The Yale field hockey team had another difficult weekend at home, culminating in two losses — one against Penn and another against then-No. 13 Albany.
On Saturday, Penn (6–7, 2–3 Ivy) defeated Yale (2–13, 0–5) 2–1, while Albany (15–2, 4–0 America East) sent the Bulldogs home with a 4–2 loss on Sunday despite initial leads by the Elis in both games.
“It’s been a tough season, but our team is strong both mentally and physically,” back Noelle Villa ’16 said. “Having the lead going into the first half of Albany confirmed that our team is headed in the right direction with our training and our team attitude.”
In the conference matchup against Penn, both teams kept the other from scoring, resulting in a 0–0 score at halftime. In the first half alone, goalkeeper Heather Schlesier ’15 had seven saves, turning aside all of Penn’s 11 attempts to break through the defense and into the net.
Schlesier leads the Ivy League in number of saves over the season, with 131 through Yale’s 15 contests.
Yale scored the first goal of the game at 41:30 when back Kiwi Comizio ’18 put the ball in the net after a rebounded shot from midfielder Kelsey Nolan ’17. The Bulldogs could not keep their lead, however, and let in two goals that went unanswered for the remainder of the game.
“We could have won against Penn,” captain Nicole Wells ’16 said. “The difference between them and us was that they capitalized on the opportunities that they had to score. We have been working on that aspect of the game all season.”
In Sunday’s game against the Great Danes, the Elis once again came out strong defensively in the first half, fending off Albany’s 14 shots.
In addition to being ranked, the Great Danes are leading the America East conference and had just extended their winning streak to eight with a victory over conference rival Maine.
“It was exciting to be up against a good team like Albany,” Nolan said. “It gave the team some confidence that will hopefully follow us into the last two games of the season.”
Yale took the lead when Villa scored the only goal of the first half on a penalty corner opportunity. This marked only the third time this season that the Great Danes have had to play from behind in the first half.
Yale could not hold on after the break though, and Albany came back strong, taking 13 shots to Yale’s two and scoring four consecutive goals.
Yale finished the game with a goal from Nolan, who also scored on a penalty corner.
“Walking into the game of course Albany probably heavily underestimated our abilities due to our record,” Wells said. “But by scoring that first goal we proved that our record definitely does not define or display our actual talents on this team.”
Although the Bulldogs are now on a five game losing streak, there is the silver lining that the Elis have put points on the board in their last four games. The three preceding losses all left Yale scoreless.
With the only two games left in the season, the team hopes to finish on a high note, according to players interviewed.
“In our last two games, we plan on maintaining that high energy and capitalizing on our opportunities, as we increasingly have been,” Villa said. “Our goals are to stick to the game plan and maintain solid fundamentals in order to create some attacking opportunities so that we can be successful.”
Yale will face Ancient Eight leader Columbia next Saturday, followed by a match with Brown the following weekend.
The Bulldogs are currently without a win against Ivy opponents but have confidence that they have the potential to be victorious in conference play, according to players.
“The team would really love to win the last two Ivy League games,” Nolan said. “We really have a good chance of beating both teams, and I’d love to see our team play strong and come out on top.”
Saturday’s game against Columbia will be the Elis’ last home game of the season.