If the field hockey team can play the way it did Sunday, the Elis may find the success they want this season, but for now the wins just aren’t coming.
Despite playing a disappointing game Saturday, losing 6-1 to No. 15 Princeton (7-1, 2-0 Ivy), and then falling again to Lock Haven (9-2), 2-1, on Sunday, Yale (2-5, 0-2 Ivy) left the weekend feeling positive about its ability to play cohesively.
Head coach Pam Stuper said she was happy with how her team fought against Lock Haven on Sunday, especially after Saturday’s frustrating loss.
The weekend did not start out well with the rain-drenched game against the Tigers. Five minutes into the first half, Princeton’s Katie Reinprecht shot the ball just past goalie Charlotte Goins’ foot, giving the Tigers a one-goal edge. Seven minutes later, Julia Weiser ’10 scored on a penalty corner, tying the game for three minutes before Princeton’s Katie Kinzer scored. Three more goals from Reinprecht and one more from Kinzer ended the game with a Yale loss, 6-1.
“That’s the best Princeton team I’ve seen in years, talent wise, by far,” Stuper said.
Princeton has beaten Yale in their last six matchups. The Tigers ended Saturday’s game with a 26-3 edge in shots, and a 14-2 edge in penalty corners. Yale was on defense for the majority of the game, pushing the ball into Princeton territory no more than a few times.
“Princeton is a very good team,” forward Ashley McCauley ’10 said. “They’ve got this tradition of winning.”
The Bulldogs had hoped to end that streak Saturday, McCauley said, but the team did not come in very strong or together.
“We just can’t have those little breakdowns,” she said.
Yale refocused for Sunday’s game against Lock Haven. From the beginning, the Elis set the tone against a team that is stronger on paper, Stuper said.
The Bulldogs kept the score tied at zero for the first half. Three minutes into the second half, after a penalty corner, McCauley was able to deflect a shot from Dinah Landshut ’12 past Lady Eagle goalie Erin Terreson.
Stuper said it was a perfect shot.
“We knew that their left side was open. … We felt pretty confident about that option,” she said, “and actually got in the right spot to redirect the ball that Dinah hit.”
With only eight minutes left in the game, the score evened with an impressive shot into the corner of the net from Lady Eagle Blair Wynne, an All-American forward.
“The first goal that Lock Haven scored was beautiful,” Stuper said. “There’s nothing you can do about a shot like that.”
Then, with only over a minute left, Lock Haven scored again, ending the game 2-1 in its favor.
Although it was a Yale loss, the Bulldogs were happy with the way they played. They supported each other better and stuck to the game plan, Stuper said.
Sunday’s game was also important for goalie Katie Bolling ’11, who has seen more playing time this season and was given the starting position against Lock Haven, marking the first game she has played all the way through.
“We just felt that Katie Bolling’s earned a start,” Stuper said. “She’s done well for us off the bench … and she did a great job today.”
“I’m pretty psyched about it,” said Bolling, who saved five shots yesterday.
Stuper is confident that her team can move forward with this level of play.
“They’re in a good place,” she said. “I think they understand the process and what they need to do. It’s frustrating when the wins don’t come … but if they keep moving in the direction they should the success will come, maybe not as quickly as we would like it to, but the success will come.”