If there was a 12th man award in field hockey, it would have gone to forward Katie Rivkin ’06 this weekend.
Sunday, Rivkin came off the bench to score both goals in Yale’s 2-1 victory over Georgetown University. Saturday, Rivkin netted the Elis’ only tally in a 3-1 loss to No. 13 American University.
“It felt great, especially since I had come off of not being able to play in the first couple of games because I was recovering from surgery,” Rivkin said. “It was great to be back on the field and making a difference out there.”
Sunday’s matchup was a respite from the string of extremely tough opponent the Elis had been facing. After taking on Holy Cross Sept. 5, Princeton Sept. 11 and American this past Saturday. The Elis (2-3, 0-1 Ivy) dominated first-half play, outshooting the Hoyas 10-4 and drawing six penalty corners compared with Georgetown’s three.
The Bulldogs drew first blood with 14:14 remaining in the first half, when Rivkin scored an unassisted goal. About 10 minutes later, with 5:22 remaining in the half, Rivkin notched her second score of the day off of an Eli penalty corner opportunity.
Several team members were happy with the offensive improvement, but said the Bulldogs could have converted many more of their opportunities into goals.
“We did a better job connecting and scoring, but we need to score more,” defender Heather Orrico ’07 said. “We clearly dominated, but we need to capitalize on more of our opportunities.”
The second half saw the Hoyas come back reenergized and determined to get on the board. Georgetown stayed dead even with the Elis throughout the half, taking four penalty corners to the Bulldogs’ five and only taking two less shots than Yale — 6-8.
The renewed offensive paid off for the Hoyas when with 23:43 remaining in the half, forward Lindsay Fisher netted an unassisted goal to reduce the Eli lead to one.
However, showing defensive discipline that was lacking at times in last weekend’s matchup against Princeton, the Bulldogs denied the Hoyas for the remainder of the game.
“We did a better job of getting out of the defensive end, and we a did a better job of being poised but at the same time strong and aggresive,” Orrico said.
Saturday’s loss, while disappointing, saw much better play from the Elis than they showed in previous losses. The two-goal margin by which American won the game is the same margin by which they beat No. 19 Northwestern University and No. 11 Richmond University, both nationally ranked teams.
American scored all of its three goals in a 15-minute period during the first half. The first two were both scored on penalty corners, one with 21:01 remaining in the half and another with 14:06 to go. The final goal was netted by junior midfielder Shannon Goans, who was recently named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week. Goans found the net with 6:53 remaining in the half off an assist from midfielder Tiffany Carter.
After she allowed three goals in the first half, Eli netminder Kate Crandall ’06 was replaced by Elizabeth Friedlander ’07, who made six second-half saves to keep American from adding to its lead.
Rivkin’s goal came with 13:28 left in the second half, when she deflected a penalty corner shot from defender Meredith Hudson ’05 over Eagle goalie Allison Fayfich.
Several players said the loss was an indication of potential that the team is beginning to unlock.
“Our biggest weakness is that we play 35 minutes of good field hockey instead of 70,” Orrico said. “Against American, the first half was bad, but we won the second half outright. We came out knowing we can play a top twenty team — we just have to play the whole game.”
With Princeton’s loss to Dartmouth this weekend, the Ivy League championship race is very much alive, and the Elis feel that they are in good position to make a run for the title coming off of this weekend’s action.
“We feel pretty strong right now,” midfielder Lindsay Collins ’07 said. “It’s nice to have two wins under our belts. This week, we can work on our mistakes from this weekend and fine-tune our game for Cornell [this coming weekend].
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