Falling to both No. 5 Princeton and Davidson this weekend on Johnson Field, the Yale field hockey team struggled to make comebacks after giving up early goals.

The Bulldogs (4–5, 0–2 Ivy League) lost their second conference game this season on Friday night by a lopsided score of 0–5 against powerhouse No. 5 Princeton (8–3, 2–0 Ivy League). The Tigers gave the Elis no chance to go on the offensive and found the back of the net before the seven-minute mark while continuing to deliver aggressive shots on goal throughout the rest of the game. On Sunday, the Bulldogs once again gave up an early advantage to Davidson (4–6, 1–1 A-10), ultimately losing 1–2.

“Though it was a tough loss, the team felt that our performance overall had been some of the best hockey we have played in a long time,” captain and back Jackie Kisa ’19 said. “It was hard coming off of last year’s near win against the Tigers. However, it was fairly apparent that though we had gotten stronger as a team, so had the Tigers. They were an incredibly good opponent and one that has strengthened our own play as we learn on how to build from the loss moving forward into the rest of our season.”

The Bulldogs fought valiantly in the first half of Friday night’s game against Princeton, holding the Tigers scoreless for 26 minutes after the early goal by midfielder Jane Donio-Enscoe. Shortly before halftime, however, Princeton sweeper Clara Roth tapped in her fifth goal of the season to bring the Tigers to 2–0 leading into the second half. Though the Elis demonstrated their strong defensive capabilities early on, they were unable to generate offensive opportunities of their own, making only four shots compared to Princeton’s 25.

Princeton widened its lead in the second half. Striker and captain Sophia Tornetta notched her fifth tally of the year after scoring off a blocked attempt from a corner play. Two more penalty corners secured the win for the Tigers, who had a 9–1 lead in penalty corners by the end of the game. Tornetta tapped in the ball after a well-executed corner play to find the back of the net for the second time that night in the 56th minute. Shortly after, Princeton’s first-year midfielder Hannah Davey recorded her first collegiate goal to claim a 5–0 win for the Tigers. Yale goalkeeper Sydney Terroso ’21 finished with nine saves, which ties her season high.

“We were really happy with our first half performance and felt quite unlucky to be two goals down at half time,” midfielder Imogen Davies ’21 said. “We really competed well and looked like quite a threat at times. But in the second half we were simply outclassed by Princeton. They did dominate us and scored some great goals. They are a really top team, and overall we were not disappointed to lose to them.”

The Bulldogs returned to Johnson Field on Sunday afternoon to take on out-of-conference foe Davidson College. This game saw captain Kisa face off against her twin sister and Davidson forward Kristen Kisa. The Elis held the upper hand in offensive opportunities, outshooting the Wildcats 17–11 and earning six penalty corners compared to Davidson’s three. The Wildcats capitalized on their chances, with defender Courtney Byler scoring twice in the first half. The first goal came off a successfully converted penalty corner and the second from a penalty stroke goal.

After the rough start, Yale settled into its stride and held Davidson scoreless in the second half. Davies notched a tally on a deflection off a shot by forward Olivia Levieux ’21, bringing Yale one goal away from tying the score with 15 minutes left on the clock. However, Wildcats goalkeeper Sarah Zeszotarski guarded the net skillfully, finishing with 11 saves and securing the 2–1 win for Davidson. In the second half, the Bulldogs dominated the field in both penalty corners and attempted shots. But their comeback was too late to deliver a win.

Still, the team remains hopeful that it will win its upcoming matches next weekend.

“The team definitely feels pressure to win the next two games this weekend, but we also know that we need to clean up our communication on the field in order to do this,” forward Anissa Abboud ’21 said. “For this week, we just need to be harder on ourselves and each other, so we can be in the best shape for Saturday and Sunday as possible.”

Yale plays its third conference match against Cornell next Saturday at noon.

Lucy Liu | l.liu@yale.edu .