The Yale field hockey team suffered two one-goal defeats against Princeton and Drexel this weekend, bringing their tally of consecutive one-goal losses to four.
On Friday, Yale (2–7, 0–2 Ivy) faced off against No. 12 Princeton (7–4, 2–0 Ivy) in New Jersey. Despite their offensive struggles this season, the Elis came out hot, tallying two goals within the first five minutes. Forwards Anissa Abboud ’21 and Olivia Levieux ’21 gave the Bulldogs a 2–1 advantage come halftime. Yale then forced overtime after falling behind 3–2 in the third. But the Tigers’ offense proved to be too explosive, knocking in a goal to seal the game in OT. In their second game of the weekend, the Elis suffered a 2–1 defeat at Drexel (3–7, 1–0 Colonial). Although captain Bridget Condie ’20 cut the lead in half in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs once again fell short by one goal, a situation with which they are all too familiar.
“We’re a good team who believes in each other and our ability to win games and push teams, like Princeton and Harvard, who are highly ranked,” Levieux said. “The past two weekends have been incredibly difficult mentally, but we know that we’re a great team who’s worked so incredibly hard to get to where we are, competing with some of the best in the country.”
Just two minutes into the game against the Tigers, forward Théodora Dillman ’22 played a remarkable aerial pass that got past the Tigers’ defensive line, setting up Abboud for a one-on-one against the goalkeeper. Abboud, who made her first start of the season against Princeton, remained calm and found twine with a clinical finish to the goalie’s left. On a penalty corner three minutes later, forward Imogen Davies ’21 played the insertion to midfielder Alissa Wong ’22, who stopped the ball and allowed Levieux to take a shot, which found the back of the net after deflecting off of a Princeton defender’s stick.
But the Tigers then held Yale scoreless in the second and third quarters as they tallied three goals of their own. Princeton recorded 24 shots in these two frames alone, but Yale goalkeeper Sydney Terroso ’21 was exceptional, saving nine out of the 12 shots on goal.
Terroso, who finished with 16 saves, continued to be a standout player for the Elis. She has recorded double-digit saves in three out of Yale’s nine games so far this season.
Despite falling behind 3–2 in the third quarter, the Elis remained confident and scored off another penalty corner. After a couple of shots were deflected, forward Kelly Dolan ’22 sent one past the keeper for her first goal of the year.
Coming off of the goal, the Bulldogs entered overtime with some momentum, but Princeton’s offensive firepower ultimately proved to be too difficult to stop. Six minutes into overtime, the Tigers earned their 17th penalty corner of the game, leading to their game-winning goal by Ali McCarthy.
Even though the Bulldogs lost, they displayed remarkable grit and determination against a talented Princeton team that has defeated top-ranked sides such as No. 2 Duke and No. 11 Delaware this season. The Elis’ offense also showed signs of improvement after recording just one goal in each of the previous two games. Their penalty corner offense proved more effective against Princeton, and two of the goal-scorers, Abboud and Dolan, netted their first goals of the season.
“I think we went into the game feeling pretty well prepared,” midfielder Josie Jahng ’23 said. “We stuck to our game plan and played to our strengths, and most importantly we played together as a team. That combination really helped us put together a great game and a great fight.”
On Sunday, Yale faced Drexel in Philadelphia. After a scoreless first quarter, Drexel midfielder Tess Bernheimer sent a shot past Terroso, giving the Dragons a 1–0 lead. The Dragons extended their lead halfway through the fourth quarter, but Condie responded with a goal of her own just three minutes later. Although Condie’s goal gave the Elis a chance to tie the game, the Dragons held on for a 2–1 victory.
“We are entering this week of practice focusing on each other, and that our strengths are in focusing on the team and playing as a unit,” Dillman said. “This week we will continue to pull together, focusing on encouraging each other through each and every play and demanding excellence from one another.”
Yale returns home for its third conference game of the season against Cornell on Saturday at Johnson Field.
Drew Beckmen | firstname.lastname@example.org
Madison Hahamy | email@example.com