Yale’s field hockey team will battle local rival Quinnipiac (4-6) at 7 p.m. tonight at Johnson Field and will try to recover from last Wednesday’s devastating 5-2 loss to No. 11 University of Connecticut (8-3). The Bulldogs (3-5, 1-1 Ivy) have spent the weekend resting, and hope to be fully ready for tonight’s game.
Yale has defeated Quinnipiac for three straight years, outscoring the Bobcats 11 to 3. But the Bulldogs do not plan on taking anything for granted as they compete against a team that has traditionally taken its rivalry with Yale very seriously.
Members of the field hockey team said they were eager for a win after last week’s game, which some Eli players described as “sloppy.”
Midfielder Sarah Driscoll ’05 said the team needed to be motivated from the beginning of the game.
“If we can take anything from [the loss last week to UConn], it’s that we have to come out ready to play,” Driscoll said.
Yale head coach Ainslee Lamb said the Bulldogs were athletically capable of winning, but needed the drive to win.
“Our goal tomorrow is for 24 Yale athletes to be ready to play,” Lamb said.
In some ways, Yale and Quinnipiac are statistically similar — both have losing records this season but both have won games against the University of Vermont (1-11), and lost to Connecticut.
Midfielder Francesca Gardner ’04 said Quinnipiac played very intensely in their game against Vermont.
Driscoll said the Bulldogs are expecting a tough competitor.
“[Quinnipiac] has always been a very good team. I hear they are better than last year,” Driscoll said. “They look at us as Connecticut rivals.”
Lamb said the Bobcats have been erratic, and could present a range of intensity in their play tomorrow.
“Looking at Quinnipiac, there are two different teams. It depends who shows up,” Lamb said. “They have won some games they should not have won and lost some games they should have won.”
Last week, the Eli women said they were concerned that playing on a weekday, after classes, had affected their morale.
But after losing to Connecticut, Yale players said they would try not to let a long day affect their enthusiasm and desire to win.
In practices over the last week, the team has focused on tightening up weaknesses in their game, hoping for a strong effort from both the offense and defense tonight, Driscoll said.
“We have been working on shooting to score and our transition game,” Driscoll said. “Both should be in place [tonight].”
Lamb said the Bulldogs have been working hard and will overcome anything the Bobcats have to offer.
“We are dealing with what we can control, which is our game,” Lamb said. “The desire to win is there, and [the Bulldogs] will bring it.”