignite offensively as a team.

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