While the field hockey team dropped a 3–1 game to Cal over the weekend, it also took home its first victory of the season in a tight 1–0 overtime winner over Quinnipiac.
The Yale women’s field hockey team (1–3, 0–0 Ivy) split games this past Saturday and Sunday during the squad’s annual alumni weekend at home.
“We made great progress this weekend in following our game plan and working together as a team,” forward Grace McInerney ’15 said. “Both the Quinnipiac and Cal games were great experiences for us to grow as a team, and they have prepared us well for next weekend’s play.”
While the Bulldogs got off to a slow start against Quinnipiac, being outshot 9–1 in the first half, they were able keep the game scoreless for 70 minutes, forcing Quinnipiac into overtime.
Defensive play was essential for the Bulldogs, not just between the pipes, but also in the backfield. Early in the contest, back Megan Kirkham ’15 knocked aside two of the five penalty corners that Quinnipiac had throughout the game. Key defensive play helped goalkeeper Heather Schlesier ’15 garner her first shutout of the season — something the Bulldogs were only able to achieve twice last season.
Once the Elis entered overtime competition, the game’s tempo settled into the Elis’ control. In the seven versus seven setting, the Bulldogs kept the pressure on until midfielder Nicole Wells ’16 drew a penalty corner with just over nine minutes left to play. On the ensuing play, a flurry of shots were fired at Quinnipiac goaltender Megan Conaboy before Danee Fitzgerald ’16 knocked in the rebound sitting off the left post to end the game in a Yale victory.
The following day, the Elis returned to Johnson Field for their second matchup of the weekend, this time a contest against cross-country opponent Cal (4–2, 0–0 NorPac).
Penalty corners continued to pose a problem for the Bulldogs in their second contest of alumni weekend, as the Golden Bears posted a 5–2 advantage over the Bulldogs in that category during their 3–1 victory. Cal was able to convert two of these opportunities into goals.
Just nine minutes into play, Cal forward Lara Kruggel popped a shot into the top right hand corner of the goal after the first penalty corner of the game.
The Bulldogs were able to regain their footing in the first half, though, and finished the half with a 5–4 shot advantage and tied the game at 1–1.
With just over a minute left in the first half, forward Lily Smith ’17 put the Elis on the board with the first goal of her Yale career.
“Katie is speedy and tenacious on and off the ball — which shows with how she scored,” Wells said in an email.
Yale was not able to sustain the momentum, however, and Cal knocked in another two goals in the second half to finish off the Elis.
With alumni weekend complete, the Bulldogs will now enter conference play.
“During the Cal game, and the other three games we have played so far — we have been able to pick up on our strengths and weaknesses in order to rightfully prepare for the big first Ivy game against Harvard this coming weekend,” Wells said in an email. “By the time we get into our league games we will have done enough trial and error to get a winning team on the field.”
The Elis will start Ivy League competition next week when they take on the rival Crimson next Saturday, Sept. 20 in Cambridge, Mass.