The field hockey team had a tough task ahead of them as they faced Princeton’s defending national champion team in New Jersey on Friday.
The Bulldogs (2–5, 0–2 Ivy) kept the No. 10 Tigers (5–3, 2–0 Ivy) to two goals, one in each half, but could not muster up a counterattack and lost 2–0 on the road. The Elis limited a Princeton team that had outscored its opponents 71–4 in its last 12 Ivy League games. Forward and midfielder Gabby Garcia ’14 said that the talent on Princeton’s roster made the Tigers a force to be reckoned with.
“Princeton is a very skilled team with a few Olympians and National Team players, and they were National Champions last year,” Garcia said. “We knew going in that this would be the most challenging game of the season, as it always is, so we knew that if were going to play successful, we had to play as a team.”
The Elis nearly took the lead in the first half when midfielder and back Georgia Holland ’14 scored off a penalty corner. The goal was disallowed, however, because the ball was ruled to have hit a Yale player’s foot. Yale had another scoring chance when forward Rhoni Gericke ’17 put a shot on goal. But Tiger goalkeeper Anya Gersoff turned that shot aside for one of her two saves, to keep the shutout in tact and improve to 3–1 on the season in net.
Princeton forward Allison Evans put the Tigers ahead by one at the 23:56 mark, but Yale went into the locker room at halftime down only 1–0 due to the Bulldog’s stellar defense and goalkeeper Emily Cain ’14.
The second half was very much like the first, as goalkeeper Heather Schlesier ’15 and the Elis continued to stop the Tigers. It was not until senior midfielder Julia Reinprecht ’14 scored on a penalty corner at 55:59 that Princeton extended its lead to 2–0.
The Bulldogs were held to five shots and three penalty corners throughout the game, compared to Princeton’s 25 shots and 16 penalty corners.
“The team played for seventy minutes, which was the key for us to play well defensively as well as create [opportunities] for ourselves offensively on the attack,” head coach Pamela Stuper said. “We made it difficult for Princeton, a very talented team, to play the style of game they wanted to play, which worked in our favor. It provided us with an opportunity to have a chance to win the game.”
The Bulldogs never gave up, attacking throughout the entire game, and were able to compete against one of the top teams in the nation.
“I think we played one of our best games of hockey this season,” forward Erica Borgo ’14 said. “We learned how to work together as a team and this success will help us propel forward for the rest of the season.”
Although the Bulldogs came up short against the Tigers, Yale did fare better against the Tigers than it did last year, when Princeton trounced Yale 8–0 on Sept. 22, 2012. Princeton went on to win the NCAA National Championship last season.
Yale continues Ivy League play against Cornell at Johnson Field this Saturday. The Elis will look to improve upon last year’s result against the Big Red, an 1–0 overtime loss in Ithaca, NY.