On Friday night in Manhattan, it was raining eggs. During the Yale-Columbia field hockey contest at Columbia’s Wien Stadium, a group of Columbia students bombarded the players with raw eggs, forcing officials to halt play. The debauchery of the Halloween pranksters, however, did not deter Yale from demolishing the Columbia Lions 5-0.
The win marked the third straight Eli victory, improving their record to 9-6 overall and 4-2 in conference play. The Lions (1-15, 0-5 Ivy) have yet to see an Ivy League victory this season.
“This was one of the first times all season where we played to dominate for 70 minutes,” midfielder Meredith Howell ’05 said. “We kept good pressure on their goalie and even surpassed our goal of scoring four times.”
Howell initiated the scoring drive for the Bulldogs just under 21 minutes into the game on an assist from midfielder Sarah Driscoll ’05 off a penalty corner. Captain Francesca Gardner ’04 scored unassisted off a rebound on another corner at 27:02 to increase Yale’s lead to 2-0 at the half.
Despite the lead, the Bulldogs said the pace of the first period of play was too slow for their tastes.
“The first half was slow, but in the second half we picked up the tempo,” midfielder Grace Morris ’05 said. “It was non-stop Yale-paced field hockey after that.”
When play resumed, the Bulldogs continued on their scoring spree. Sweeper Meredith Hudson ’05, converting on a third Yale corner, drove a shot past rookie Lion goalkeeper Kristina George. Driscoll recorded her second assist of the game on the goal, and Jana Halfon ’04 was also credited with an assist on the play. Buffy Topp ’05 added to the Bulldog 3-0 cushion with a goal on a breakaway with 25:28 left in the game.
Backup goalie Kate Crandall ’06 subbed in for veteran Spike Nesburg ’04 with less than eight minutes to play. Crandall recorded the only save of the game for the Elis off a hard hit ball from Columbia’s Kate Mansur.
“[Crandall’s save was crucial in getting the shutout,” Hudson said. “It was great for her to step in and make the big play.”
Yale extended its lead to 5-0 with a goal from Halfon with 5:01 left in the second half. From there, the Bulldogs cruised on to their third straight victory, building necessary momentum for the end of conference play.
Only two games remain in the Bulldogs regular season campaign, with contests against Fairfield and Brown, on Tuesday and Saturday, respectively. The result of these games will be crucial in determining Yale’s chances at seeing postseason play.
“Our goals for the end of the season are to win the final two games and then make and win ECACs,” Howell said. “In the history of the ECAC tournament, there has never been a back-to-back winner so that would be really exciting to accomplish.”