The 260-mile bus trip back from Cornell is a long ride for any Yale team. But with a historic road win and a big league victory under their belts, the members of the field hockey team might not have minded so much.
The Bulldogs (2-5, 1-1 Ivy) defeated the Big Red (4-2, 2-1), 4-2, to claim their first Ivy win of the season Saturday. The Elis had not won in Ithaca since 1985, and the victory at Shoellkopf Field ended a five-game losing streak over the past two weeks. Although Cornell dominated the game offensively, with 15 shots on goal to Yale’s seven and a 10-2 advantage on penalty corners, Bulldogs goalkeeper Elizabeth Friedlander ’07 made 10 saves to clinch the victory.
Players said a tough Midwest trip against schools such as Michigan State and Northwestern prepared them to take on their second Ivy opponents after a tough 2-1 loss to Princeton on Sept. 9.
“We played some really tough teams in the Midwest and were definitely exposed to a faster, higher level of play than our opponent had been,” midfielder Lindsay Collins ’07 said.
Yale got on the board early when captain Heather Orrico ’07 converted a penalty corner just under seven minutes into play to make it 1-0. The Bulldogs maintained their 1-0 lead into halftime, but both teams exploded offensively during the second half, combining for four goals in the final 35 minutes of play.
Collins said the team’s defensive aggressiveness and scoring opportunities were the keys to success against the Big Red.
“We completely outplayed them, especially in the first half,” she said. “Our ball control and passing were much better than theirs.”
Goals from Collins and midfielder Rachel Lentz ’07 made it 3-0 for Yale with 20 minutes to play. Lentz now has three goals in the last three games after scoring the first of her career in the game against Northwestern on Sept. 16.
“Every game you play you learn something,” Lentz said. “The best teams are able to effectively learn from their past games. I think we did a great job both defensively and on attack.”
Although Cornell broke up the shutout with a goal at 53:24, Yale answered with another Lentz goal to get the lead back to three. Cornell then scored a penalty stroke goal, but could not come any closer to matching Yale’s momentum.
The final score ties Yale’s record for most goals in a game against Cornell, which was set in a 4-1 win on Oct. 3, 1981, and is only the second time in the last 27 games that Yale has surpassed a tally of three goals.
“It was a fantastic win,” Friedlander said. “It was our first Ivy win of the season, and it felt great, especially making history like that on their turf. It’s a really long bus ride back, but our team was jazzed.”
Yale returns to Johnson Field this Wednesday to host Sacred Heart, which marks only the third home game for the Bulldogs so far this season.