With weeks of dedication and half the season now behind them, the members of the field hockey team are finally seeing the results they have been working for.
The Bulldogs (4-5, 0-2 Ivy) picked up a 1-0 win at Quinnipiac (1-9) on Friday night, their second shutout in a row. But the weekend’s triumphs were not yet over. The squad returned to Johnson Field on Sunday afternoon and blew away Sacred Heart (2-8) in a decisive 5-2 victory, putting the Elis on a season-high three-game winning streak.
“On Friday — put it this way — we won,” head coach Pam Stuper said. “It wasn’t our finest performance, but we came up with the win we needed.”
The Hamden showdown between the Bulldogs and the Bobcats began slowly. In fact, the first half was entirely scoreless, although Quinnipiac held a significant shot advantage over the Bulldogs, with 12 attempts to the Elis’ three at halftime. But goalkeeper Charlotte Goins ’10 stymied the Bobcats’ offensive attempts, stopping seven shots on goal in the first 35 minutes. Quinnipiac also held the edge in penalty corners, with seven as opposed to the Bulldogs’ four.
But entering the second half, the Elis suddenly found their offensive stride, thanks in part to the shuffling that brought defensive back Stephanie Colantonio ’10 up to the forward slot. And finally, after almost an hour of scoreless play, midfielder Katie Cantore ’10 slipped one past Bobcats goalie Jenna Grossman off an assist from back Beth Raveche ’08, putting the Elis on the board at 54:38. Neither team would score again, giving the Bulldogs their second victory in as many games and leaving Goins with an impressive 170:30 scoreless streak. But in spite of the win, the Bulldogs still felt there was room for improvement.
“On Friday, we really didn’t play together as much as we could have, and it showed,” forward Ashley McCauley ’10 said. “Sunday’s game was much more of a team effort, and we were able to dominate the game because we were there for each other.”
The Elis came out strongly against the Pioneers, taking control early on and putting themselves on the board just 10:15 into the match, when forward Cat Lindroth ’08 beat out Sacred Heart goaltender Kristen McIntire off a pass from McCauley. That first goal opened the door for an offensive onslaught, and seven minutes later McCauley notched a goal of her own when she made an unassisted shot that trickled into the left corner of the net. And at 20:45, off a pass from captain Harriet Thayer ’08, McCauley scored again, giving the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead.
But Sacred Heart wasn’t ready to give in, and at 23:27, Carisa Eye managed to beat out Goins at last, snapping her scoreless streak and putting the Pioneers on the board. The whistle blew twelve minutes later with the score still at 3-1, ending a half in which the Bulldogs dominated offensively, with 16 shots to the Pioneers’ six.
The second half was equally triumphant for the Elis, who took advantage of a string of Sacred Heart corners to keep momentum going in their favor. It was McCauley who eventually beat out McIntire yet again at 51:50 for her third goal of the game.
After Sacred Heart called a timeout, the Bulldogs snapped right back. Lindroth snagged the ball off the Pioneers’ pass back and drove left before feeding it to McCauley, who scored once more to give the Bulldogs a comfortable 5-1 lead.
“Cat’s an intense player, and she’s very, very focused,” Stuper said. “We talked about how to keep her in the right place, and today she played how she’s capable of playing. She made them pay for their timeout. For me, it was one of the defining moments of the game.”
Sacred Heart fought until the end, and managed to notch another goal when midfielder Katie Bohren slipped the ball past Goins at 55:32. But the lead the Bulldogs had was more than enough, and the whistle blew fifteen minutes later with the final score a solid Eli win at 5-2.
“It feels great to be on a three-game winning streak,” Cantore said. “We will now have to take the momentum that we have and continue to keep it throughout the week in practice, so that we can go into this Saturday’s game against Dartmouth and, taking the lessons we’ve learned from the season so far, come up with a win.”