Facing the cold and the rain, the Yale field hockey team was unable to upset Ivy opponent Columbia last Saturday.
The Bulldogs (2–14, 0–6 Ivy) fell to the Lions (12–4, 5–1) 4–0 in the final home game of the season. With this loss, Yale extended its losing streak to six games for the second time this season.
“I will truly miss competing on Johnson Field, but I was excited to have one last opportunity to compete against an Ivy League opponent last Saturday,” forward Grace McInerney ’15 said. “The weather conditions on Saturday were tough, and we had to battle through that.”
Columbia scored twice in both halves, managing to keep the Elis off the board the entire game. This is Yale’s fourth shutout loss this season.
Both offenses took relatively few shots during the game, with only four from each team in the first half. There was a shortage of penalty corners, especially from the Lions, who only had four the entire game.
While this was more typical for Yale, which has averaged 10.9 shots per game during the season, Columbia usually takes an average of 14.6, compared with only eight for the entire game on Saturday.
“When looking at the statistics, our team and Columbia were matched up quite equally in scoring opportunities,” captain Nicole Wells ’16 said. “This season has been a matter of staying consistent with our fundamental skills and overall game play. Columbia was able to score on the chances they had. We had some close moments around the goal, too. We just needed that extra push to put the ball past the keeper.”
Columbia also had a clear mission on Saturday, according to Wells, to win in order to stay in contention for the Ivy League championship and challenge Princeton’s hold on the title. That extreme drive to win, sustained through the entire game, has been missing this season from the Bulldogs, she said.
While the Bulldogs created opportunities against Columbia, the team had difficulty capitalizing on them — a problem that has plagued the team this season, according to McInerney.
Yale will close the season with a game against Brown on Saturday. The Elis have been swept in conference play and hope to end that trend this weekend, players said.
“This week, we are working on cleaning up the trouble areas from our game against Columbia to come up with a win against Brown,” McInerney said. “Every team in the Ivy League is strong this year, and Brown is no exception. I am looking forward to having one more chance to compete.”
Although the Bears are currently on a three-game losing streak and also have three shutout defeats this season, Brown goalkeeper Shannon McSweeney has a .735 save percentage, the second best in the Ivy League. Yale goalkeeper Heather Schlesier ’15 also has some impressive stats this season, currently sitting at second place in the conference with 134 saves, which is 37 saves ahead of third-place McSweeney.
Even though the Bulldogs will finish this season with their worst record in recent memory, the team has remained positive throughout the year, noting that its improvement and commitment are not reflected in its number of wins.
“While the season did not go as well as we had hoped, we’re still ready to play Brown and end the season on a high note,” midfielder Kelsey Nolan ‘17 said.
Yale will lose four seniors — McInerney, Schlesier, forward Jessie Accurso ’15 and back Megan Kirkham ’15 — at the end of this season. The team will retain two of its three top scorers, including Nolan and midfielder Carol Middough ’18.
The Bulldogs plan to keep their positive attitude this weekend and come to Providence prepared to win against the Bears.
“Our practices in these past couple of days have only been getting better,” Wells said. “It seems like players are making great strides in a matter of days, which is fantastic. Seeing us continuously grow as a team despite our record is truly encouraging and exciting. I believe that we can travel to Providence and win against Brown. This could be our weekend.”
The Elis will take on the Bears at 1 p.m. on Saturday.