A single goal kept the Yale field hockey team from securing its first Ivy League win of the season on Saturday, and a 3:44 minute stretch on Sunday precluded the Elis from earning a historic upset victory.
The Bulldogs (2–9, 0–3 Ivy) saw their losing streak swell to seven games after a pair of losses, 1–0 to Cornell (7–4, 2–1) and 2–0 to No. 6 Albany (10–2, 2–1 America East). The Elis are tied for last place in the Ivy League and possess the worst goal differential in the conference, having allowed 32 goals and scored just eight.
“We played really tough, but unfortunately didn’t get the results we were looking for,” forward Carol Middough ’18 said. “We know what we need to work on this week to get the win against Dartmouth this weekend.”
Saturday’s game against Cornell proved to be a battle on the defensive end. Goalkeeper Emilie Katz ’17 stopped six of the Big Red’s shots on goal. Meanwhile, of Yale’s eight total shot attempts, the Elis failed to put a single one on target. But the Bulldogs did manage to shut down Cornell’s Krysten Mayers, an offensive force in the Ivy League, by ending her four-game scoring streak and holding her to just one shot.
As the team fights through this arduous season, the Bulldogs have made a concerted effort to recognize and take away positives, such as slowing down Mayes, from each contest.
“Something new we started recently is celebrating the small victories on the field,” said midfielder Nicole Wells ’16, a staff reporter for the News. “I think breaking apart the game into these little moments really keeps the team together and promotes positive energy on the field.”
The lone goal of the day came from Cornell freshman forward Kate Fitzpatrick at 21:51 into the first half. Neither team managed to find the net in the second, sealing a win for the Big Red, who were rebounding from a 9–1 loss to the top program in the country, No. 1 Syracuse. Saturday’s game marks Cornell’s second Ivy League victory after taking down Columbia 5–2 on Oct. 3.
Both Middough and Wells had three shots during the game, but even Yale’s top point scorers could not capitalize on the opportunities for an equalizer.
Following the tight Ancient Eight defeat, Yale was in search of an upset yesterday afternoon in its match against nationally ranked Albany, who entered play on Sunday having just seen its five-game winning streak snapped at the hands of conference opponent Maine on Friday.
“We have played [then-ranked No. 1] UConn and [then-ranked No. 2] Syracuse. We had a game plan going into [Albany],” forward Evagelia Toffoloni ’19 said. “[Wells] did a really great job covering [Paula Heuser]. She stepped up for that game … that’s why we could shut them down for the first period and a half.”
Heuser currently holds the distinction of being the active leader in all of Division I in career points and goals and ranks third in the nation in scoring, but was held scoreless on Sunday, though not due to lack of effort as she rattled off nine shot attempts.
The Great Danes as a whole dominated the Bulldogs in shots, taking 21 in the first half and 20 in the second half while limiting the Elis to just one on each side of the break. Despite the one-sided attack, the Yale defense, led by Katz in goal, kept the Great Danes off the board for the entire first half and the majority of the second.
However, once Albany forward Kelsey Briddell found the back of the net at 54:12, the Great Danes quickly surged ahead to a 2–0 lead, scoring another goal within four minutes of the first. Yale could not close the gap in the final minutes, and the match ended in an Albany shutout — the fourth-consecutive game in which the Elis have been held scoreless.
“We did really well, but we just couldn’t get the shots on net that we needed in order to get an opportunity to win the game,” Toffoloni said. “With the next Ivy games we’re really going to try and get some more opportunities … We need to create more [of an] attack.”
The Bulldogs will take on Dartmouth next Saturday in a matchup of squads hoping for an Ivy victory. Both teams are winless in the conference and sit at the bottom of the Ancient Eight standings.
The Big Green will face Maine on Tuesday afternoon before journeying to New Haven to face the Elis.