Some teams have all the luck.
The Yale field hockey squad, unfortunately, is not one of them.
After 70 hard-fought minutes against a top Ivy opponent, the Bulldogs went home shaking their heads once again after an unlikely play ended the game just minutes into overtime.
Yale (6-7, 0-4 Ivy) traveled to Philadelphia Saturday, where the University of Pennsylvania (5-8, 3-1 Ivy) handed them a 2-1 loss — the Bulldogs’ third overtime defeat in the last five games.
The Elis battled Penn for the entire game, holding the Quakers to just one goal in regulation. Quaker Monique Horshaw scored at 30:13, but the Bulldog defense, led by goalkeeper Krissy Nesburg ’04, held Penn scoreless for 66 minutes until the game-winning shot.
In the second half, captain Caroline Thompson ’02 answered on a penalty corner at 29:07, assisted by Jana Halfon ’04 and Sarah Driscoll ’05.
The Yale offense was, however, stifled for much of the game. The Bulldogs’ 11 shots and six corners fell well short of the numbers head coach Ainslee Lamb had set as goals for the team before the game. Thompson said that she was disappointed by a long offensive lull in the second half, a problem that has become common for the Bulldog offense of late.
“There was a definite drought of shots,” Thompson said.
The two teams entered overtime tied at one apiece. Penn’s Kylee Jacobowski quickly ended the deadlock with a strange goal just 1:15 into the overtime period.
Jacobowski came running towards the goal and shot the ball. But Nesburg was unsure whether Jacobowski’s feet were within the circle. In field hockey, a player must be inside the circle in order to score a goal.
“The lines were a little unclear,” Nesburg said.
This, combined with the fact that the ball appeared to be going out of bounds, caused Nesburg to let the ball roll past her intentionally. But the ball apparently deflected off a Yale stick into the goal, giving the Quakers the victory.
Thompson said that she and her teammates were confused at the end of the game, thinking Jacobowski was outside the shooting circle when she shot.
“We didn’t know it was a shot,” she said. “I think everyone walked off the field in shock.”
It was yet another disappointing loss in what has been a season of bad breaks. Yale is 1-4 in overtime this season. The Bulldogs last lost in overtime to Boston College Oct. 13 when a crowd of players screened Yale’s goal, allowing the Eagles to score.
The coaches and players are keeping a positive attitude as they wait for fortune to turn in their favor.
“I don’t think we’ve been in any slump,” Thompson said. “I think that [Penn’s victory] was just luck, and that’s something we need.”
Yale will visit Columbia University Wednesday in a game that has gained greater importance because Yale, despite playing well against Ivy League opponents this season, is still winless against Ancient Eight teams.
The Bulldogs now feel they have to prove that they are a better team than their record indicates.
“It is absolutely necessary that we win on Wednesday,” Nesburg said. “And we will.”