It won’t be easy for members of the field hockey team to forget last week’s events — but they don’t want to. The American flags they’ve put on their sticks will be a symbol of their solidarity with the victims and the entire nation.
The Bulldogs (1-1, 0-0 Ivy) will return to action tonight at 7 against Fairfield (3-2) on the Johnson Field turf. The team was scheduled to play games last Wednesday and Saturday, but both games were canceled, along with all other Yale athletic events, in response to the attacks in New York and Washington.
Due to the cancelations, the Bulldogs, who usually play twice a week, have not competed for 10 days. But head coach Ainslee Lamb says that the Bulldogs appreciated the moratorium because it allowed them time to reflect on the recent tragedies.
She believes that her team is now ready to compete, but also expects that players will still be thinking about last week’s events.
“The national anthem will be tough, and it should be distracting — we shouldn’t pretend nothing has happened,” Lamb said. “It’s a moment to reflect and think about what has happened. The team is proud to represent Yale and the United States.”
Assistant coach Pam Stuper suggested the players adorn their sticks with American flag stickers, and the players agreed unanimously. The Bulldogs are also considering ways to raise money to help those affected by the tragedy.
On the field, the Elis say they are physically ready, since they have spent the last week practicing and scrimmaging, but are concerned about staying mentally focused.
“Obviously, it’s going to be a challenge mentally because it’s on all of our minds,” captain Caroline Thompson ’02 said. “But in terms of being ready, we will pull it together and be ready to play.”
Although they have played only two games, the Bulldogs have shown they will be tough to beat this season. With a shutout of Vermont and an overtime loss to New Hampshire under their belts, the Bulldogs are confident about the game against Fairfield.
The Stags also cancelled their games last week, but resumed play Monday with a 3-2 win over Rutgers (1-3). Seniors Karen Zanleoni and Izabella Kotowski, who has the chance to become Fairfield’s all-time leading scorer this season, lead the team.
This year’s game is expected to be close, since the Bulldogs lost 3-2 in overtime to the Stags in 2000, but the Bulldogs say they are excited and prepared to compete again.