While the women’s field hockey team would undoubtedly rather have beaten Princeton than not, the voters in this week’s NFHCA/Kookaburra Division I National Coaches’ Poll don’t seem too bothered by last weekend’s loss at the hands of the Tigers, giving the Bulldogs votes in the national poll for the first time this season.

Bolstered by this national recognition, Yale (5–3, 1–1 Ivy) heads to Ithaca for a showdown with Cornell’s Big Red (5–2, 2–0) — a team just one point behind the Elis in the national poll, and, besides No. 4 Princeton, the lone unbeaten team left in the Ivy League.

Because Yale could not pull off the upset on the dominating Tigers last weekend, the Elis currently sit at 1–1 in Ivy League play. And they must be perfect — and hope the Tigers are not — in order to have a chance at the league title.

Beyond that, each game is increasingly crucial for the Bulldogs now as they try to build a strong resume for this year’s NCAA tournament. Helping their cause is the fact that Yale is coming off a 4–2 win over Hofstra, a team that also has votes in the national poll, and the Bulldogs have many games remaining against teams under consideration for national top-25 poll.

If the Bulldogs are to take down Cornell and head into a tough midweek showdown with No. 5 UConn, they will need big-time performances from freshmen Erica Borgo ’14 (3 goals, 4 assists) and Georgia Holland ’14 (2 goals, 5 assists), both of whom have received Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors at points this season. Mia Rosati ’12 (3 goals, 5 assists) and Taylor Sankovich ’12 (5 goals) will have to continue their hot play, and Maddy Sharp ’13 (3 goals) will need to continue her strong play up front for Yale.

“Losing to Princeton 7–0 was initially a big blow to the team, but the way we stepped on the field against Hofstra represented a pivotal point in our season and allowed our team to learn from our previous mistakes and maintain composure against a non-league opponent,” Sharp said of last weekend. “For the rest of the season, we will focus on each game as it comes, regardless of whether we are playing an Ivy or non-league opponent. We still haven’t ruled out the chances of becoming Ivy champs.”

The Bulldogs will continue their quest to move up the national polls — and the Ivy League standings — Saturday at noon.