It may not have been the fall the field hockey team was going for, but the Bulldogs showed this weekend they know how to finish strong.

The Elis (7-10, 2-5 Ivy) ended their 2004 season in dramatic form, topping Brown (6-11, 2-5), 3-2, in overtime Saturday in Providence, R.I.. The victory marked the team’s third overtime win in four trips past regulation this fall.

“It’s really the way we would have wanted it,” midfielder Lindsay Collins ’07 said. “It makes the season as a whole seem so much better.”

The Bulldogs came out strong and got on the board less than eight minutes into the game when forward Catherine Lindroth ’08 scored her second goal of the season.

But the Bears would go on to take control of the first half, outshooting the Elis 8-6. Only two minutes after Lindroth’s goal, at 9:47, Brown tied the game on its only penalty corner of the first frame. Forward Brooke Townsend took a straight shot on forward Samantha Lloyd’s push-in and midfielder Julia Kelderman’s stop that went past Yale goaltender Kate Crandall ’06 for the tying score.

Less than seven minutes later, 16:14 into the game, forward Ani Kazarian notched an unassisted goal to put the Bears on top, 2-1.

At halftime, with the Elis down only one score, coach Ainslee Lamb tried to appeal to the emotional element present in the contest.

“She made a point of how it was the last time for this group to play together, and how that was exciting, sad and emotional,” midfielder Grace Morris ’06 said. “She basically told us that we wanted it more than they did, and that we had to just go out there.”

The Bulldogs came out firing and knotted the game at two apiece 9:30 into the second half. Midfielder Sarah Driscoll ’05 took a clear out of the Yale end and moved the ball down the field before notching an unassisted goal past Evelyn Brosi. Brosi came off the bench to relieve starter Katie Noe shortly after Lindroth’s goal.

Brown outshot the Elis 8-5 in the second period and took six corners to the Bulldogs’ one. But the Bears were held scoreless thanks to the combined efforts of the Bulldog defense, the defensive penalty corner unit and Crandall in goal. Crandall made several saves en route to amassing a total of 11 for the day.

“[The defense] was definitely a huge factor,” forward Katie Rivkin ’06 said. “The defense really stepped up throughout the whole game but especially on all of those corners. They were just hammered on one after the other. The fact that they never let up led to the positive outcome of the game.”

The 2-2 mark would hold until the end of regulation. In overtime, the Elis took command, outshooting the Bears 6-2.

Seven minutes into overtime, Driscoll ended both the game and her Yale career with her second unassisted score of the contest. Midfielder Harriet Thayer ’08 took a defensive clear down the right sideline, passed the ball off to Collins further down the line, got the ball back and found Driscoll in front of the net. Driscoll evaded a defender before reverse sweeping the ball into the net.

“She had a phenomenal game, just like she always does,” forward Meredith Howell ’05 said. “Her passion carries the team.”

The Elis said that the win was due to a combination of strong play and a last-game mindset.

“I think a lot of it was the mentality,” Collins said. “We weren’t going out with a loss. And that translated into our play.”

Saturday’s contest marked the final games for five seniors — Driscoll, captain Chrissy Hall, Howell, Hudson and forward Buffy Topp. The seniors said that, while they were proud of the win, there was a bittersweet feeling in ending their Yale field hockey careers.

“There’s things that I’ll look forward to in the spring, like free time alone,” Howell said. “But in a heartbeat I’d go back and do it all over again.”

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