The field hockey team’s drought is finally over.
Held scoreless for more than 180 consecutive minutes over four games, the Bulldog (3-6, 0-3 Ivy) offense came alive in a 3-2 win over Quinnipiac University (8-7) with help from a new offensive formation.
“It felt great,” Bridget Henn ’06 said. “It was awesome being on top at the end of the game.”
But the game at Yale’s Johnson Field did not begin so smoothly for Yale.
Seven minutes into the game, Quinnipiac forward Meredith Klein took a crisp pass from midfielder Courtney Ryan and launched it into the net to put the Bobcats on the board.
But Yale again implemented its new 3-3-1 offensive formation, which places an extra forward on the frontline, and it finally paid off. Yale first changed its lineup against Boston University Oct. 5.
With the clock at 20:12, midfielder Jana Halfon ’04 capitalized on a penalty corner, recording Yale’s first goal in 10 days. From the left side of the goal, Halfon managed to swiftly redirect a feed from Meredith Hudson ’05 to tie the game 1-1.
Yale took the lead with 8:45 remaining in the first half on a stroke by rookie midfielder Henn that squeaked through the legs of Bobcat goalie Erin McKay.
“The ball went out to [Sarah] Driscoll ’05, and she crossed it over,” Henn said. “And I pushed it in.”
It was the Bulldogs’ first lead since Sept. 22, when they beat the University of Vermont, 2-1.
After 23 minutes of scoreless ball at the beginning of the second half, Meredith Howell ’05 extended Yale’s lead with an unassisted tally.
Though Quinnipiac’s Klein added her second goal of the game with eight minutes left in regulation, the stingy Bulldogs defense snuffed out any possibility of a late-game rally.
“They were trying to stage a comeback, but our defense was awesome,” Henn said.
Eli goalie Krissy Nesburg ’04, the league leader in saves, had her easiest game of the season, only needing to make two saves.
The win marks Yale’s third straight victory over their Connecticut rival, the Bobcats. The Bulldogs have outscored Quinnipiac 11 to three during the past three seasons.
In its third season victory, Yale showed signs of offensive improvement. While Quinnipiac depended heavily on the play-making ability of Klein, who earned four points in the game, Yale spread its offense, getting contributions from five distinct players.
With half the fall season now complete, Yale can still complete the year with a winning record. The Elis will aim for their second straight victory for the first time this season Saturday at Dartmouth (5-3, 2-1 Ivy).
The Bulldogs are winless in their three games against Ivy League opponents. And the Big Green pose a serious challenge for the Bulldogs — Dartmouth is currently fourth in the league and Yale is last.
Yale currently ranks last in every offensive category in the Ivy League. Yale has scored only eight goals this season, but has allowed 28.
“We want to play better as a unit and try to produce more offense,” Henn said.
To compete, the Elis must contain Dartmouth’s Ivy Player of the Week Caroline Steele, a dynamic midfielder who recorded a career-high six points in a 4-3 win over Penn Oct 5. Dartmouth also boasts the league’s strongest defense, a problem for Yale’s sluggish attack.