In the last two home games of the season, Yale field hockey proved that they could retain their ongoing momentum for a three game winning streak.
The Bulldogs rallied against Columbia for a 3-2 win in overtime on Saturday. They turned around to dominate Quinniapiac on Sunday in a 6-0 shutout.
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On Saturday, Yale (7-9, 2-4 Ivy) lagged against the Lions at first. The game started with a goal from Columbia (10-6, 1-5 Ivy) off of a penalty corner 20 minutes in. The Elis responded quickly with a goal from Mia Rosati ’12, but another penalty corner helped the Lions end the second half ahead 2-1.
Head coach Pam Stuper said Columbia’s edge in the first half came partly because of the Lions’ ability to make the most of their chances at the goal, in addition to their defense against Ashley McCauley ’10, the Bulldogs’ top scorer.
“Columbia’s a very opportunistic team,” she said.
She added that in the second half, the Elis were able to adjust. Dinah Landshut ’12 evened the score after a penalty corner. McCauley ended the game eight minutes into overtime with a goal after another penalty corner.
“Winning in overtime is one of the best feelings ever,” forward Alyssa Jethani ’09 said.
At the start of Sunday’s game against Quinnipiac (5-12), the Elis immediately drove the ball into Bobcat territory. Just two minutes in, Marisa Waldemare ’11 capitalized on a penalty corner and got a shot that bounced into the goal. Two minutes later, Yale scored again when Landshut was able to return a rebound into the net. Two goals from McCauley — one off of a penalty shot and another off of an impressive dive next to the net — gave the Bulldogs a 4-0 edge at the end of the first half. A goal from Jethani at the beginning of the second period in addition to another point from Erin Carter ’12 raised the Elis to six points. Katie Bolling ’11 contributed eight saves to keep the Bobcats scoreless.
The Bulldogs said they were very happy with the outcome of the two contests. Although they were behind in the first half of Saturday’s game, the Elis bounced back for next 105 minutes of the weekend’s play. The Bulldogs said they felt that their hard work in practice has finally paid off.
Stuper said that the Elis were playing with speed and support.
“We were able to attack and defend with numbers,” she said.
This weekend’s last two home games were especially significant to the seniors on the team — Jethani, forward Jayna Whitcher ’09, forward Laura Pierce ’09, and midfielder and captain Ali Rotondo — who each played field hockey all of their four years at Yale. The end of their time at Johnson Field was made all the more sweet by the two wins.
“It was a nice way to end the season,” Jethani said.
The seniors all started in the second half of Sunday’s game. Stuper said it was encouraging to see them play together, especially when Jethani scored. The seniors’ careers as Bulldogs paralleled that of Stuper’s as head coach, which began in 2005.
“They helped create what Yale field hockey is today,” she said.
Whitcher said she was excited about the wins, and felt the team had improved significantly this weekend.
“We were playing for each other this weekend,” she explained.
The Elis play their final game of the season against Brown next Sunday in Providence.