The field hockey team came into Wednesday night’s game against Quinnipiac with a clear goal in mind: play a strong second half. Head coach Ainslee Lamb wanted her team to reverse the trend of faltering late in the game, as the Bulldogs had in overtime against Dartmouth Saturday.
Yale (5-5, 0-3 Ivy) did play strong for much of the second half en route to a 4-0 victory over the visiting Braves on a chilly night at Johnston Field. Jana Halfon ’04 notched two goals, while Stephanie Dolmat-Connell ’04 and Erin Tennyson ’02 completed the scoring for the Bulldogs.
“We definitely dominated play tonight,” Lamb said. “We played a good first half.”
Yale’s offense overwhelmed Quinnipiac (8-3, 8-1), a team that had been riding an eight game winning streak, the longest in the history of the program. The Bulldogs outshot the Braves 18-9.
Halfon opened the scoring for the Bulldogs with unassisted goals at 22:32 and 16:29. The first half ended with Yale comfortably ahead 2-0.
Yale began the second half playing lackadaisically until Lamb called a timeout. That stoppage, players said, helped the Elis refocus.
“The timeout in the second half really helped us pick it up,” Tennyson said.
After the timeout, Dolmat-Connell scored at 16:48, assisted by captain Caroline Thompson ’02. Following the Bulldogs’ third goal, another lull ensued, during which Quinnipiac controlled much of the play. Tennyson reclaimed the momentum for Yale, putting a rebound past Brave goaltender Sarah Mathers at 3:21 to make the score 4-0.
Scoreless early in the season, both Halfon and Dolmat-Connell have led the Bulldogs offense recently. The two have combined for eight goals and two assists in the last four games.
Yale’s ability to score in the second half was encouraging to the team’s players, but many had reservations about their second half performance.
“There is still room for improvement, though we turned it on more than we have in the past few games,” Tennyson said.
Lamb said she was especially troubled by Yale’s weak play after going ahead 3-0 early in the second half. She pointed to the penalty corner that Quinnipiac earned right after Dolmat-Connell’s goal.
“My concern is that there were still lulls,” Lamb said. “Within ten seconds they had an opportunity to score. We can’t give teams the opportunity to offset our goals like that.”
Tennyson said Yale’s problem during the second half was more likely psychological than physical.
“We are in just as good or better shape than any of our opponents,” she said. “It’s not conditioning, but it’s more of a mental thing that we need to work on.”
The Bulldogs will look to go above .500 as they travel to Boston College Saturday.