The Elis took to the road again on Saturday only three days after returning from a big win against Marist but fell to Colgate in Hamilton.
The Bulldogs came four goals shy of a victory against Colgate. The team fought fiercely but failed to fend off the ferocious attacks of the Raiders (3–3, 2–1 Patriot) and ultimately succumbed in a 16–12 loss. Although seven Yale players recorded goals during the match, and five scored two apiece, the effort was not enough to overwhelm Colgate.
“Today was a tough game,” attacker Meghan Murray ’14 said. “Colgate’s attack was on top of its game yesterday and able to capitalize on our defense.”
Last season, despite Yale’s losing 3–12 record, the Elis still managed a 10–7 victory against the Raiders.
Yale (3–6, 0–3 Ivy) looked fit at the beginning of the game, with midfielder Christina Doherty ’15 winning the faceoff and attacker Devon Rhodes ’13 scoring a goal with a fantastic assist by fellow attacker Jen DeVito ’14 just 45 seconds in. Midfielder Ashley McCormick ’14 also dominated the draw and controlled the first 27 minutes of the match until a Raider scooped up a ground ball at 27:23, and Colgate held on to it for about a minute. After regaining control, Yale’s captain Caroline Crow ’12 and Rhodes took aggressive shots toward Colgate’s net, only to be stopped short by goalkeeper Jennie Berglin.
“When you are down early in the game, it’s easy for a team to just accept defeat and hang their heads but we never gave up,” attacker Devon Rhodes ’13 said.
Soon afterwards, the Raiders took advantage of a foul and dominated the next three minutes with four shots, one of which soared into Yale’s net. At 20:28, DeVito found an opportunity, but her ambitious shot bounced off the home team’s goalpost. The Raiders capitalized on the four more Yale fouls in the following three minutes by adding another goal to the tally.
Although DeVito succeeded in leveling the score at 2–2, Colgate replied by scoring two goals. Crow narrowed the gap again to 4–3 22 minutes into the game, but the Raiders again doubled the goal difference in the next two minutes. Despite Rhode’s second goal and Crow’s closer before the whistle, the first half ended with a score of 8–5 Colgate.
“At the beginning of the game we struggled a little bit on defense, we were fouling a lot and gave the other team multiple free position shots,” midfielder Courteney Rutter ’14 said. “In the second half we played a lot better and adjusted to the calls that were being made against us,” she added.
Determined to turn the tide of the game, the Bulldogs initiated the attack as soon as the second half kicked off. Midfielder Reilly Foote ’15 controlled the draw after the faceoff and raced straight into the Raider’s zone to secure the Elis’ sixth goal.
Murray said Yale’s offense was strong throughout the game.
“We were able to get both assisted and unassisted goals, making it harder for [Colgate] defense to play against us,” Murray said.
But after four minutes into the second half, Colgate came back strong by taking advantage of Yale’s turnover, recording three straight goals to get ahead with a five-goal difference over the visitors. The Bulldogs returned the compliment by firing in three goals of their own into the hosts’ net within a matter of a minute, with midfielder Erin Magnuson ’15 scoring two and attacker Kerri Fleishhacker ’15 putting in the third.
For the next 12 minutes, both teams exchanged goals. Shortly after Colgate’s captain Courtney Miller changed the score to 12–9, Foote replied with Yale’s 10th goal, and when Miller added another one for her team, Bulldogs’ attacker Megan Murray ’14 again responded to turn the score board to 13–11 with eight minutes remaining in the regulation.
The Elis failed to utilize the remaining precious minutes, even allowing a hat trick by Colgate’s key player Katie Sullivan.
“Colgate had a number of experienced players who played well yesterday,” head coach Anne Phillips said. “Obviously we just didn’t play well against them defensively.”
Although Fleishhacker succeeded in scoring a goal with Crow’s assist 30 seconds before the whistle, Yale fell 16–12 to the host team.
Phillips said the team scored easily when Colgate was in an unsettled defensive situation but was impatient in running its set offense, which did not generate the scoring opportunities it was designed to create.
In the last couple of matches, the Elis showed strengths in draw controls and shots, as demonstrated in Saturday’s match. Yale equaled its opponents in saves with 10–10 and even outdid the Raiders 16–14 in draw control.
“Colgate definitely came out with a high level of intensity, and we found ourselves in a hole for most of the game,” goalkeeper Erin McMullan ’14 said.
Although the team has been improving in turnovers, shots and clears, it did not continue this trend Saturday. The Elis recorded 18 turnover to Colgate’s 13, 24 shots to Colgate’s 39 and 13 clears to the Raiders’ 17.
Phillips said the team needs to play a more disciplined defense and focus on reducing turnovers this week in practice.
Accuracy in shots, as Philips emphasized in an interview with the News last Thursday, showed some weaknesses.
“Our shooting percentage was much better against Colgate, 12 for 24, but we were not patient enough offensively and could not create enough scoring opportunities,” she said.
Furthermore, the amount of fouls committed proved to be a catalyst to Yale’s defeat, as the penalties led to free position shots, and four of Colgate’s goals, the entirety of the game’s scoring margin.
Phillips added that unforced turnovers and fouls really hurt the Bulldogs’ chances.
The Bulldogs also led 20–15 in ground balls.
While Yale has been faring better in comparison to last season, the team failed to secure a victory against a team the Bulldogs generally beat.
“This week in practice we plan to continue to work on our drives to goal as well as our passes, as we prepare for Princeton,” Murray said.
McMullan added that team is going to watch some film and tweak a couple of things in preparation for its next game.
The Bulldogs will travel again next weekend to take on the Tigers in Princeton, N.J., on Saturday.