Forward Jessie Accurso ’15 zoomed down the field and dived just right of the keeper to drill the tie-breaking goal in the Bulldogs’ match against Dartmouth, the Big Green’s first Ivy loss this season.
Dartmouth’s defeat brought Yale into a five-way tie with Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard and Princeton for first place within the Ivy League. After Dartmouth (8–5, 3–1 Ivy) scored an initial goal in the eighth minute, the Bulldogs (7–6, 3–1) dominated the rest of the match and finished with a decisive 5–1 win.
“We didn’t want to just win by one goal, so we just kept going,” forward Mia Rosati ’12 said. “We just dominated.”
Having beaten Princeton, to whom Yale fell 3–2 Sept. 24, Dartmouth held an upper hand going into the match. The Big Green reigned first place 3–0 in the Ancient Eight, and three of its players are the top three scorers in the Ivy League. But Yale came prepared. Leading up to Saturday’s matchup, Yale played closely contested games against nationally ranked titans such as No. 2 University of Connecticut and Big Ten powerhouse No. 17 Northwestern.
The Bulldogs were ready for battle.
Head coach Pam Stuper said Dartmouth’s playing style is similar to UConn’s and Northwestern’s technique.
“We’ve taken the advantage to play just the kind of play to get ready to play a team like Dartmouth,” head coach Pam Stuper said. “Dartmouth is a very good team, but we came in prepared.”
From the first blow of the whistle, the players clashed head-to-head to gain control of the ball. Dartmouth forward Ali Savage blasted a shot past goalkeeper Emily Cain ’14 to bring to Darthmouth onto the scoreboard before Yale. But the shot marked Dartmouth’s only goal for the rest of the game.
Yale answered immediately and ripped through Dartmouth territory to clutch a penalty corner opportunity. Midfielder Dinah Landshut ’12 took the penalty and midfielder/back Georgia Holland ‘14 followed the play to tip the ball past a clump of Dartmouth defenders and tie the game 1–1.
Goal keeper Ona McConnell ’13 said the team did not enter the game strong, and the first goal from Dartmouth, she said, was a “wake-up call.”
“We showed them that we can tie them, and then we kept on going,” she said.
With the game leveled, both teams picked up aggression, but scoring was stopped at a gridlock until the 26th minute when Accurso clinched the tie-breaking goal by diving to achieve just the right angle for a shot past Dartmouth goal keeper Megan Vakiener.
The intensity of the game prevailed throughout the second half, with players’ throwing sticks between each other’s legs while fighting shoulder-to-shoulder fighting for possession of the ball.
Holland blasted a hat trick to the far post to bring the score 4–1 within the opening five minutes of the second half, but 20 minutes later, Landshut was thrown down and play stopped for about two minutes. But then she surged up again and jumped right back into the action.
Dartmouth called a timeout with 19:46 left in the game, and then advanced the ball into Yale’s half to threaten shots for the rest of the game. The Big Green took 13 shots in the second half, but none touched the back of the net. The Bulldog offense turned the game around with a steal by Borgo and eventually capitalized on a penalty corner as back/midfielder Chelsey Locarno ’12 pounded a shot to clinch the decisive 5–1 victory.
Yale’s defense, including Carter’s powerhouse blocks and Cain’s 13 saves overall, kept even Dartmouth midfielder Kelly Hood — who led the Ivy League in goals and points (11–5–27) entering the game — completely scoreless.
Rosati said the Yale’s victory over Big Ten Northwestern the weekend before gave the team the confidence it needed to overcome Dartmouth.
“The winning mentality kept our energy up,” Carter added.
The Bulldogs continued its winning streak to shut out Fairfield 6–0 Sunday. Fairfield didn’t see much offensive action as Yale denied all but four shots on goal and outshot the Stags 38–8.
Next weekend, the Elis will defend its place atop the Ivy League rankings as it faces Penn (3–10, 1–3) in Philadelphia on Sunday.
The Bulldogs and Quakers will face off at 1 p.m.