After a three-game skid, the field hockey team notched its second win of the season last Sunday, a 2-1 contest against Georgetown University. The Bulldogs were proud of their performance and of the level of execution they showed both offensively and defensively in securing a victory.
Now the Elis want more.
“I definitely think we’re going to be going for it,” defender Emily Palilonis ’07 said. “We want to win the Ivy League, which is anyone’s game, and we’re looking to get our first Ivy win. We’re definitely taking this game seriously.”
Yale (2-3, 0-1 Ivy) travels to Ithaca this Saturday for its second Ivy matchup of the season — against Cornell (1-4, 0-2 Ivy). With a win, the Elis would climb to .500 in both the overall rankings and the Ivy standings.
Cornell will likely be the weakest team the Elis have faced. The Big Red has been outshot 103-47 in its five matchups thusfar, and its opponents have taken 56 penalty corners to its 19.
Cornell finished its 2003 season 3-13, and it returned only seven letterwinners from that team. Only one member of the 2003 Big Red squad was named to an All-Ivy Team — midfielder Karleigh Burns ’04 — and she has since graduated.
However, while Cornell seems unimpressive on paper, it has shown itself capable of playing close games this season. Two of the Big Red’s four losses have come by only one goal, and another was lost by two.
Cornell is also coming off of an extremely well-played match, even though the final result was a loss. Last Saturday, against Penn, the Big Red played an extremely strong first half, holding the Quakers to four shots and two penalty corners en route to ending the first half with a 1-0 lead.
However, a strong offensive push from Penn in the second half — featuring 11 shots and 12 penalty corners — allowed the Quakers to knot up the score at one apiece, and that score would stand until the end of regulation. Slightly over two minutes into overtime, Penn notched the game-winning goal.
Despite Cornell being a less-than-formidable foe, the Bulldogs said they are aware that they cannot afford to take anything for granted this Saturday.
“Of course we’re not going to take it easy,” forward Meredith Howell ’05 said. “We’re going out for our first Ivy win, which is a huge step in the right direction. With Princeton’s loss last weekend, the league is wide open — every Ivy game is an important game.”
The Eli gameplan for this weekend’s game is simple — get on the board first. In only one of their five matches — last Sunday’s 2-1 defeat of Georgetown — have the Bulldogs scored the first goal. The Elis feel that they must assert themselves early in the game to establish their pace and style of play.
“We’ve adjusted our system a little bit,” midfielder Lindsay Collins ’07 said. “We look to attack early and put the first goal in the net — that’s the goal for this weekend.”
Coming off last weekend’s win over Georgetown, the Elis feel good about their prospects, both this weekend and for the rest of the season. However, the Bulldogs are very hungry for another win.
“We want [to win] really badly,” Collins said. “We’re below .500 now, and obviously our goal is to always be above .500. We have the ability and we need to get there this weekend.”
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