F. hockey vaults to third with victory

Their senior season may not have turned out as the class of 2007 had hoped, but the field hockey team’s veterans got to savor one last victory with a win in their final home game.

The Bulldogs (4-12, 3-3 Ivy) finally had reason to celebrate on Saturday when they snapped a four-game losing streak to pull out a 4-2 win over Columbia (7-9, 1-5 Ivy) at Johnson Field on Senior Day. Midfielder Rachel Lentz ’07 scored two goals for the Elis to lead Yale past the Lions.

Midfielder Lindsay Collins ’07 said the team came out strong from the start with an optimistic attitude.

“All of the pieces came together,” she said. “We all started knowing that we weren’t going to lose.”

Just under ten minutes into the first half, midfielder Harriet Thayer ’08 put the Bulldogs on the board when she fired a rebound past Columbia goalkeeper Gena Miller into the back of the cage. Then Thayer fed a pass to Lentz with five minutes left to play in the half to put Yale up 2-0 heading into the break.

The Elis outshot the Lions 12-3 in the first half, but play was more evenly matched in the second, with both teams taking 12 shots on goal apiece. The Lions made it a one-goal game nearly 28 minutes in, but Yale regained a two-goal advantage after Lentz tallied her second goal of the game. Back Emily Palilonis ’07 scored her third goal of the season off an assist from captain Heather Orrico ’07 at the 60:18 mark to put the Bulldogs up 4-1.

Although Columbia answered with eight minutes to play, Yale was able to hold on for the win. Eli goalkeeper Elizabeth Friedlander ’07 made nine saves in net to earn the victory.

“Every single person stepped up, and we really played well together,” midfielder Katie Cantore ’10 said. “All of the underclassmen wanted to play for the seniors and make their last game one to remember.”

The win puts the Bulldogs into a four-way tie for third place in the Ivy League with Harvard, Brown and Cornell. Princeton clinched the league crown — their twelfth in the last 14 years — the previous weekend, with a 3-1 win over the Cantabs. Yale will look to add a final win next weekend when they travel to Brown for their last game of the season.

Before the game, the Bulldogs honored the seven members of their senior class. Lentz, Orrico, Palilonis, Friedlander, Collins, Jenn Slough ’07 and Allison Spitzer ’07 all ended the game on the field for the win.

Forward Alyssa Jethani ’09 said the Columbia game was an example of how consistently the senior class has performed all season.

“They all had such solid performances,” she said. “They contribute day in and day out, so it was another testament to how well our seniors have been playing all season.”

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