In keeping with a trend in which the first team to score takes the game, the Yale field hockey team split its games at Quinnipiac and Hofstra this weekend.

On Friday, a slow start put Yale (2–1, 0–0 Ivy) behind 2–0 heading into halftime, a deficit from which it could not recover in a 4–2 loss to Quinnipiac (1–5, 0–0 Big East). But on Sunday against Hofstra (3–4, 0–0 Colonial), three goals in the first 20 minutes returned the Bulldogs to the form that carried them past Sacred Heart last Saturday.

“I told them [at halftime of the Quinnipiac game] we’re not playing the way we’re capable of,” head coach Pam Stuper said. “This is not what we’ve trained for, what I’ve seen all during our scrimmages [or] what I saw last weekend against Sacred Heart.”

Yale’s annual matchup with Quinnipiac has been a closely contested one since 2009. In the two teams’ last eight meetings, neither team has prevailed by more than one goal, with three games going into overtime. But a disastrous start further soured Yale’s disappointment with Friday’s two-goal loss against the local foe.

Quinnipiac dominated possession and shots in the first half, as the Bobcats outshot the Bulldogs 9–1 in the opening 35 minutes. Midfielder Selina Reichert found the back of the net for the Bobcats 12 minutes into the game off of a penalty corner and gave Quinnipiac a lead it would not relinquish.

Following the Bobcat goal, forward Carol Middough ’18 generated an opportunity for the Bulldogs, but, as would happen several times over the course of the half, Yale was unable to finish. The first major chance to catch up to Quinnipiac came with a penalty corner with 12 minutes left to play in the half, but the shot on goal was ruled too high by the official. Within minutes of the disallowed goal, Quinnipiac midfielder Dayna Barlow doubled the lead by scoring from in front of the net off of a long pass.

Late in the half, rookie goalie Sydney Terroso ’21 kept the Bulldogs in the game with stops on two consecutive Quinnipiac penalty corners. Offensively, Yale created several breakaway opportunities but struggled with finding receivers and finishing.

Coming out of halftime, the Bulldogs gained a greater share of possession by playing a more aggressive and tighter game. Although Yale outshot Quinnipiac 9–4 in the second half, the Elis could not recover from the first half.

Midfielder Katie Smith ’18 generated an early opportunity for the Bulldogs, and midfielder Bridget Condie ’20 followed by drawing a foul that gave the Elis the first penalty corner of the half. Yale did not convert, with disjointed play plaguing the Eli unit throughout the game.

“I don’t think our execution was spot-on on our attack corners today,” Stuper said. “Our execution was sloppy. I think we could have gotten more out of them.”

Terroso stopped the next Quinnipiac shot but a subsequent Yale turnover put Barlow in perfect position for her second goal of the game.

Eleven minutes into the half, midfielder Lily Smith ’18 drove the ball down the field, finding Middough’s stick. Off the rebound from Middough’s shot, Jackson put the ball into the goal, giving Yale its first tally of the game. Quinnipiac would score one more goal before Yale rallied again with midfielder Imogen Davies ’21 drawing a penalty corner for the Bulldogs. Off the rebound, Condie scored Yale’s second goal from deep in the field.

“I definitely think we had more energy and intensity in the second half,” Middough said. “It’s just unfortunate that we couldn’t have that intensity in the first half.”

Middough, Condie and company have shown early in the season Yale will have no trouble scoring goals this year. But Quinnipiac’s offensive explosion raises many questions about an Eli defense coming to terms with life without graduated goalie and Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year Emilie Katz ’17. The Bulldogs are also without captain and defender Kiwi Comizio ’18, who tore her ACL before the season. Yale struggled to mark opposing players throughout the game and appeared disorganized in defending penalty corners.

Yale’s weekend opponents faced off themselves on Saturday, with Hofstra prevailing 4–2 over Quinnipiac. By the transitive property, a Bulldog victory over Hofstra seemed unlikely. But in a complete turnaround, Yale came out of the locker room with all the early energy.

Eight minutes into the game, Davies drew a penalty corner for Yale, which led to two consecutively stopped Middough shots before midfielder Iliana Cabral ’21 scored Yale’s first goal of the game — and the first of her Eli career — off the second rebound.

Finishing on the rebound off a Middough shot proved a successful strategy for Yale on Sunday. Four minutes after Cabral’s goal, Katie Smith scored her first of the season to put Yale up 2–0. Forward Camille Scheyer ’20 put the ball through the goalie’s legs from the left side to put Yale up by three 20 minutes into the contest.

The Pride answered to cut the deficit to 3–1, but Davies backhanded a shot 30 seconds after the Hofstra goal to keep Yale up by three heading into halftime. In total, Yale put up 15 shots in the opening frame compared to just three for Hofstra.

But Hofstra had the better of the second half, putting up twice as many shots as Yale. Despite a Hofstra goal midway through the period, Middough found the net late to preserve the 5–2 victory.

Terroso’s performance against Hofstra demonstrated her strong start to her Yale career. She made six saves on eight shots in just her third start in the Eli uniform.

Yale travels to Michigan to take on Central Michigan and Michigan State next weekend.

Contact Matthew Mister at matthew.mister@yale.edu and Angela Xiao at angela.xiao@yale.edu .