The field hockey team will take its beleaguered East Coast offense to Palo Alto, Calif., this weekend for a two game non-conference series versus Pacific and Stanford.
The Bulldogs (3-7) have struggled to find its attack game all season, meriting an eighth-place ranking for every offensive category in the Ivy League. This season, Yale has been outshot 159-87 and out-cornered 100-59.
The offense, however sparse, is spread evenly. Eight different players have scored Yale’s eight goals. Midfielder Sarah Driscoll ’05 leads the team with four points and sweeper Meredith Hudson ’05 ranks 10th in the league with 2.90 shots per game. Hudson is the only Eli player to crack the top 10 in any individual offensive category in the league.
Krissy Nesburg ’04, Yale’s most consistent performer, has played every minute of every game this fall and has 86 saves in 10 games, good for 18th in the nation.
When the Bulldogs face off against Pacific today (1-10), it will mark the first time this season that Yale will play a team with a lower winning percentage. After opening their season with a 2-1 win versus Rutgers, the Tigers spiraled downward, failing to notch another victory. Pacific, the least challenging squad on the Eli schedule, provides Yale with an opportunity for a cheap win.
Stanford, however, will pose a bigger problem for the Bulldogs. Though the Cardinals (8-8) have fought to stay above .500 all season, they remain in contention for the NorPac West Division title, just percentage points behind California in their league standings.
Against the Cardinals, the Bulldogs will have to contend with a formidable backfield, led by goalies Ana Kralovec and Emily Zander, who have combined for six shutouts. The Stanford attack is similarly unrelenting, outshooting its opponents (250-130) in 14 of its first 16 games. Sweeper Amrit Chima has had a breakout season, leading the Cardinals with 17 points and 55 shots.
If the Bulldogs want to right their regular season woes, they will have to find a way to generate more offensive chances against Pacific and contain Stanford’s stars.