This Sunday will be a true test of character for members of the field hockey team, who will travel to Philadelphia to take on the Pennsylvania Quakers at Franklin Field.
The Quakers (9-4, 3-1 Ivy) , currently headed for a school-record eight straight wins and a shot at the Ivy title, will be no easy opponent for the Elis (7-6, 2-2 Ivy).
“Penn is having a great season, and our team will respect their momentum,” defender Marly Gillece ’06 said. “However, we started our own winning streak last night, and we intend to continue victoriously until the end of this season.”
Building off a 4-1 victory against Holy Cross in Boston on Wednesday, the Bulldogs are cruising with momentum of their own. But Yale must win its remaining four games in order to secure a shot at a postseason. With such high stakes on the line for both teams, Sunday’s matchup promises to be a fierce one.
“If we want to win, we need to continue to play to dominate for the entire 70 minutes like we did against Boston,” midfielder Heather Orrico ’07 said. “If we go in with that kind of mentality, we will win on Sunday and from here on out.”
On the defensive side, the Bulldogs will have to guard against Penn junior Liz Lorelli, a returning All-Ivy forward who currently leads the league in goals with 13 and points with 29 and is averaging over one goal per game. The defensive play of All-Ivy goalkeeper Spike Nesburg ’04 will be crucial as well.
The Bulldogs need to limit the number penalty corners allowed. Two of the goals the Crimson scored in a 3-0 shutout against Yale on Oct. 18 came off penalty shots. But Yale has been equally adept at earning penalty corners in a majority of its matches this season and has a substantial statistical advantage — 109 to 78 — over the Quakers in this category.
On offense, the Bulldogs agree that their frontline must take quick shots on goal. The Elis’ leading scorer, Jana Halfon ’04 and midfielder Sarah Driscoll ’05, two integral parts of the Elis’ scoring unit this season, will also be key to a Bulldog victory on Sunday.
“We will need our midfielders to step it up in the offensive end big time,” Gillece said. “I especially expect good things from our links Driscoll and Halfon.”
The Bulldogs are confident that they will come out victorious if they stick to their game plan and dominate Penn for the entirety of the match.
“We need to come out on fire and put them on their butts early in the first half,” Gillece said. “If we then dominate the rest of the game, we should come out on top.”
[ydn-legacy-photo-inline id=”19104″ ]