After coming off a disappointing weekend, the Yale field hockey team is working towards a win.
Yale (1–7, 0–2 Ivy) is preparing to face league competitor No. 19 Cornell (7-1, 2-0) on Saturday and is ready for the challenge of facing the Big Red, which is currently leading the Ivy League standings. Cornell also earned its first national ranking in program history this week.
“We’re a dynamic and tenacious team, and above all we go out onto the field ready to lay it all on the line for one another,” forward Jessie Accurso ’15 said. “And that is a very cool thing to be a part of.”
This weekend is the halfway point in the field hockey season, and according to the players, the team still has much to prove.
“Since our record does not rightfully reflect our abilities, everybody has heightened their game for practice so that it can translate into wins for these remaining games,” Captain Nicole Wells ’16 said. “The window to come on top in our league is still open. The chance to win out the rest of our games is also there — it just all has to start with the desire to win we show in practice.”
The Big Red will be a tough opponent. On average, Cornell only allows one goal per game, while scoring 3.5 of its own. The team also typically takes an average of just over 16 shots a game, which is more than double the average of its opponents.
Wells noted that the Elis are fortunate to have only one game this weekend, even more so because Cornell is an Ivy League opponent.
“This way, we are able to focus all of our mental and physical energies into playing our best for this one game,” Wells said.
Despite falling to both Princeton and Stanford last weekend, the team has retained a positive outlook for this weekend’s match.
Even more important, according to players, is the way the team continues to learn from each game and improve.
In the game against Stanford last Sunday, goalkeeper Heather Schlesier ’15 saved 15 shots, setting her own high water mark for the season thus far.
“Every game so far has allowed us to analyze a different aspect of our game,” back Noelle Villa ’16 said. “What we do from here on out speaks to how we learn from what we’ve already shown — both errors and successes.”
Villa noted that in practice this week, the team has been working on focusing on communication and how to capitalize on the team’s scoring opportunities.
Accurso agreed with her teammate, saying that she is excited for another Ivy League game with the team.
According to players, working as a cohesive unit and always being on the same page is equally important to successful play.
“Even in times of adversity, we can pick each other up, and we keep fighting,” Villa said. “I also know that my teammates have my back, both on and off the field.”
After facing the Big Red on Saturday, the squad will return home to face Bryant at home on Oct. 8.