After an upset victory over a top-15 team, the Yale field hockey team will seek to preserve its chances for an Ivy League title as it battles Dartmouth at Johnson Field this Saturday.
The stakes are high since Saturday’s match is a conference game and will determine the Bulldogs’ chances for an Ivy League title.
“Our goal this year is definitely to be Ivy Champions, and we’re still in the running for that,” goalkeeper Ona McConnell ’13 said. McConnell added the match being an Ivy match “is a big part of the game.”
Yale (5-6, 2-1 Ivy) needs a win to jump up to at least a tie for first in the standings. For the past two years, Yale has finished just short of an Ivy title with a second-place finish.
The team remains on track for a record-breaking offensive season this year, and the NCAA ranks Yale 13th nationally in goals per game. Individually, many Elis are among the top-ranked players in the nation. Among them is forward Erica Borgo ’14, who leads the team with ten assists, placing her 11th in the nation in assists per game.
But the Bulldogs are gearing up for what may be their toughest challenge yet. Dartmouth (8–4, 3–0 Ivy League) remains undefeated in the Ivy League. One of its three wins includes its 3–2 decision over six-time Ancient Eight champion Princeton, to whom Yale has already dropped a close game 3-2.
“They’re out to get us,” McConnell said. “This will definitely be a hard game.”
Still, the Bulldogs feel confident in their preparation for their fourth Ivy League game. Yale has shown it can evenly match beat strong opponents, as seen in its games UConn and Northwestern, who were ranked No. 2 and No. 14 respectively in the nation at the time of their games.
The team hopes to continue to challenge opponents in its upcoming game.
“We’re ready to come out and play the way we played against Northwestern and come up with another win,” forward Mia Rosati ’12 said.
Yale will also play a non-league game against Fairfield (8–5, 0–2 Big East) on Sunday. The Stags have lost three of their last four games, including a 3–1 loss against Ivy League rival Brown, but ranks 14th nationally in goals-against average as a team (1.44).