After its first Ivy League win against Harvard last weekend, the field hockey team fell 3–2 to Princeton as the Bulldogs were unable to come back from a late 3–1 deficit.
Saturday’s game opened with both a challenge and an opportunity for Yale (3–4, 1–1). Princeton (3–3, 1–1) had not lost an Ivy League game for the past four years, but Yale players still said they would have a good shot at winning — not only had the Tigers lost the past three games, but they were still missing a number of star players who are currently with the U.S. national team.
“We definitely had a chance,” goalie Ona McConnell ’13 said. “Princeton always has a strong team, but this year they actually had a weak team. [With our level of talent] we definitely should’ve won.”
The game was anything but easy and both sides shot aggressively. Yale’s defense tightly guarded its post, with goalie Emily Cain ’14 saving six shots overall.
The first goal came at the end of the opening half from Princeton midfielder Allison Behringer. But the Bulldogs bounced back less than two minutes later, with forward Jessie Accurso’s ’15 blast — the first goal of her collegiate career — that evened the game at 1–1.
Just when it seemed as though both teams would leave halftime deadlocked, Princeton’s back/midfielder Sydney Kirby scored a goal to break the tie. She would score another in the 57th minute, with what turned out to be the game-winner.
The second half provided more offensive chances for the Bulldogs, including three penalty corners. With assists by back/midfielder Chelsey Locarno ’12 and forward Erica Borgo ’14, back Erin Carter ’12 converted one of these corners with just three minutes left in the game.
The goal brought up Yale within one against the Tigers, but Carter’s goal would be the last of the game, as forward Gabby Garcia’s ’14 shot would mark Princeton goalie Christina Maida’s final save and sealed the win for the Tigers.
“[The reason we lost] had to do with our mentality,” McConnell said. “The match was more a mental game than a field hockey game.”
Looking forward to the rest of the season, midfield Dinah Landshut ’12 said that the Bulldogs have to concentrate more on themselves than their opponent.
“This weekend we were not able to control the game against a good opponent,” she said. “We need to have a more of ‘one game at a time’ mentality … We will be focusing on playing our game regardless of who we play, where and what the circumstances are.”
With both now 1–1 in the Ivy League, Princeton and Yale are in a four-way tie for third behind Columbia and Dartmouth.
Next weekend, the Yale field hockey team will face Cornell and Connecticut in home games on Saturday and Sunday.