After losing big to Dartmouth, 4-1, on Oct. 8, the field hockey team may have thought winning the rest of their matchups to earn a berth in the ECAC tournament was a pipe dream. But with three straight wins since then and only three games to go in the regular season, that dream may in fact become a reality.

In their first game since beating Harvard last Sunday, the Elis (6-8, 1-3 Ivy) used the momentum from that victory to force another shutout yesterday, this one against local rival Quinnipiac (9-7). The Bulldogs earned a 2-0 win, led by ten saves from goalkeeper Kate Crandall ’06 and goals from forwards Cat Lindroth ’08 and Katie Rivkin ’06. The team has held its opponents to no more than one goal in four of its last five games.

After a scoreless first half that included four penalty corners for the Bobcats and just one for Yale, the Elis became more aggressive in their play.

“They initially came out fine, but in the second half we were able to gain momentum and keep it in our offensive end,” midfielder Grace Morris ’06 said. “We play Quinnipiac every year. It’s a big rivalry and we knew that they would be out to get us.”

Although Quinnipiac outshot Yale 15-12, strong play from the Bulldog defense and Crandall gave the offense opportunities to score. After a scoreless first three-quarters of the game, the Elis finally converted two such opportunities into goals.

Morris assisted Rivkin’s goal, which came 44 minutes into play. Five minutes later, Lindroth knocked a rebound of her own shot past Bobcats goalkeeper Erin McKay.

“We came out the second half ready to dominate and to win,” Rivkin said. “Kate Crandall played an unbelievable game.”

Crandall said her goal was to keep the ball out of the net so her teammates would not have to play from behind.

“We feed off of each other,” she said. “My goal for the game was to keep our team’s momentum going.”

Re-energized by their winning streak, players said they are looking forward to returning to Ivy play against Penn this Sunday. But several players said they are not as excited about Penn’s field, which they compared to a rough football turf, rather than the smooth surface used at Yale’s Johnson Field.

“We will be practicing on grass for the next few days to get used to how the ball is going to bounce,” defender Heather Orrico ’07 said.

Penn (6-6, 1-2) is ranked fifth in the Ivy League this season, just above Harvard and Yale, who are tied for sixth place. Although the Quakers lost to Harvard, Yale’s most recent Ivy victim, they eked out a win over Dartmouth, who beat the Elis, 4-1, Oct. 8.

“Penn is a tight battle every year. It’s a big game,” Morris said. “We want to win out the rest of our season and the rest of our Ivy games.”

Rivkin said if the team maintains its level of play, it will leave Philadelphia with another victory.

“If we come out as hard as we came out in these past three games, we will definitely be able to come out with a win on Sunday,” she said.