With just two Ivy League games left this season, the Yale field hockey team will seek to break its first-place tie in the league with Columbia and Princeton as it squares off against the Lions tonight at 6 p.m. The Elis will then host a non-league game against Holy Cross (1–14, 0–4 Patriot League) at Johnson Field Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Bulldogs (8–6, 4–1 Ivy) enter Parents’ Weekend ranked 19th in the nation in the latest womensfieldhockey.com poll and are coming off a four-win streak with victories over Penn, Dartmouth, Fairfield, and No. 24 Northwestern.
“This is probably the biggest game of the year, especially for our senior class because it’s our last shot at winning an Ivy Championship,” forward Mia Rosati ’12 said.
The last time the two teams played, the Bulldogs edged a 3–2 win in overtime. This year the teams remain evenly matched. Coming into the game, the Lions (8–6, 4–1) also are enjoying a four-game winning streak, including defeats against Penn and Dartmouth, who also fell to the Bulldogs. The Lions enjoyed 1–0 shootout victory against Lafayette Tuesday night. The game contributed to Columbia’s defensive lead in the league, with a total of 12 saves by goalkeeper Christie O’Hara.
On top of statistical advantages as a team, Columbia boasts strong individual players. Nearly a third of Columbia’s 31 goals this season have come from forward Gabby Kozlowski, who was a unanimous first team All-Ivy League selection and a second team All-Mideast Region selection last year. Defensive back Katie DeSandis leads the Ivy League with five defensive saves this season.
But captain Erin Carter ’12 said Yale is especially ready to play its game after pulling off a win against Penn on a different type of turf.
Forward Mary Beth Barham ’13 added Penn’s turf was bumpier and longer than Yale’s, leading to unpredictable bouncing, but Carter said Columbia’s turf resembles Yale’s field, which will bring the speed of the game back to what the team is used to.
“[The Penn game proved] the team is well capable of coming up with a win though many things might not work in our favor,” Landshut added.
With victories against teams like No. 24 Northwestern and most recently Dartmouth —who was undefeated in the Ivy League at the time —shows that the Bulldogs are getting stronger, Holland added.
Yale currently has the top scoring offense in the Ancient Eight, leading the conference with 3.64 goals per game and a 1.37 scoring margin. Forward Erica Borgo ’14 and Landshut are nationally ranked in assists per game at 10th and 19th, respectively. The team has already broken the school record for points this season and is on its way to setting another one for goals and assists, with 51 goals already. The current goal-scoring record is 55 bythe 1998 team.
On Sunday, Yale will face Holy Cross, who has lost 12 games in a row. The team has lost to three of Yale’s Ivy League rivals including Dartmouth, who fell to Yale 5–1.
“We know we’re capable of playing a very high level of hockey,” Holland said. “I think we’re in a really good place right now.”