The Yale field hockey team continued to show that it does not intend to let a rocky first few games determine the remainder of its season. After starting the season with four losses, the Bulldogs racked up two straight wins in games against Vermont (1-9) and fellow Ivy League competitor Cornell (2-5,1-2 Ivy) this past weekend.
The Bulldogs hosted both teams at Johnson Field, taking on the Wildcats at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday and the Big Red Saturday afternoon. Yale won 3-2 and 4-2 respectively, improving its record to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in the Ivy League. The win against Cornell marked the first time the Bulldogs have been victorious against the Big Red in the last seven years.
Head coach Ainslee Lamb said that she was very proud of her team’s play and improvement this weekend.
“It was a challenge to play back-to-back games, especially with [Vermont] being non-conference,” Lamb said. “Our players have shown that they can play Saturday-Sunday, and that they’re taking this season one game at a time.”
Inclement weather threatened Yale’s game on Sunday with pouring rain and muggy humidity. Heather Orrico ’07 said that despite the pour conditions, the Bulldogs stayed focused on their objectives for the game.
“Once we were all drenched, we pretty much forgot that it was even raining,” Orrico said. “We were just focused on winning, and that was really all we had time to think about.”
The Bulldogs scored first against Vermont with a shot from Jana Halfon ’04. The Cats’ Christie Layden countered quickly with a goal 2:30 later to tie the game.
Lindsay Collins ’07 put Yale back on top at 31:38 of the second half, but Layden once again scored to tie up the score. From that point on, the Bulldog defense held Vermont scoreless.
The Bulldog offense scored twice more. Trish Bissett ’07 deflected in a penalty corner shot from Meredith Hudson ’05 with 4:46 to play to take the lead. Stephanie Dolmat-Connell ’04 contributed another goal with 3:33 to play to clinch the win for Yale.
“In the Vermont game, we were really able to score in really crucial situations,” Meredith Howell ’05 said. “That is something we really haven’t been able to do in past years.”
Veteran goalkeeper Krissy Nesburg ’04 had multiple saves in the game against Vermont, building on the six she racked up the day before against Cornell.
“Krissy had a great game against Vermont,” Orrico said.
The Bulldogs showed their ability to rally in Saturday’s game against Cornell. Yale fell behind in the first half when Big Red freshman Blair Corcoran scored. Cornell captain Karleigh Burns, who assisted on the goal, gained control of the ball on a Yale turnover, dribbling up field and finding Corcoran open on the left side. Corcoran proceeded to drill a goal past Nesburg from five yards out to put the Big Red up 1-0.
The Bulldogs then countered with multiple offensive attacks, including a 2-on-1 breakaway, but they were could not convert anything into a point. With less than 10 minutes left in the half, Burns scored for the Big Red off of a penalty stroke to increase their lead to 2-0. Howell put the Bulldogs on the board for the first time in the game with only 1:33 left in the half. Sarah Driscoll ’05 and Halfon both assisted on Howell’s score.
The Bulldogs picked up the intensity in the second half and started to capitalize on their offensive drives. Halfon and Driscoll again assisted on a goal to tie the game off a penalty stroke from Meredith Hudson ’05 at 30:50. Captain Fran Gardner ’04 sealed the win for Yale on a breakaway goal with 18:48 to play.
“Getting our first Ivy win is huge,” Lamb said. “The fact that we came back from a 2-0 deficit shows great character.”
Yale continues their seven-game home campaign at Johnson Field Wednesday when it hosts Connecticut at 7 p.m.