After a disappointing start to the season this past week, the field hockey team will take the turf looking to prove themselves this weekend.
The Bulldogs (0–2, 0–0 Ivy) will play two home games at Johnson Field, hosting local rival Quinnipiac (1–3, 0–0 MAAC) on Saturday and California (2–2, 0–0 Pac-12) on Sunday. The Bulldogs have only played California once before in recent history and expect a tough game, according to coach Pam Stuper.
“The Quinnipiac game is always one I look forward to,” forward Jessie Accurso ’15 said. “It’s always a battle. We’re really grateful to Cal for making the trip to play us on Sunday. It should be a great weekend of play.”
The team is young and coachable, Stuper said, and added that the squad will continue making progress from week to week.
The Bulldogs believe that certain minor alterations will finally help result in a win, said Stuper.
“I hope that we make the adjustments that we need to,” Stuper said. “We really want to make progress and be more successful as far as scoring goals and taking lots of shots, which is no surprise.”
Despite their 0–2 record, the team has posted close results, losing by one goal margins in its first two games of these season. On Monday against Sacred Heart, the Elis came back from a 3–0 deficit to close the gap to a goal in the final minutes of the second half before falling 3–2.
The team’s current record does not accurately represent its talent and ability, according to the players. They added that they are positive about the future of the season.
“I expect our team to come out strong having learned some valuable lessons from our games last week,” Accurso said. “We have good momentum going forward and I’m really excited to capitalize on that.”
This weekend’s games are part of the team’s Alumnae Weekend, in which former players from all classes return to campus to watch the current team play on Johnson Field.
Captain Nicole Wells ’16 noted the positive effect that wins would have on the weekend.
“Forty plus years of Yale Field Hockey’s notable past players will be in attendance to see how their team has evolved to what it is today,” captain Nicole Wells ’16 said. “Of course winning out these next two games is the best thing that we can do to give back to the supportive alumnae.”
More than 30 alumnae will cheer on the team this weekend.
The combination of history and new talent is what will make the team so successful, according to Stuper.
“We are so privileged to have such a supportive network of alumnae,” Accurso said. “I don’t know any other athletes that can say they’ve sat down with the very woman who founded their program. Lawrie Mifflin marched right into the athletic offices in the first years women were admitted and demanded field hockey be made a varsity sport. And that’s how we became the first women’s varsity sport at Yale.”
Both games will start at noon at Johnson Field.