Another weekend, another split for the Yale field hockey team.
For the third straight weekend, the Bulldogs (5–3, 1–1 Ivy) dropped a tough loss — this weekend’s coming against No. 4 Princeton — but they also earned a 4–2 victory over Hofstra.
The 7–0 loss to Princeton on Saturday was Yale’s first in conference play, following the team’s win over Harvard last weekend in the Ivy League opener. The Tigers have now played two Ivy League games, winning by a combined score of 16–1.
Princeton boasts two-time conference player of the year Katie Reinprecht, as well as the Ivy League’s leading scorer, Kathleen Sharkey, who victimized the Bulldogs for three goals Saturday. Sharkey currently has 34 points in six games this season — more than twice the point total of the Ivy League’s next most prolific scorer, Kelly Hood of Dartmouth. Reinprecht’s younger sister, Julia, a sophomore, also provided one of Princeton’s tallies in Saturday’s contest.
The Tigers and Bulldogs were scoreless through the first 11 minutes of Alumni Day at Johnson Field, but a goal from Sharkey sparked Princeton’s scoring attack — the most efficient in the nation — to four goals before the half.
Freshman Emily Cain ’14 replaced captain Katie Bolling ’11 as Yale’s goalkeeper after halftime, and held the dominant Tigers scoreless through 20 minutes. But Sharkey struck again with just more than 12 minutes left to play in the game, initiating another scoring run for Princeton, this time good for three goals in six minutes.
When all was said and done, Cain had 10 saves, but her play was one of few bright spots for Yale on a day that was all about the Tigers.
“As a team, I think we felt a little defeated after the Princeton loss,” forward Erica Borgo ’14 said. “Not just because of the loss in general, but because of the score at the end of the game. We went into it as prepared as we could’ve been.”
But Yale came out firing against Hofstra on Sunday.
Less than three minutes in, forward Chelsey Locarno ’12 deposited a feed from midfielder Georgia Holland ’14 into the Dutchwomens’ net to put the Bulldogs ahead. Just 10 minutes later, however, Hofstra tied things up on a goal from Diane Caldwell.
Forward Johna Paolino ’11 then put Yale back on top, giving the Elis a 2–1 lead by converting a feed from forward Mia Rosati ’12.
“I don’t think it was hard for us to bounce back because after stepping back and looking at Princeton after the game,” Borgo said.. “We were able to learn from what worked and what didn’t, especially against a top-five team in the nation.”
Cain replaced Bolling coming out of halftime and conceded the game-tying goal on a penalty stroke to the Dutchwomen’s Arielle Williams, who took her shot before Cain could fully set up between the pipes to score the equalizer.
The score remained tied until 46:56, when a penalty corner shot from back Taylor Sankovich ’12 found its way to the stick of Rosati, who set up fellow back Erin Carter ’12 for the go-ahead goal. Rosati herself then got in on the scoring action less than 10 minutes later, adding her third goal and team-leading 11th point of the season to solidify the win.
“Today we went out with a more offensive mindset,” Holland said. “We had some great passing sequences to get into the circle and create scoring opportunities. Yesterday we knew we’d have to play great defense, but today we just wanted to get out there and win.”
The team now heads into a difficult stretch of its schedule with a trip to Cornell on Saturday, followed by a midweek date with No. 5 UConn and then a trip to No. 12 Boston College before heading to Dartmouth to resume the heart of the Bulldogs’ Ivy League schedule in mid-October.
“After [Princeton], we knew we needed to put that game behind us … We decided we are going to keep taking it to every other team whether it’s an Ivy League team or not,” Rosati said. “We are going to just keep proving we should be a top team in the country.”
The Bulldogs play at Ithaca next Saturday at 12 p.m.