The Bulldogs believe they have played some strong field hockey this season. Now, they are looking to convert that solid play into a win.

Head coach Pam Stuper said last Sunday’s game against Lock Haven was the Bulldogs’ (2-5, 0-2 Ivy) best play so far this season, but it still ended with a 2-1 loss. This weekend, the team travels to upstate New York, hoping to maintain a high level of play and gain wins against Cornell (4-4, 2-0 Ivy) on Saturday and No. 2 Syracuse (11-0) on Sunday.

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The Big Red and the Orange, however, are not likely to be pushovers.

Cornell has won three of its last four games and is tied with Princeton for the top spot in the Ivy League. They have also defeated Yale in six of their last eight matchups, including a 1-0 victory in 2007. Stuper said last year her team played one of its strongest games against the Big Red but still couldn’t pull off a win; that trend has continued this season. The Elis play better when facing stronger teams, but don’t win, as was seen in games against University of Connecticut and Lock Haven.

Other than Lock Haven, to whom Cornell also lost, 3-2, the Bulldogs have not played any of the same teams as the Big Red this season.

Syracuse is the only college field hockey team in the country that remains undefeated, having scored 60 goals this season. In last season’s matchup, Yale lost to the Orange, 5-2. Though they started the game strong, remaining tied at one in the first half, the Bulldogs lost their edge in the second half.

The Bulldogs have also had problems this season with staying at a high level of play for the entire 70 minutes: In the game against Sacred Heart, Yale gained a five-point lead in the first half but did not score any goals in the second.

Ashley McCauley ’10 leads the Bulldogs in scoring with five goals, followed by Dinah Landshut ’12 with two. Goalie Charlotte Goins ’10 has 32 saves on the season and is followed by Katie Bolling ’11, with 18. Bolling has been playing well off the bench for the Bulldogs this year, gaining significant minutes in three out of their seven games. She started the game against Lock Haven — the first start of her career — and stayed in for the entire game.

In New York this weekend, Yale hopes to maintain the level of play that they demonstrated last Sunday. They will need strong play individually and as a team to set the tone and stay consistent in this weekend’s tough two games.