Elis finish as runners-up

The field hockey team may have to share second place with three other teams, but the Elis will take it.

After finishing seventh in the Ivy League last year, the Bulldogs (5-12, 4-3 Ivy) rounded out their 2006 campaign this Saturday by posting their fourth league win of the season to give the squad a spot in the top two for just the fourth time in 28 years of conference play. With the 3-1 victory over Brown in their season finale at Warner Roof in Providence, R.I., Yale’s four victories in the Ancient Eight this fall are the third-most the Elis have had since 1981.

Forward Rachel Lentz ’07 said tying with Harvard, Penn and Cornell for league runner-up is a testament to the talent of the conference.

“The Ivy League is a pretty competitive league,” she said. “We have a lot of evenly matched teams so that’s what happens.”

The Bears dominated the beginning of the game offensively, outshooting Yale, 7-4, in the first half. After Bears forward Sara Eaton crossed the ball on a free hit, forward Tracy Dungo one-timed it into the left corner of the cage at the 23:19 mark to give Brown an early lead.

But less than five minutes later, forward Alyssa Jethani ’09 lit up the scoreboard for the Elis when she tipped the ball past Bears goalkeeper Kristen Hodavance off a deflection from a Brown defender. Goalkeeper Elizabeth Friedlander ’07 made two of her three saves in the first half, and the two teams headed into the second half with the score tied at 1-1.

Forward Cat Lindroth ’08 said the Bulldogs had to adapt their play to Brown’s turf, which is on a rooftop and 10 yards shorter than a regulation field.

“We came out trying very hard, but it wasn’t coming together,” she said. “We had to make some adjustments to the turf, which was kind of an adverse situation. I think we steadily improved throughout the half, and were really the dominant team on the field by the end of the first half.”

In the second half, the Elis were able to channel their offensive momentum from the tying goal into more scoring opportunities and outshot Brown, 6-2. Lentz tallied back-to-back goals in a span of 10 minutes, the second off a cross from forward Ashley McCauley ’10, to propel the Bulldogs to victory. After entering the season with no career goals, Lentz led the team this fall with nine, including seven in Ivy play.

“It felt awesome to end the season on such a positive note,” midfielder Katie Cantore ’10 said. “We’ve worked so hard since this summer, and the upperclassmen have been working since last spring. It was amazing to have it all pay off in the end.”

Prior to Saturday, Brown had given up more than two goals in a game only once this fall, in a 6-1 loss to undefeated league champion Princeton. The Bulldogs have had all three of their league losses, to the Tigers, Penn and Dartmouth, decided by a margin of one goal.

The Bulldogs’ other second-place finishes came in 1998 and 2003, when the team had a 5-2 record in Ivy play. Yale’s only league championship was in 1980.

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