The seniors on the field hockey team played their final two home games this weekend, leaving Johnson Field with a conference win and an impressive legacy.
The Bulldogs (5–11, 2–4 Ivy) faced the Columbia Lions (8–7, 3–3 Ivy) on Saturday and came out on top with a 3–2 overtime win. On Sunday, the team fell to No. 15 Boston University in a 2–0 shutout despite generating several scoring chances against a nationally ranked defense.
Coming off back-to-back losses its previous weekend, forward Jessie Accurso ’15 said the team went into practice focusing on working together as a unit.
“We worked on communication,” Accurso said in an email to the News. “Our focus points were ‘communicate to connect to compete.’ Once we connected as a team, awesome things started happening.”
In Saturday’s Ivy League game against the Lions, momentum shifted back and forth between the teams, but Yale emerged on top. Columbia went into halftime with a 1–0 lead after midfielder Danielle Cosentino found the back of the net following a penalty corner in the 20th minute.
After drawing a penalty corner 10 minutes into the second frame, the Elis answered back with a goal from midfielder Mary Beth Barham ’13. Assists were awarded to the inserter, midfielder Erica Borgo ’14, and the stick stopper, forward Emily Schuckert ’14.
Only seven minutes later, Borgo converted a pass from captain Maddy Sharp ’13 and put the Bulldogs ahead. As the clock ran down, it appeared that Yale would come away with the win in regulation time.
But the Lions pulled their goalkeeper with minutes left in the game and upped the pressure in their offensive zone with a kicking back. Columbia forced Yale goalkeeper Emily Cain ’14 to save three shots within the final minute and ultimately earned a penalty corner with 28 seconds to go, which enabled Creaghan Peters to equalize in the final minute of play.
“It was disappointing to give up that goal with less than a minute left,” forward Emily Schuckert ’14 said. “We have had several overtime games this year already and we were confident that we could get a quick goal.”
Six minutes into sudden death overtime, Borgo capped her impressive offensive output with the unassisted game-winning goal.
“I think that since we had really controlled a lot of the play in regulation and had been so cohesive throughout, our morale was high, and we were able to get them on their heels early,” Accurso said.
Cain finished with seven saves, including one in overtime. Yale outshot Columbia 24–17.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs played their final game in front of a home crowd against No. 15 Boston University (12–16, 4–1 America East) on the team’s Senior Day. The first half of the game was scoreless. Though Yale was outshot 11–7, Cain stepped up in net, keeping the Terriers out on each of their five penalty corners.
“Because we played really well defensively, we were able to generate good counter attack and have some really nice chances,” Accurso said.
BU has allowed only 27 goals this season, but Yale nearly took the lead on several occasions, including a shot from Borgo that forced BU keeper Jess Maroney to make a kick save in the 24th minute.
The Elis opened the second half with another chance to take the lead. A penalty corner in the 49th minute resulted in a pair of quick shots from back Molly Wolf ’16 and Barham. Both were denied and the Terriers were awarded a penalty stroke five minutes later when a Yale defender inadvertently prevented a goal with her foot. BU back Kiley Allosso capitalized and put the Terriers ahead.
“[After the stroke], we didn’t give up and its better that they had to earn the goal rather than letting the ball go in the first time, but it was unfortunate that it gave BU momentum,” Barham said.
With less than eight minutes left in regulation, BU midfielder Macey Gaumond secured a win for her team after redirecting a pass from outside the circle. The Bulldogs were outshot 22–9 at the whistle. Cain finished with a total of 12 saves.
This game marked the sixth time Yale faced an opponent ranked in the top 20 this season.
“The purpose of playing these tough games was to grow together as a team and take the lessons we learned into our Ivy play,” Sharp said.
Yale seniors Barham, Sharp, back Lexy Adams ’13 and goalkeeper Ona McConnell ’13 were recognized for their contributions to the team in a pregame ceremony on Sunday. With a total of 39 wins, this senior class holds the third-best record in the team’s 40-year history. The players were instrumental in both of Yale’s second-place finishes in 2009 and 2010 leading up to the 2011 Ivy League title. They also comprise the first class in history to beat Harvard four times.
“There have been so many ups and downs this season,” Barham said. “Senior Day was less sad and less about it being our last home game because I think we were all just so happy to be playing the best hockey we’ve played all season.”
The Bulldogs will take to the road one last time on Saturday to face Brown in Providence, R.I.