Again, the defense was there. Again, the offense was not.
The field hockey team fell to Dartmouth (6-3, 3-1 Ivy) 2-0 on Saturday in Hanover, N.H., for their fourth consecutive Ivy League loss. Despite implementing a new attack-oriented 3-3-3-1 formation, the Big Green outshot the Bulldogs (3-7, 0-4) 23-3 and had 10 penalty corners while the Elis could only muster two. Goaltender Krissy Nesburg ’04 anchored the Eli defense with 10 saves.
Ivy League Player of the Week Carolyn Steele led Dartmouth’s offensive barrage, taking six shots. Including Steele, five different Big Green players equaled or surpassed Yale’s combined efforts in shots.
At this point, the Bulldogs have no one to blame but themselves for their fifth shutout loss.
“I don’t think we’ve answered the problems we’ve had inside the circle,” midfielder Sarah Driscoll ’05 said. “We all have to take it upon ourselves to work on the offense.”
On Saturday, whatever work the Elis had put in on their offense during the week was wiped away, as the Bulldogs failed to capitalize on the few opportunities they had in front of Dartmouth’s goal. Big Green goalie Lauren Balukjian only had to make one save.
“We generated a lot of opportunities, but we weren’t able to get any good shots off,” rookie midfielder Marly Gillece ’06 said.
Big Green forward Lauren Welsh, who took three of Dartmouth’s 23 shots, scored the 41st goal of her career, moving her past field hockey alumna Lauren Scopaz on the all-time scoring list for the Big Green.
Although Dartmouth opened the game with multiple opportunities on offense, the Yale defense did an outstanding job keeping the Big Green at bay in the first half.
“We played really well on defense and Krissy came up with some huge saves,” Driscoll said. “It wasn’t enough though.”
Though Yale took only one shot versus Dartmouth’s 12 through the first half, both teams went into halftime knotted at zero.
After play resumed in the second half, neither team was able to get on the board for 21 minutes.
“We tried to hold them off,” Driscoll said. “But, you have to expect that a team like Dartmouth is going to score.”
With 13:56 remaining in the game, Dartmouth’s Rebekka Stucker found the back of the net for the third time this season to put the Big Green up 1-0. Forward Kelly Storer received credit for the assist. Just 10 minutes later, with an assist from back Lisa Thomas, Welsh added her record-breaking insurance tally.
Despite the disparity in stats, the Bulldogs maintain that the game was a hard-fought affair.
“It was intense and well-played,” Driscoll said. “It’s just frustrating to have a great game and have nothing to show for it.”
Sweeper Meredith Hudson ’05 and Nesburg kept the Elis in the game with their defensive play. Hudson also led the Elis’ attack, notching two of Yale’s three shots.
Nesburg was the chief reason the game remained close.
“Krissy had an amazing game,” Driscoll said. “We knew their corner was threatening and she really shut it down.”
The Bulldogs are working overtime to patch up their team-wide slump this fall.
“Our midfield transition game is getting really strong,” Gillece said. “We just have to work to get the ball into the net.”
Yale has been shut out by their Ivy opponents three times this season. The only goal they have in League play was in a 2-1 loss to Cornell on Sept. 28.
“You would think that our team would be down after our fourth Ivy League loss, but we have a clear focus that we can do better this season,” Gillece said.
The Bulldogs will get their next chance to improve upon their season Oct. 18, when they travel to Stanford, Calif., to play the University of the Pacific.
[ydn-legacy-photo-inline id=”19716″ ]