As it has all season, the Yale women’s field hockey team pushed a national powerhouse to the brink Sunday at Johnson Field.
The Bulldogs (6-5, 2-1 Ivy) rallied from a 3-1 deficit to give the No. 7 UConn Huskies (13-1) all they could handle, but ultimately Yale surrendered two late goals to suffer a tough 5-3 defeat.
The Elis are one of only two teams to score at least three goals against the Huskies this season, joining fellow Ivy League club Princeton in that category.
“We played well up to the point where we tied them, but we just let them come back on our end,” midfielder Dinah Landshut ’12 said. “We kept fighting, but we just couldn’t finish. We just need to keep up that extra something because if we can play with the top teams in the country, we can beat them.”
The scoring started early, when Cara Silverman’s goal gave UConn a lead just 74 seconds into the first half. Yale responded quickly, however, as back Erin Carter ’12 tied things up just five minute later with her fifth goal of the season — her fourth in the last five games.
Yet it didn’t take long for UConn to retake the lead as Silverman struck again just 90 seconds later, deflecting a Loren Sherer pass past Yale goalie Charlotte Goins ’10 for the goal.
Sherer and Silverman combined for another goal shortly after, reversing roles to give the Huskies a 3-1 lead — a lead UConn looked to carry into halftime.
Just 90 seconds before the end of the first period, however, Yale retaliated to get back in the game. Forward Mia Rosati ’12 intercepted a pass and, with the help of a well-run give-and-go with fellow forward Ashley McCauley ’10, brought the ball upfield and scored.
In an indication of how evenly matched the first half was, the Bulldogs took a 9-5 shot lead into halftime, despite trailing 3-2. The Elis evened things up on the scoreboard early in the second half when Landshut hammered a Katie Cantore pass past UConn goalie Andrea Mainiero for the goal.
The Bulldogs remained in position to pull the upset until less than fifteen minutes remained, when the Huskies’ high-powered scoring attack kicked back in. After capitalizing on a penalty corner to take a 4-3 lead with 12:15 left, UConn finished things off with just over five minutes left in the game with a shot from midfielder Jessica Angelini that deflected off multiple Bulldogs, giving Goins no chance as the ball found its way into the net.
Goins, who normally splits time with Katie Bolling ’11, kept her team in the game in the second half and finished the day with five saves.
“She made some great saves,” Coach Pam Stuper said of Goins in a press release. “If it wasn’t for her, UConn would have scored a lot more goals, especially in the second half.”
Though the Bulldogs once again held tough against a national powerhouse, as they have against UMass and Northwestern, it is clear the team expects better.
“I think once again we showed that our team is better than people believe us to be and we can hang with nationally ranked teams,” Rosati said. “But hanging with them isn’t enough. We have to find a way to come up with a win and can’t keep accepting these ‘good losses.’”
Yale faces Dartmouth at home in an important Ivy League matchup this Saturday at noon. Both teams are currently tied with Cornell for second place in conference standings.