After commanding wins against Sacred Heart and rival Harvard, the field hockey team is gearing up for what may be its toughest challenge yet: a six-time defending champion Princeton team.
Still, the Bulldogs (3–3) are feeling confident in preparation for their second Ivy League game on Saturday, Mia Rosati ’12 said. Although the Tigers (2–4) were undefeated for the past four years in the Ancient Eight entering last Saturday’s opener against Dartmouth, they suffered a 2–1 loss, and showed a clear defensive weakness that the offense-oriented Yale team will look to exploit.
“We’re trying not to focus on the fact that Princeton lost, but we’re really excited to play them,” Rosati said. “We’re ready to kick their butts.”
Rosati and captain Erin Carter ’12 have started the year strong, leading the Bulldogs to an impressive 4.17 goals per game, which ranks sixth in the country. Carter leads the team with 13 points, and is tied with Rosati for five goals.
But the Bulldog’s offensive dominance is not only the work of two people: of 16 field players, 12 have already recorded points.
This teamwork will match up well against Princeton, especially after the Tigers redshirted several key defensive players for the U.S. national team.
“In the past few years they’ve had some decisive wins,” Rosati said. “But in the absence of these girls on the Olympic team, we’re more evenly matched.”
Rosati said she is confident in the team’s ability to perform over the rest of the season, adding that she hoped she would follow her pattern from past years and continue to get better throughout the fall.
“I tend to do better at the end of the seasons, so things are looking good,” said Rosati, who has already scored as many goals this season as all of last year.
Princeton’s other three losses this year have come from Syracuse, American and Richmond. Yale lost its first two games to Stanford and Quinnipiac, and fell to Albany in its fourth game after blowing a 3–1 lead.
Last weekend, Yale confidently beat Harvard 5–1, and easily dispatched Sacred Heart in a 9–1 blowout.
The Bulldogs are fifth in the country for assists per game with 3.33, and penalty corners per game with 10.5. The team has scored 25 goals off of 139 shots this season.
Saturday’s game is scheduled for noon at Princeton’s Class of ’52 Stadium.