As its string of five straight road games wraps up this weekend, the field hockey team is faced with the challenge of snapping a three-game losing streak.
The Bulldogs (3–7, 1–2 Ivy) will play the Dartmouth Big Green (5–5, 2–1 Ivy) this Saturday in Hanover and will go up against the Vermont Catamounts (1–11, 0–2 America West) the following day.
On the heels of three consecutive shutouts, including last week’s 4–0 loss against the No. 5 Virginia Cavaliers, the Bulldogs will be counting on their leading scorers to play their best this weekend.
“We’re hoping to increase our offensive output and come away with a win,” captain Madison Sharp ’13 said in an email.
The Bulldogs have notched eight goals in 10 games so far this season, with midfielder Erica Borgo ’14 and midfielder/back Mary Beth Barham ’15 leading the team with two goals each. Dartmouth has scored a total of 27 goals while the Vermont offense has found the net 15 times in 12 games.
“We have worked on creating opportunities in the circle so we hope this will pay off in getting some goals and some corners this weekend,” back Megan Kirkham ’15 said in an email.
Despite the Elis offensive struggles, the Bulldog defense has allowed fewer goals than both of its opponents this weekend. Yale has given up 30 goals this season, while Dartmouth has condeded 33 and Vermont 44.
“Our defense has been very strong this season and I think that comes from the fact that we play team defense. From our forwards through to our backs everyone contributes on defense and that has been crucial to our success,” Kirkham said. “As for this weekend, we would really like to give up less corners.”
Last season, Yale went head-to-head with Dartmouth in a game that would prove to be the turning point in the Bulldogs’ run to become Ivy League Champs. After the Bulldogs went up 2–1 in that game with Jessie Accurso’s ’15 go-ahead goal, the strong offensive showing continued as Georgia Holland ’14 scored a hat-trick. The teams both had 14 shots on goal, but the Bulldogs came out on top due to 13 saves from goalie Emily Cain ’14. With a 5–1 win over the Big Green, Yale was lifted to first place in the conference and held firm with a seven-game winning streak to end the season and claim the title.
Though graduating seniors played key roles on last year’s team, the Bulldogs remain confident in their ability to beat Dartmouth once again.
“Our team has obviously graduated some good players since last year, but over this season, we have seen a lot of freshmen and other players stepping up to fill those roles,” Kirkham said.
Dartmouth had a five-game winning streak snapped last weekend with a loss to No. 2 North Carolina. Though their offense had scored a total of 22 goals in their preceding five games, the Big Green were shut out decisively, 6–0. Dartmouth midfielder/back Lisa Masini leads the team in points with 15, including six goals, while defender Liz Blanken continues to keep opposing goalies on edge with a team-high 28 shots.
The Catamounts are also looking to rebound from a three-game losing streak in Sunday’s game against the Elis. Vermont midfielder Alana Izzo and midfielder/back Kelsey Bonner both lead the team in points with nine apiece. Although the Bulldogs have not played Vermont in recent years, Kirkham said they intend to play as hard as they would against any other team.
“It’s always exciting playing a team we’ve never experienced before.” Sharp said. “We’re approaching the game against Vermont the same way we approach every other game, regardless of whether it’s league or non-league.”
The Bulldogs take the field in New Hampshire on Saturday at 12:00 p.m.
Correction: Oct. 15
A previous version of this article misidentified the class year of Madison Sharp ’13.