The Yale field hockey team emerged victorious in both of its contests this weekend, defeating Columbia on Friday and Merrimack on Sunday.
Yale (6–10, 2–4 Ivy) traveled to the Big Apple on Friday to take on Columbia (7–8, 3–3) in its sixth conference matchup of the season. After winning in a shootout last season, the Elis once again defeated Columbia in extra time, seizing a 4–3 victory after a goal by forward Olivia Levieux ’21. On Sunday, the Elis sealed their second two-win weekend of the 2019 campaign with a 8–1 victory over Merrimack (2–14, 1–5 Northeast).
“In the first quarter, we came out really strong. We were aggressive both on attack and on defense,” head coach Pam Stuper said after Sunday’s contest against Merrimack. “We’re doing what we are capable of now: solid team attack, solid team defense, and we are finishing.”
Five minutes into the opening game of the weekend, midfielder Bridget Condie ’20 scored on a penalty corner assisted by defender Katie Pieterse ’22. After Pieterse stopped the insertion pass, Condie stepped forward and blasted a shot past Columbia goalkeeper Alexa Conomikes. Despite Condie’s early goal, the Lions fired back less than a minute later with a goal of their own. The hosts added another goal shortly thereafter, finishing the quarter with a 2–1 lead over the visiting Bulldogs.
Condie, the team’s captain, provided another boost in momentum early in the second quarter, finding forward Lena Ansari ’23 in front of goal. Ansari, surrounded by a Columbia defender and the goalkeeper, calmly slotted the ball into the bottom right corner for her third goal of the season.
After entering halftime tied 2–2, the Lions struck first in the third period when midfielder Allison Smith scored on a penalty corner. But the Elis’ defensive unit put in a strong performance throughout the game, holding the Lions to just one goal on 13 penalty corners. The defense also held Columbia to just seven shots on goal, and the Bulldogs as a whole outshot the Lions 23–16.
Buoyed by their strong first half performance, the Elis continued to put pressure on the opposition in the third period. Tallying eight shots and four corners in that frame alone, the Bulldogs finally broke through when forward Levieux scored on a corner. After midfielder Imogen Davies ’21 played the ball into midfielder Alissa Wong ’22, Levieux stepped forward and shot the ball, which deflected off of the keeper and found the back of the net.
Tied 3–3 at the end of regulation, the contest went to overtime for the second consecutive season. Just two minutes into extra time, the Lions were flagged for a foul in the shooting circle, giving the Elis an opportunity to seal the game. Levieux, who has the second most goals on the team, showed no hesitation as she stepped forward, sending the ball to the goalie’s right and into the back of the net.
“It was great to get a win against Columbia, especially since it’s an Ivy win. We felt well prepared going into the game and showed a lot of confidence and resilience through the entirety of the game,” forward Josie Jahng ’23 said. “We practice overtime almost every day so we felt good going into that extra period.”
In its second game of the weekend, Yale crushed the Merrimack defense in a convincing 8–1 win. After nine minutes, the Bulldogs tallied their first goal of the contest as Condie made a diving effort to send the shot into the bottom right corner. In the remaining six minutes in the period, the Elis added four additional goals, two of which were scored by forward Kelly Dolan ’22.
Although Yale failed to tally any goals in the second and third quarters, they scored three more in the fourth quarter, adding to the Warriors’ misery. This dominant win capped off a perfect weekend in what has been a frustrating season for the Elis. Despite struggling to win games early in the season, the Bulldogs have won four of their last five.
“I think everyone wants to end on a high,” Condie said. “We play best when we are enjoying ourselves.”
The Elis will celebrate Senior Day next Saturday when they take on Brown.
Drew Beckmen | email@example.com