FIELD HOCKEY: Bulldogs defend home turf

When midfielder Nicole Wells ’16 scored with 25 seconds left on Saturday against Dartmouth at Yale’s Johnson Field, she broke a tie to seal the victory for the Elis. Little did she know, Wells would follow up that effort with an overtime gamewinner on Sunday, also at home.

Wells’s effort contributed to a perfect weekend for Yale (6–7, 2–2 Ivy), which they started with a 4–3 win against an Ivy League rival — the Big Green — on Saturday and ended with an exciting 4–3 overtime win against Maine on Sunday.

“We were able to come away with two wins this weekend because we came together like a team,” forward/midfielder Gabby Garcia ’14 said in an email. “Unfortunately, a number of players were injured, and were therefore unable to play this past weekend. We had people in different roles, and they really stepped up. It was a great team effort, and I think being able to play well through adversity will only help moving forward through the rest of our season.”

Wells notched the game-winning goal for the Bulldogs late in regulation against Dartmouth (4–7, 1–2). Yale also notched the first goal of the contest, scoring six minutes into the game on a broken penalty corner before netting another shot 23 minutes later to go up 2–0 entering halftime. The Bulldog defense kept Dartmouth off the scoreboard in the first half with the contribution of 10 saves by goalkeeper Heather Schlesier ’15.

The second half started on a different note for the Elis. Dartmouth charged back with three goals within the first 7:26. Forward Ali Savage scored the first two goals for the Big Green during the opening minutes of the second half.

Trailing the Big Green 3–2, the Bulldogs mounted a rally of their own, as midfielder Emily Schuckert ’14 tied the game at 48:28. Goalkeeper Emily Cain ’14 relieved Schlesier with 14:22 left in the game and made a key save, denying Savage her shot at a hat trick. Yale was unable to capitalize on a penalty corner with four minutes to play. But the Elis fought until the end and Wells scored, giving the Bulldogs their second conference win.

“We played with a lot of heart and perseverance,” forward Brooke Gogel ’14 said. “We didn’t give up and stayed focused on our game plan. It was a great comeback.”

Yale won with a balanced attack: four different players scored for the Bulldogs. The Elis took 28 shots compared to Dartmouth’s 20 and earned more penalty corners, 12–11.

The momentum carried into the Bulldogs’ matchup against Maine (9–7, 2–2 America East) as Yale defeated the Black Bears in overtime.

The Bulldogs scored the only goal of the first half just over nine minutes into the game and led at half time 1–0. The game’s intensity reached a new level in the second half as both teams traded goals throughout the period. Yale struck first again, extending its lead to 2–0 five minutes into the second half. Maine then scored two goals less than five minutes apart to tie the game at two goals apiece. The Elis regained the lead with less than eight minutes to play, but the Black Bears responded on a penalty corner to tie the game, leading to overtime.

“We were confident in the hard work we put in training over the spring and summer,” Gogel said. “We knew we were fit enough to be successful in overtime.”

During the extra period, both sides traded scoring opportunities until Wells was able to deliver the game-winning goal for the second time in two games.

The Bulldogs were outshot 32–18 and had seven fewer penalty corners. Captain Georgia Holland ‘14, who plays midfielder and back, proved especially important towards stopping Maine’s offensive attack,

“Our defensive corner unit did an incredible job stopping Maine’s penalty corners,” Gogel said. “Georgia also had five defensive saves throughout the game, which is basically unheard of in field hockey.”

Yale will continue its season by facing more Ivy League competition, traveling to Penn (10–3, 3–1 Ivy) on Saturday.

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