Courtesy of Sam Rubin
The Yale field hockey team split the weekend in two games on the road at Cornell and Bucknell, coming home with a pair of close shutouts that panned out very differently for the Bulldogs as they traveled with their RV from camper trailers Melbourne.
Yale (5–6, 1–2 Ivy) earned its first conference win on Saturday with a score of 1–0 in overtime against Cornell (3–8, 0–3). The defensive battle went to overtime scoreless before Yale midfielder Bridget Condie ’20 scored the game-winning goal on a reverse shot less than two minutes into the extra frame. Sunday’s match against Bucknell (7–5, 2–1 Patriot) saw the Bison overwhelm the Bulldogs 23–1 in attempted shots and ultimately shut out the Bulldogs 1–0.
“We focused on the process,” head coach Pam Stuper said. “At the start of the week, we talked about what each player needed to work on and to focus on for the week, and we did that same thing for the game on Saturday. Not much has changed. We keep doing what we’ve been doing and believe that the outcome will come if we take care of the process.”
Saturday’s game featured strong defensive plays on both sides of the field. Cornell goaltender Maddie Henry made 10 saves to hold Yale scoreless in regulation. Yale midfielder Théodora Dillman ’22 and goaltender Sydney Terroso ’21 executed an impressive defensive sequence midway through the first half when Big Red forward Grace Royer attempted back-to-back shots that were both blocked. The Bulldogs possessed a significant offensive advantage, however, outshooting Cornell 17–6 and earning five penalty corners as opposed to the Big Red’s two.
Cornell kept the Elis off the scoreboard despite the offensive advantage — six saves by Henry in the second half alone prevented Yale from notching a tally. To render the stalemate even more unbreakable, both teams earned just one penalty corner after halftime. The game winner came l:53 into overtime when Condie intercepted a pass in the Big Red zone, drove to the top of the circle and stuck a shot into the far corner to secure the win for the Bulldogs. Yale is now 3–0 in the extra period this season. Its previous two wins in overtime came against Michigan and Sacred Heart.
“We are very confident with our overtime play as we practice it a lot each week,” midfielder Imogen Davies ’21 said. “We have a lot of faith in our ability to make the most of the additional space on the field. The game was pretty dominant in our favor too. We felt like we deserved to win so just went out and did it. We did not allow frustration about not finishing to create stress. We trusted that the goal would come, which it eventually did.”
On Sunday afternoon, the Bulldogs travelled to Pennsylvania to face nonconference opponent Bucknell. Though Yale displayed a strong defensive effort, the Elis were ultimately overcome by the sheer volume of offensive opportunities generated by the Bison. By the end of the game, Bucknell posted 22 more shots and held a 12–0 lead in penalty corners.
The early lead came when forward Kaelyn Long slotted a rebound past Terroso on the Bison’s fourth penalty corner of the day. The first-half goal proved to be sufficient. Bucknell’s deep midfield and backline limited the Bulldogs to only one shot in the game, while allowing none on goal. Despite Terroso’s admirable eight-save effort, the Bulldogs fell short on the number of offensive opportunities they were able to generate for themselves. Bucknell’s airtight defense has held five of its opponents to one goal or less this season with Yale becoming its latest victim.
“We want to finish our progress up the field,” forward Anissa Abboud ’21 said. “We worked so hard to get the ball back into our possession, and as we take it up the field we want to reward ourselves for our work, and ultimately that looks like getting shots off and scoring, which we’ve lacked lately. We know we can do it because we see it in practices every day. We just need it to click for games.”
Yale returns to conference play next Saturday in a 12 p.m. game against Dartmouth in Hanover.
Lucy Liu | firstname.lastname@example.org