Yale field hockey’s game against No. 5 UConn yesterday proved the Elis can compete on their own terms, even against a top-ranked team.

Although the Bulldogs (0-2, 0-0 Ivy) ended their second game of the season with a 3-1 loss to the Huskies (4-0), Yale played aggressively and maintained control throughout.

“As soon as the whistle blew, we went out on the field, did what we were capable of and showed that we can set the tone of a game against a very good team,” head coach Pam Stuper said. “We always give UConn a very good match, and they are always a very good team.”

With last week’s disappointing 5-0 loss against Providence (3-2) fresh in their minds, the Elis hoped to play competitively against the Huskies. “Last Sunday was a tough game,” forward Ashley McCauley ’10 said. “We wanted to come out and show what we could do today, and set the tone of the game by putting a lot of pressure on them, and making them play our game.”

The Huskies ended the first half up 2-0, with a 14-1 edge in shots, and scored their third goal seven minutes into the second half. With 20 minutes left, Yale’s Dinah Landshut ’12 scored off of a corner. The Bulldogs held off the Huskies for the rest of the game, which ended with 22 UConn shots to Yale’s six.

“UConn will always come out hard and be a tough team,” McCauley said. “Their skills are great, so we just played smart and played together, and we did what we were hoping to do.”

Stuper was similarly pleased with her team’s performance. “We came out better than we ever have to start the game, and with very good skill, good poise, and sticking to the game plan.”

After an intense preseason, the team is glad its game has improved. Landshut, who has come to Yale from Hamburg, Germany, said she was really glad that it appeared the team’s preseason work was paying dividends. She has already asserted herself as an important member of the team, though not without some minor growing pains.

“It took some time to adjust to everything, because life in Germany is quite different, but I really love this place,” she said. Landshut is one of five freshmen who have seen significant action in the season’s first two games.

“The freshman are great,” McCauley said. “On the field and off the field they’re really holding their own under the pressure.”

The Bulldogs are now looking ahead to future matchups, including their first Ivy game, against Harvard on Sept. 20, and a meeting with No. 1 UNC.