After a discouraging loss against Harvard on Saturday, Bulldog field hockey returned to Johnson Field on Sunday to gain a substantial win over Sacred Heart.

Constant changes in possession and divisive penalty calls characterized Saturday’s game in Cambridge, Mass.

Yale (2-3, 0-1 Ivy) and Harvard (2-3, 1-0 Ivy) were tied at zero until a penalty corner with 10 minutes left in the second half, when the Crimson’s Carly Dickinson shot past Charlotte Goins ’10 to give her team the only goal it would need.

Yale head coach Pam Stuper attributed the loss to the particularly frantic nature of the game.

“Honestly, it looked more like a tennis match than a field hockey game,” she said.

Stuper said the ball frequently changed sides and possession, which, in addition to some contentious officiating, exasperated some of Yale’s key players.

The matchup between Yale and Harvard has been historically close; the past five years’ games have been decided by only one goal. The two teams had similar numbers of shots and saves on Saturday, making the outcome especially frustrating for many Elis.

“It was a really depressing game,” Dinah Landshut ’12 said. “We didn’t play what we were capable of. There were lots of possibilities, but it just wouldn’t go in.”

Turning around for the game against Sacred Heart, Stuper told her players they needed to learn from Saturday’s game against the Cantabs.

A goal by Alyssa Jethani ’09 10 minutes into the first half ignited the Bulldogs’ scoring explosion.

Four minutes later Landshut scored, and 48 seconds after that Ashley McCauley ’10 shot past the Pioneers’ defense, prompting a frustrated timeout from Sacred Heart.

Sacred Heart’s Amy Hendricks made a goal directly after the break, but McCauley’s two goals, and a final point from Julia Wieser ’10, near the end of the first half gave Yale a significant 6-1 advantage.

“In the first half we did exactly what we wanted to come off of yesterday’s game doing, and that was playing together,” Katie Cantore ’10 said.

Stuper was similarly proud of how the Bulldogs controlled the game and stayed relaxed during the first half.

The Bulldogs’ scoring streak, however, did not continue in the second period, with no goals coming from either team for the rest of the game.

Stuper credited the sudden change to the Pioneers.

“I think it’s a tribute to Sacred Heart,” she said. “They just gained some momentum on us, and we fell back on our heels and had to deal with more of their attack than we had in the first half.”

Whereas Yale had a 14-1 edge in shots in the first period, the Pioneers came back in the second period with eight shots to the Bulldogs’ seven.

A new goalkeeper defended five of those shots. After Goins left the field with a nosebleed, Katie Bolling ’11 stepped into her second game of the season. With several impressive saves, including a diving stop with 15 minutes left, Bolling expertly managed a 26-minute shutout.

“She played phenomenally,” Cantore said. “She was really tested back there. They had a lot of corners and a lot of shots in the second half.”

Stuper added: “I think she is one of our most improved players.”

Overall, Bulldog field hockey was happy to have changed its dynamics after the disappointing loss against Harvard.

“It would not have felt good to end the weekend 0-2,” Cantore said. “We are absolutely happy to have the win.”

Added Landshut: “The difference was what we made of the game.”