As the field hockey team has learned, win-loss records can be deceiving measures of a squad’s strength. The Bulldogs have a 1-5 record in the Ivy League, but have lost four of those games by a single goal. This unfortunate pattern was extended one more game against Columbia this weekend.
The Bulldogs (6-9, 1-5 Ivy) lost for the second straight week to an Ancient Eight opponent, dropping a 1-0 decision to the Lions (6-9, 1-5) Saturday in New York. Despite more than doubling Columbia’s shot total, 19 to eight, the Elis could not get past Lions goalkeepers Kristina George and Gena Miller.
“It’s frustrating, because our team works so hard and in no way does our record reflect how good we are,” goalkeeper Kate Crandall ’06 said.
Just 1:57 into the game, Columbia’s Kim Branich scored on a straight shot off a penalty corner, putting Yale at an early disadvantage. The score came on the Lions’ only shot on goal in the first half.
Despite playing from behind so early in the game, the Bulldogs said the Lions’ lead did not faze them.
“I think it was so early on that it didn’t affect the tone of the game,” defender Beth Raveche ’08 said.
The Bulldogs played hard throughout the rest of the first half, outshooting the Lions 7-4. But the Eli offense was unable to score against Columbia’s combination of George and Miller, who earned the shutout with eight saves between the pair.
“We just never could find the equalizer,” Crandall said.
The Lions are known as an opportunistic team that takes advantage of the few chances it generates. Crandall said the Bulldogs’ fault was giving Columbia such an early opportunity.
“You just can’t allow them to have shots,” Crandall said. “Unfortunately, we let them have an opportunity way too early in the game.”
After letting the goal in, the Bulldogs redoubled their efforts. Hoping to come back in the second half, the Bulldog offense put up an aggressive fight. Led by midfielders Grace Morris ’06 and Lindsay Collins ’07, who contributed a combined 11 shots, Yale outshot Columbia 12-4 in the second half, but was unable to connect.
The Bulldogs, who usually are awarded far fewer penalty corners than their opponents, matched Columbia’s six. The corners became the game decider — the Lions were able to score on their very first one, whereas Yale was not able to come through.
Even though they left the field with a loss, the players said they were pleased with their efforts.
“I am disappointed about the outcome of the game, but we played hard and we played with a lot of passion,” captain Marly Gillece ’06 said.
Yale head coach Pam Stuper was also satisfied with the team’s efforts.
“I still believe we’re playing some of the best hockey that Yale field hockey has ever played,” she said.
Crandall noted the strength of the team’s backfield.
“The team defense was incredible, and if we can put that with some of our better scoring games, then Brown is really going to need to perk up and give more respect,” she said.
Crandall was referring to the Bulldogs’ final matchup of the season, a home game against Brown Saturday. Players said they hope to end the season on a high note.
“We want to end the season with a huge, huge win so we can carry on and feel good about how hard we worked,” Raveche said.