If there’s one thing the Yale field hockey team (6–5, 2–1) has learned this season, it’s that they can play with the best of the best. After Sunday’s 3–2 loss at No. 12 Boston College, however, the fact that the Bulldogs held a halftime lead and were right with the Eagles the whole way onlyadded to the frustration of another tough loss to a nationally ranked squad.
“You cannot expect to upset a top 10 or top 20 team being up by one goal,” midfielder Dinah Landshut ’12 said. “Good teams like BC will come back on the scoreboard. On attack, we needed to extend our lead and on defense we needed to keep them out of our own 25.”
Coming out with a vengeance following Wednesday’s difficult loss to No. 5 UConn, the Bulldogs withstood a 13-shot first-half onslaught from BC with the help of seven saves from freshman goalie Emily Cain ’14. With less than a minute left in the first half, forward Erica Borgo ’14 capitalized on a feed from Johna Paolino ’11 for a breakaway goal to send the Bulldogs to halftime with the 1-0 lead.
Then the Eagles’ Jenna Anctil took over. Less than four minutes into the second half, Anctil scored off a feed from teammate Paige Norris to tie the game. Less than a minute later, Anctil struck again, scoring off an Emily Kozniuk pass to give her team its first lead.
Borgo responded 15 minutes later, with an unassisted goal to tie things up, but Anctil had the last laugh, teaming up with Norris yet again for the eventual game winner at 62:23.
“Keeping the lead for the first half and only a couple of minutes of the second half was an accomplishment in itself,” Borgo said. ”When they scored their two goals in the second half so close to one another I was a little afraid of how we would react because of past games, but we definitely rose to the challenge today and stepped up after they scored and kept the pressure going.”
The Bulldogs definitely had to keep that pressure up, as they were outshot 19–8, and were awarded just four penalty corners to Boston College’s 11. Yet despite these disparities, Yale was once again in a position to win against another formidable opponent. All five of Yale’s losses so far this season have come against national powerhouses: Maine, UMass, No.4 Princeton, No.5 UConn, No.12 BC. If there is any consolation for the Bulldogs in Sunday’s loss, though, it is that all those games are behind them, for no nationally ranked teams remain on the schedule.
“We all know we are capable of keeping up with the top 20 teams like BC.” Taylor Sankovich ’12 said. “Top 20 teams may have some amazing players, but we have heart. If we all work together and give all of the intensity and heart we have, we can come up with the win. Each time we play a top 20 team, we have more and more moments of great hockey.”
Yale will need a few more of those moments if they hope to keep their postseason chances intact. With Princeton seemingly out of reach of any Ivy League foe, the Bulldogs are hoping for an at-large tournament bid. For that to happen, Yale will need to run the table throughout the rest of their schedule – Ivy League and non-conference – to reach the playoffs.