On a gloomy, rain-filled Friday night, Yale field hockey dropped its season opener to UMass. But as the Bulldogs did several times last season, they managed to bounce back on Sunday with a commanding shut-out victory against Sacred Heart.
Heading into the season opener against a UMass team (2–2, 0–0 Atlantic 10) that had already faced two nationally ranked teams the week prior, the Elis (1–1, 0–0 Ivy) had their work cut out for them. The game got out of hand quickly, with the Minutewomen amassing a 3–0 lead entering halftime. While Yale went toe-to-toe with UMass for the remaining two quarters, it was not enough, and the game finished 4–1 in favor of the visitors. The result did not faze the Elis, who proceeded to dominate Sacred Heart (1–3, 0–0 NEC) on both ends of the field with a final score of 4–0. The shutout was Yale’s most lop-sided shutout since the team’s 4–0 win against Brown in 2017.
“We had a big change in [our] attacking mentality [Sunday],” midfielder Imogen Davies ’21 said. “After our UMass game, we really noticed the numbers and intensity with which [UMass] attacked, and we felt that we didn’t manage to match that. So going into [Sunday], we really all bought into [the idea of] attacking with numbers and just being as aggressive as possible in the circle. Going forward, I think we need to keep that aggressive attacking mentality and the determination to keep a clean sheet defensively.”
Scoring her first goal of the season, midfielder Jess Beech got the Minutewomen off to a hot start with a 1–0 lead two minutes before the end of the first quarter. She then doubled UMass’ advantage in the second. Just 30 seconds later, the Minutewomen’s star forward and captain Lucy Copper made it a 3–0 game. Copper has now scored in six of her last nine games.
While UMass then opened the second-half with a goal from forward Katherine Furry, the Bulldogs’ defense managed to regroup and hold the Minutewomen scoreless for the remaining 25 minutes of the game.
For the Elis, Davies chipped into the four-goal deficit with a goal of her own to put Yale on the board. But ultimately, the first-half deficit proved too much to overcome, and UMass sailed to its first win of the season, ending a two-game losing streak.
Yale returned to the field early Sunday afternoon against Sacred Heart. Any doubts about the team’s ability to rebound from an ugly loss quickly dissolved, as midfielder and reigning team MVP Theodora Dillman ’22 put the Bulldogs on top with an early 1–0 lead. Just five minutes later, defender Holly Jackson ’20 scored on a penalty corner — her second goal in the last 25 games.
“Our mindset was very positive headed into [Sunday’s] game,” goalie Sydney Terroso ’21 said. “While Friday wasn’t the outcome we wanted, it was a good opportunity to learn and grow. We came out [Sunday] ready to shoot and score and play to our strengths and we did just that.”
For the next two-and-a-half quarters, the Eli defense, anchored by Terroso, shined bright alongside the offense. The Pioneers attempted 13 shots, three of which were penalties, but none of which managed to get past Terroso. Terroso finished the game with 10 saves, and goals from forward Camille Scheyer ’20 and Davies in the fourth quarter powered Yale to a commanding shutout victory.
Yale travels to Virginia this weekend, where the Bulldogs will take on No. 20 Liberty and No. 11 Virginia.
Jared Fel | firstname.lastname@example.org