With losses against both Harvard and Hofstra this weekend, the Yale field hockey team failed to build upon the momentum it established through a dominant six-goal win against Wagner just a week ago.
Yale faced off against No. 19 Harvard (4–2, 1–0 Ivy) and Hofstra (4–5, 0–0 Colonial) on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Despite a strong showing against a high-powered Crimson team, the Bulldogs fell 2–1 in both contests. After conceding the first goal on a Harvard corner, the Blue and White rebounded when forward Olivia Levieux ’21 tied the game just five minutes later. The Elis continued to put pressure on the Crimson, frustrating its players and coaches throughout the game. However, their efforts came up short, as Harvard’s captain Bente van Vlijmen netted a goal off of another penalty corner in the third quarter. Nonetheless, the Bulldogs proved themselves capable of playing against some of the nation’s top talent.
“Going into Harvard, our team was incredibly focused and ready to work hard for each other,” Levieux said. “I think that teamwork mindset is why we came out so well against Harvard.”
In the first quarter of the game against Harvard, Yale appeared strong and confident. Working together as a team, the Elis moved the ball quickly, keeping possession and building attacks.
Forward Josie Jahng ’23 told the News that although Yale was nervous entering the first quarter, the Elis quickly realized that it was anyone’s game and that they were entirely capable of competing against the Harvard team.
Although the Crimson struck first with a goal by Hannah Pearce, the Elis did not concede defeat. They continued pressuring their rival with promising attacks, one of which ultimately resulted in the goal by Levieux. After having her initial shot deflected by Crimson goalkeeper Ellie Shahbo, Levieux deftly pursued her own rebound and scored for her third goal of the season.
The second quarter was closely contested, with neither team able to break through for a second tally. The Elis continued to play with a sense of confidence and fluidity that challenged and frustrated Harvard’s side.
In the third quarter, the Crimson earned three consecutive corner penalties, which proved to be too much for the Elis’ defensive unit. On the third corner, van Vlijmen converted, netting her third goal of the 2019 season. The Blue and White continued to fight for an equalizer, but Harvard limited Yale to just two shots in the fourth period, both of which were saved by Shahbo.
Although Harvard’s 14 shots were markedly more than Yale’s six, the Bulldogs put all of their shots on target, challenging the keeper throughout the game. Overall, Yale’s offense looked far more threatening than it had in the team’s previous contests against ranked opponents such as No. 13 Liberty and No. 5 Virginia.
“Going into the rest of conference play we really want to take the confidence with which we played Harvard and look to further that,” forward Imogen Davies ’21 said. “Hopefully we can convert the hard work so far this season into some more great performances on the field and hopefully a few more goals.”
After a promising performance at home against Harvard, the Elis traveled to Long Island to face Hofstra on Sunday.
Following a scoreless first quarter, Yale took the lead on a penalty corner goal by captain Bridget Condie ’20. Limiting Hofstra to just two shots in the first half, the Bulldogs entered the break with a 1–0 lead. However, the Pride responded in the second half with a much stronger offensive effort.
With four shots in the third quarter alone, Hofstra found net twice in six minutes. Defender Camilla Larsson scored off of a penalty corner to tie the game, and midfielder Madison Warfel gave the Pride the lead with a goal just before the end of the third quarter.
The loss against Hofstra comes as a disappointment to the Bulldogs, especially given their impressive performance against Harvard on Saturday. However, the Bulldogs have no time to lament the losses as they enter into the crux of their conference season.
“I can’t comment on Hofstra, except to say that we were all obviously incredibly disappointed with our performance and moving forward, we are going to focus again on the team and continuing the process of working hard for each other,” Levieux said.
The Bulldogs head south to take on the Princeton Tigers on Friday in New Jersey.
Drew Beckmen | firstname.lastname@example.org
Madison Hahamy | email@example.com