The field hockey team took a page from Steve Spurrier’s book on East Coast offense this weekend as they swept their two-game series in Palo Alto, Calif., versus Pacific and Stanford.
The Bulldogs have struggled mightily all season to get into an offensive groove. After scoring eight goals in their first nine games this fall, the Bulldogs tallied five in the span of 140 minutes this weekend, beating Pacific 3-1 Friday and squeaking past Stanford 2-1 Sunday.
Yale’s attack was spread evenly, as five different players notched each of Yale’s goals. Midfielder Sarah Driscoll ’05 recorded two assists, while teammates Meredith Hudson ’05 and Suzanne Anthony ’04 maintained an aggressive front in the striking circle, sharing the team lead with six shots apiece.
The Bulldogs opened their series with a Friday afternoon game against Pacific (1-11), a squad with offensive woes that rival Yale’s. The Tigers have been in an unending downhill slide after they won their season opener against Rutgers.
Though Yale recorded just nine shots in the game and were outshot 6-4, they capitalized on the few times they created an opportunity in the circle.
Yale started the game with a bang, as midfielder Fran Gardner ’04 took a pass from Anthony and zipped it past goalie Gina Sadler to put Yale up 1-0. After a long offensive drought for both teams, Laura Maurer scored in the opening minutes of the second period to knot the game at one. Momentum swung back over to the Bulldogs as they pieced together an attack. At 49:41, Hudson put Yale up 2-1 with an assist from Driscoll. Two minutes later, midfielder Stephanie Dolmat-Connell ’04 added an unassisted insurance goal.
Since the Tigers have been locked in a season-long losing streak, the Eli women were the clear favorites entering the contest, and their play showed that they knew it.
Riding the high from that win, Yale faced off against Stanford (8-9) yesterday in a tight match. On paper, Stanford was the team with the better numbers. The Cardinal has recorded six shutouts this season whereas Yale has been on the receiving end of five.
The Bulldogs, who have amassed three times fewer shots and goals than Stanford, were out-shot 25-16 and out-cornered 10-6 in yesterday’s contest, but they were not outplayed.
Eli goalie Krissy Nesburg ’04 held Stanford scoreless until 65:59 in the second half when Amanda Billmyer tallied to bring the Cardinal within one.
The Bulldogs opened the offensive flood gates at Varsity Field Hockey Turf, reeling off 10 straight shots. Midfielder Elizabeth Topp ’05 made one count with the clock at 13:19. After Topp’s goal, Yale lowered its guard, letting Stanford take 17 first-half shots. Fortunately, Nesburg, who had an uncharacteristic single digit save total versus Pacific, was in fine form between the pipes yesterday, registering 15 saves. Nesburg is currently ranked 18th in the nation in total saves this season.
Jana Halfon ’04 added the game winner with an unassisted goal at 63:23 to put Yale up 2-0.
The game was marked by backfield excellence, as the two teams combined for five defensive saves.
With this sweep, Yale has won three out of their last four games, an impressive feat, taking into account their teamwide slump earlier this season.
The Bulldogs will try to record their first Ivy win when they play the University of Pennsylvania Oct. 26 at Johnson Field.