Nearly halfway through its season, the field hockey team got the big win it had been waiting for.

But last weekend’s historic victory against Cornell, which gave the Elis their first Ivy win this year and their first road win against the Big Red in 20 years, was short-lived.

The Bulldogs (2-6, 1-1 Ivy) could not sustain their momentum Wednesday night, when they lost a tight battle, 3-2, against Sacred Heart at home. Yale returns to Johnson Field this Sunday afternoon to take on Holy Cross (6-3) in their third home game of the season and their last before a four game road-trip. Although the Crusaders are non-league competition, the contest will serve as an important tune-up for the Elis’ next Ivy battle against Dartmouth on October 7.

Forward Alyssa Jethani ’09 said her team will not let one loss get in the way of finishing the season strong.

“We’re going to step it up,” she said. “We know we’re going to work that much harder. We need to pick up our level of play and come out hard like we did against Cornell.”

After winning their season opener against VCU, 3-0, on Sept. 1, the Bulldogs lost their first Ivy League game, 2-1, to Princeton one week later. The Tigers are currently tied with Brown for first place in the league, while the Bulldogs are neck-in-neck with Penn in fourth. Holy Cross defeated Harvard, which is ranked at the bottom of the Ivy standings, 3-0, in a game on Sept. 16.

This weekend, Yale’s defense must try to shut down senior forward Tara Welch and senior midfielder Laura Cohen. Welch recently became the all-time Holy Cross career leader in both goals and points scored, while Cohen scored nine points in one week earlier this season with a hat trick against Siena and a goal and an assist in the Harvard game. Offensively, the Bulldogs have to get by sophomore goalkeeper Erin Singleton, who has recorded four shut-outs so far this season.

The Bulldogs will look to midfielder Rachel Lentz ’07, who has gone four-for-four in goals per game for the Elis this season, and midfielders Harriet Thayer ’08 and Cat Lindroth ’08, who have two goals each, for scoring opportunities this weekend.

Following their tough game against the Pioneers, the Elis had a day off yesterday and will return to practice this weekend. Goalkeeper Charlotte Goins ’10 said head coach Pam Stuper and her staff wanted the players to recuperate physically and mentally.

“We’re trying to get back our momentum,” Goins said. “We need to get back to where we were and how we felt after the Cornell game.”