Last week the field hockey team pulled off a 4-3 overtime win against Fairfield. But the Bulldogs could not recapture the magic this weekend against Ivy rival Cornell.

The Bulldogs (2-2, 0-1 Ivy) fell 4-3 in their Ivy League opener Saturday against the Big Red (3-1, 1-0) at Yale’s Johnson Field.

The Elis nearly forced the game into overtime, but could not convert on their final opportunity of the game.

With less than one minute remaining in regulation, the Bulldogs, trailing 4-3, had possession of the ball in Big Red territory. Head coach Ainslee Lamb called for a time out and replaced goalie Krissy Nesburg ’04 with a field player.

As play resumed, the Bulldogs successfully passed the ball down field and in front of the Cornell goal. Unable to find the right shot, the Elis were elated to hear the referee’s whistle signal a penalty corner.

The Bulldogs began setting up with less than 15 seconds on the clock, but time expired before they could put the ball in play. However, according to field hockey rules, the game continues until the ball is knocked out of play.

After setting up the formation, the Bulldogs passed and stopped the ball in front of the goal and got off a shot.

But Cornell goalie Kaitlin Tierney blocked it, and Yale’s hopes seemed dashed — until the whistle blew again.

The referees called for another penalty corner, giving the Bulldogs one more chance to tie the game.

But in the final attempt, the Cornell defense quickly cut off Yale’s opportunity and sent the ball out of play.

As in the game against Fairfield last Wednesday, the Bulldogs were ahead 2-0 early in the second half, but seemed helpless as their lead disappeared.

“We can’t be up 2-0 and let them come back,” Lamb said. “It’s unacceptable. We need to be prepared to be up and not keep doing that [getting behind] to ourselves.”

The first half was mostly a defensive battle until Yale opened the scoring with 2:19 remaining.

In a well-executed play, Stephanie Dolmat-Connell ’04 passed the ball from outside the arc to Sarah Driscoll ’05, who quickly shot the ball past a motionless Tierney.

After halftime, the Bulldogs dominated the Big Red offensively, which culminated in a drive to the goal by Driscoll. The Cornell defense was called for a penalty corner, and Tovia Martirosian ’02 drilled the ball toward the goal. Erin Tennyson ’02 controlled the ball and passed to Fran Gardner ’04, who completed the play by scoring at 28:28.

After Yale’s second goal, Cornell started to play with a new sense of urgency. The Big Red scored on a penalty corner at 25:32 and again on a penalty stroke a few minutes later. Cornell received another penalty stroke, but Nesburg made a fantastic save to keep the game even.

But the Big Red remained tough, and went up by one with 9:27 remaining.

Tennyson responded with her own goal two minutes later, tying the game on a pass from Jana Halfon ’04.

However, the Bulldogs could not stop the Cornell offense, which scored the game-winning goal with 5:24 remaining.

Nesburg recorded nine saves, and the Bulldogs outshot the Big Red 21-18, but Cornell’s second-half explosion was too much for the Elis to handle.

“I definitely thought it was a game we should have won,” Dolmat-Connell said. “We let them back in, and we need to realize that we can’t let them come back.”

The Bulldogs will have a chance to redeem themselves Wednesday night when they travel to Worcester, Mass., in a tough match against Holy Cross (6-1). The Crusaders defeated Vermont 7-1, while the Bulldogs slipped past the Catamounts by a 1-0 margin.

“We’re going to work hard in practice,” Dolmat-Connell said. “We’re taking it one game at a time.”

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