A pair of weekend games proved to be a microcosm of the season thus far for the field hockey team.
Saturday, the Bulldogs faltered once again late, falling in overtime to Boston College, 3-2. But the next day Yale (6-6, 0-3 Ivy) bounced back and won in convincing fashion over Bucknell, 4-1. The two games demonstrated both the inconsistency in the Elis’ play this season and their potential as they ready for the bulk of the Ivy schedule.
The Bulldogs dominated the second half in Chestnut Hill, Mass., Saturday, and scored twice to force overtime, only to lose in the first two minutes of extra time.
Yale opened the game slowly, as Boston College’s Amelie Wulff scored the only goal of the first half at 31:59. The Bulldogs’ slow start was somewhat uncharacteristic, for they have recently played well in the first half but have faded late.
“I think that our first half could have been a lot better,” captain Caroline Thompson ’02 said.
Wulff scored again early in the second half, but Jana Halfon ’04 answered with goals at 16:45 and 12:33 to knot the score at 2-2. Heading into overtime, Yale seemed to have momentum on its side.
But just 2:06 into sudden death, Boston College’s Kerri Kulesza took advantage of a scramble in front of the goal and scored to give the Eagles a 3-2 victory. This makes the second overtime loss in three games for the Bulldogs. Yale fell on penalty strokes to No. 19 Dartmouth last Saturday.
Sarah Driscoll ’05 said that the team broke down mentally during the overtime.
“We let down for a few minutes,” she said. “We were too flat and not excited enough.”
Thompson said that the Bulldogs’ play left something to desired, but credited the Eagles’ offense for scoring when it mattered.
“They capitalized on a good pull,” she said. “Their attacker beat our defender. It was a good move.”
Despite the disappointing loss and a slow start against Bucknell, Yale dominated the Bisons Sunday, winning 4-1 at Johnson Field. Bucknell’s Lisa Bingaman opened the game with a goal at 29:28, and the Bulldogs trailed for much of the first half.
Thompson evened the score at 1-1 with an unassisted goal at 6:26, and from there, the Elis never looked back.
Suzanne Anthony ’03 scored at 16:59, assisted by Driscoll. Driscoll and Stephanie Dolmat-Connell ’04 then closed the game out with unassisted goals at 8:03 and 3:30, respectively.
Driscoll said that the win improved the team’s confidence, especially after the recent overtime losses.
Thompson said she was happy with the Elis’ ability to come back and win the day after a dramatic loss.
“It was pretty big,” she said. “This weekend was a test to see if we could play back-to-back games.”
Driscoll said Yale’s two-touch passing offense, in which players try to keep the ball moving quickly, was key to its win over Bucknell and to its ability to stay close to Boston College.
In her rookie season, Driscoll has established herself as one of the Bulldogs’ most potent offensive weapons. With four goals and six assists, she is second on the team in points to Halfon.
“It has been really exciting this year,” she said. “I feel really lucky to work with the people I’m working with. I’m just happy to add something to this team.”
The Bulldogs begin a pivotal stretch Saturday when they face the University of Pennsylvania. Four of Yale’s five remaining games will be Ivy League contests, in which the team is still winless this year.
Thompson said the team is up for the challenge, however.
“Never assume anything,” Thompson said. “The fact that we have been able to bring [Dartmouth and Boston colleges] into overtime shows that we are capable of beating a top-20 team.”