The Yale field hockey team’s four graduating seniors ended their collegiate career on Johnson Field with a thrilling shootout win over Columbia on Saturday.
The weekend’s hard-fought victory featured a 1–1 scoreboard at the 70-minute mark, two scoreless overtimes, three shootout goals from rookies and a trio of spectacular saves from goalie Sydney Terroso ’21. Before the match, the Bulldogs (9–7, 3–3 Ivy) celebrated their quartet of seniors — goalkeeper Chaney Kalinich ’19, back and captain Jackie Kisa ’19, midfielder Marissa Medici ’19 and forward Brooke Reese ’19 — for whom the match versus the Lions (8–8, 2–4 Ivy) marked the last home game of their collegiate careers. Following a 1–1 deadlock, the Elis sent a lineup of all first years into the shootout and, after three goals, emerged victorious in their closest game of the season.
“Yesterday’s win was huge for us,” forward Imogen Davies ’21 said. “It was great to put on such an exciting performance for our amazing seniors. Although [Columbia’s] goalkeeper had a good game and was very tall, we had full confidence, and our players’ speed and ability to change angles was really impressive. And of course, Sydney saving all three of their [shots] was amazing.”
While Saturday’s weather made for frigid, rainy conditions, the two evenly matched sides toughed it out in an epic battle lasting over two hours. The Lions took the lead in the first half following a goal by midfielder Jamie McCormick, whose shot from the right wing slipped under Terroso’s foot. Three minutes into the second half, Yale answered with a penalty corner goal. Midfielder Bridget Condie ’20 notched her seventh tally of the season off an assist from stick stopper Sarah King ’21, tying the score at 1–1 before the teams headed into overtime.
The first overtime was fairly even, with both teams making shots and producing saves as the extra frame remained scoreless. The second overtime, however, saw the Lions overpower the Bulldogs in offensive opportunities, firing six shots compared with zero from Yale. Terroso, who was named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week coming into the weekend, kept the Elis in game with five excellent saves, pushing the game into a shootout and setting up its dramatic conclusion.
“We had confidence into double overtime that we would win,” forward Anissa Abboud ’21 said. “We knew we were the better team if it wasn’t obvious before regulation ended. We’ve been practicing shootouts every week with half the team. Choosing who took them was easy, and we had all the confidence we needed.”
The Yale first years proceeded to shine in the skill competition. First to the 23-meter line was midfielder Alissa Wong ’22, who fired a diving backhand goal to establish Yale’s momentum. A stop from Terroso on the following Columbia shot secured the Bulldogs’ advantage.
Next up was midfielder Théodora Dillman ’22, who dribbled to the right and then ripped the ball past Columbia goalkeeper Katie Dempsey to bring the score to 2–0 in Yale’s favor. Terroso maintained the lead by forcing Lions’ attacker Danielle Buttinger’s shot to sail wide of the net.
“Just like how we practice overtime every week, we also practice shootouts,” Wong said. “As a team, we’ve put in a lot of time and effort. Even after the whistle blew ending the second overtime, we were still very confident in ourselves that we could come out with a win together.”
Both goalies denied the shooters in the third round. Then, in an outstanding maneuver of speed and agility, Yale’s fourth shooter and back Katie Pieterse ’22 delivered the game-winning shot by driving directly towards Dempsey before darting to the right and whipping the ball into the side of the cage. The stadium erupted in cheers, celebrating the field hockey team’s hard-fought victory at home and the conclusion of a well-played game on both sides.
The Bulldogs turn their attention to Brown next Saturday in Providence. A win would give the Elis a double-digit victory total for the first time since 2011, when the team claimed the Ivy League Championship title. For a cohort that won only three games in its first year, the class of 2019 has helped the Bulldogs improve the team’s playing record throughout the past three years, demonstrating their perseverance and commitment.
“The team’s performance during the game was not incredible solely because we played good and clean hockey, it was great in the fact that we left everything we had on that field,” captain and back Kisa reflected. “Despite the freezing conditions and very apt opponent, the team battled every single moment of regulation, overtime, and into shootouts. As a senior having just finished her last home game on Johnson field, I have never been prouder to call this team my family and wouldn’t want to finish my field hockey career with anyone else.”
With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 7–3 at home this season.
Lucy Liu | firstname.lastname@example.org .