Despite preparation and practice, the opening weekend for the field hockey team was marked by disappointment.
The first game of the weekend was a home match against Sacred Heart this past Saturday, which was postponed until tonight due to severe weather conditions. On Sunday, the Bulldogs fell to Hofstra 2–1 in Yale’s first action of the season.
Sunday’s game remained scoreless for the first 25 minutes until Hofstra player Charlotte Loehr put the first point on the board. A pivotal moment of the game followed shortly after in the first half, when Yale goalkeeper Heather Schlesier ’15 saved a penalty stroke, containing Hofstra to only a one-goal lead at the half.
“Heather really re-energized the team,” midfielder and back Emmy Reinwald ’17 said. “She anchors the team and is great at bring us all together, especially when we’re down.”
Other players also remarked on the importance of this save in keeping Yale in the game.
Hofstra scored its second goal at the 51-minute mark, but Yale would be down two for just a few minutes, as midfielder Kelsey Nolan ’17 closed the gap with the Bulldogs’ first goal of the season.
“It felt like we won the high school championship,” Nolan said about scoring the goal on Sunday.
Although the game ended in a 2–1 defeat, the team was satisfied with its performance, according to the players and coach.
The team had a positive outlook on the game, noting that Hofstra had already played three games this season, while this was the first game for the Bulldogs in 2014.
“I was proud of the way we came out, especially the play, the intensity, and the way we stuck to the game plan,” head coach Pam Stuper said. “It was the first game. There was anxiety, excitement and pressure.”
The squad will get another chance at victory tonight in the rescheduled matchup against Sacred Heart.
Stuper was pleased with the team’s results for this game being the team’s first time on the field, but she said that she recognized a need for some minor changes before today’s game.
“There are simple things that we needed to do,” Stuper said. “We want to play our game differently on the attacking end and capitalize on how we play in the circle.”
Although there may be minor adjustments, the team does intend to pursue a similar style of play, Stuper said.
Stuper and the players added that several freshmen made an impact during the game.
“From the freshmen to the seniors, everyone played well and gave it their all,” Reinwald said. “Our freshmen all played well and heavily contributed to the game. It’s hard when we play an opponent that has already played three games, but we came together and worked hard to play a good game.”
The team is ready to even out its record tonight.
According to captain Nicole Wells ’16, the team is all about both physical and mental preparation and being in the present.
“Every moment on the field against Hofstra will be absorbed in order to better our play,” Wells said. “We are not ones to dwell in the negatives of the past. Once the game against Sacred Heart begins, that is where we are on Johnson Field. All momentum is shifted towards doing whatever it takes to win in that one game.”
With two games under its belt, the squad will take on two new opponents for its Alumnae Weekend, beginning on Saturday, Sept. 13.