Yale’s women’s ice hockey team showed character this weekend against Ivy League competitor Princeton in a bitter battle at Ingalls Rink on Saturday. The Bulldogs came from behind to tie up the game twice before ultimately falling to the Tigers 3-2 in the final period of play. The loss bumped the Elis’ record to 3-4-2, 1-2-0 ECAC while Princeton improved to 7-3, 1-2-0 ECAC.

Yale head coach Hilary Witt attributed the loss to the Tigers to a less-than-stellar start.

“We played well in the second and third period,” Witt said. “If we had played the first period the way we played the second and third, we could have won the game.”

One major reason behind the Elis’ loss was the domination of Princeton forward Gretchen Anderson, who pegged a hat trick during the match. Elis agreed that had they been able to isolate Anderson and shut down her offense, the end result might have been different.

“Gretchen [Anderson] is a very good player and knows how to elevate her game to push her team over the edge in close games,” forward Nicole Symington ’05 said. “She is just one player though, and I feel that a better team performance on our part could have done better to nullify her efforts.”

The first period began on a sour note, as Anderson scored her first goal of the evening less than four minutes into play. Princeton defenders Angela Gooldy and Dina McCumber assisted on the goal.

The Bulldogs matched Anderson’s score when forward Suzanne McGoey ’05 punched a shot past Princeton goalie Megan Van Beuwsekom on a power play goal. Rookie forwards Kelsey Johnson ’07 and Kristin Savard ’07 were both given assists on the play.

The game stalemated until Anderson regained the lead for the Tigers on an unassisted goal at 16:26 of the second period. Yale was unable to score in the second, despite mustering a number of viable offensive attacks.

Yale tied up the game for the second time when forward Deena Caplette ’06 scored at 4:17 of the third period off of an assist from forward Jenna Spring ’07.

“Despite being down a goal, we found a way to come back twice,” forward Erin Duggan ’05 said. “We didn’t give up, and that is something in the past that I haven’t seen in this team.”

But Yale’s resilience was not enough to hold off Anderson. The Tiger forward clinched the win for Princeton with her hat trick goal at 14:57 in third period.

“I thought we showed good patience in the game buying our time and capitalizing on their mistakes,” Symington said. “Unfortunately we made one more than they did at the end of the game.”

Yale goalie Sarah Love ’06 had another strong performance for the Bulldogs, tallying 20 saves in the game. Princeton’s Van Beusekom racked up 22 saves for the Tigers.

“Sarah Love continues to play well for us,” Duggan said. “She definitely made a couple of clutch saves to keep us close.”

The Bulldogs will get a chance to improve on Saturday’s loss this week in matchups against UConn on Thursday and Quinnipiac on Friday.

“In order to win the close games we need to be able to turn the tables, make fewer mistakes, and be more opportunistic with the ones that the other team makes,” Symington said. “We especially need to make our power play more effective.”

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