The results of last night’s head-on collision between Yale and Quinnipiac marked a turning point in the cross-city rivalry.
For the first time in their last six meetings, Yale fell to the Bobcats, 2-1. Defender Emily Palilonis ’07 scored Yale’s only goal off a penalty corner early in the second half.
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On the heels of a four-game skid, Yale (3-11, 2-3 Ivy) came into the match hoping to reverse its fortunes, but the Elis’ valiant efforts on the field did not yield a win. The Bobcats put up stiff competition, coming into Wednesday’s match with a solid 9-8 record, and having outscored their opponents 17-6 in their last seven games.
Despite coming out of the game with a loss, captain Heather Orrico ’07 said she was extremely proud of the team and applauded the fight they put up until the bitter end.
“This was definitely the best field hockey that we have played in the last two weeks,” Orrico said.
Quinnipiac dominated the circle during the first half of the match, but the Yale defense maintained a strong opposition until sophomore midfielder Lauren Kuchmak tallied a goal for the Bobcats in the 13th minute to light up the scoreboard. After the goal, Yale focused on playing tighter defense but was not able to capitalize on scoring opportunities. Quinnipiac was still leading at halftime, but with Yale’s single-point deficit, it looked like anybody’s game.
A re-energized Yale squad came back after the break determined to level the score, and the Elis’ hightened efforts paid off. Orrico passed the ball to Palilonis, who scooted past the Quinnipiac defense and sent the ball past Bobcat netminder Jenna Grossman to knot the score 1-1 just a minute and a half into the second stanza.
“Emily scored off a corner, and the goal was executed really well,” midfielder Rachel Lentz ’07 said.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, Quinnipac quickly retorted with a second goal in the 12th minute, boosting the team to another single-point lead. The competition was fierce for the last ten minutes of the game, with Yale fighting to recover from the deficit. However, despite repeated attempts to work the ball into their opponents’ circle, the Elis’ efforts did not translate into points. The Bulldogs failed to score on two corners in the last five minutes of the match, giving up their chance to tie the score and handing Quinnipiac the win.
After the neck-and-neck match, Yale head coach Pam Stuper said even though they did not manage a win, the Bulldogs had proved that they were a force to be reckoned with on the field.
“After our heartbreaking losses to Harvard and Boston University, we really came out to play today,” Stuper said. “Every person on the field today came out to play. Anyone who watched the match could see that although Quinnipiac dominated the circle, we dominated the field.”
The Bulldogs, though disheartened, were not crushed by the defeat.
“It was a good game, but games can’t always turn out a win,” Lentz said.
The team is slotted to face Columbia and Brown on the field on Oct. 28 and on Nov. 4, respectively. Orrico said that she is confident that the team can defeat both schools and that the team hopes to end the season with a second place finish in the Ivy League.