Yesterday the Elis had their first chance to redeem last season’s humiliating loss to previously winless Brown, which had lost 16 straight before upsetting the Bulldogs.
With the loss overshadowing an intense preseason, yesterday’s match against Providence College was to be the start of a new year.
But the Bulldog field hockey season opened disappointingly with a 5-0 loss as the Friars improved their record to 3-1.
“Providence is a strong team, and unfortunately we had a tough first half and got ourselves in a situation that was hard to come back from,” said forward Ashley McCauley ’10.
The Elis’ (0-1, 0-0 Ivy) top returning goal scorer said the initial loss was a letdown after hours of running and technical drills in the preseason. But McCauley acknowledged that late in the game, her team proved “that we can play with them.”
The sun-kissed Friar Field Hockey and Lacrosse Center in Rhode Island saw play begin quickly with Providence forward Nellie Poulin scoring the first goal just over a minute into the game. As the first half continued, the Friars’ Poulin, Julie Ruggieri and Megan Montecarlo added another point each to the tally. In the first 35 minutes of play, Yale managed to attempt only two shots, neither of which found the goal. Providence had four goals on 11 attempts.
The second half brought a new goalie for the Bulldogs as Charlotte Goins ’10 stepped aside for Katie Bolling ’11. Providence, however, continued to shut down the Elis and Meghan Holden scored a final goal for the Friars.
In picking up their efforts in the second half, the Bulldogs attempted seven shots in comparison to Providence’s four. Yet despite a greater number of scoring attempts by Yale, Providence goalie Rachel Chamberlain’s completed her first shutout of the season and the 13th of her career.
Bulldog captain Ali Rotondo ’09 said the Elis went into the game against Providence — a top-20 team — expecting a very competitive match. With the addition of “first game jitters,” Rotondo said she felt that the team “didn’t represent” their full potential, especially considering the “almost equal scoring opportunities.”
Yale newcomer Dinah Landshut ’12 echoed Rotondo’s feelings about the match, and said she is very excited to be wearing the blue this year. The midfielder from Germany, who started the game yesterday, admitted that field hockey players in the United States seemed more intense and driven. When asked about the highlight of her travel to Providence, she looked past the actual play and thought instead of the “warm-ups where there is very loud music and everyone dances.” It is this experience that gives her a “happy” feeling and the knowledge that, sometimes, the team is going to “kick ass.”
“Preseason showed that we’re a stronger team than we demonstrated today, so we’re hoping to come out and play the way we can on Wednesday,” McCauley said.
Rotondo agreed the team must “demonstrate [their] hard work” as they face the University of Connecticut on Wednesday. The Huskies, an NCAA Final Four team last season, will be one of the strongest groups the Elis will face this season. However, now that the first game has removed much of the nervous energy, Rotondo asserted her team will claim the next 15 games as their own.