Lukas Flippo, Photo Editor

The Yale field hockey team conceded its second game of the season in a 2–1 overtime loss to Lafayette last Friday. 

After splitting their opening homestand against Merrimack and Fairfield, the Bulldogs took to the road for an evening contest with Lafayette. Although Yale was outshot 8–0 in the first half, not one Leopard had managed to net a goal past sophomore goaltender Luanna Summer ’24. Shortly after the third-period whistle, Lafayette grabbed the lead. But Yale evened the score half a minute later, and both teams entered overtime tied 1–1. Lafayette was ultimately able to capitalize on a recovered play to clinch the home victory.

“It was fun playing against such a strong opponent,” midfielder and California native Iliana Cabral ’22 said. “Lafayette gave us the chance to utilize the team’s speed and endurance.”

While Lafeyette generated more scoring chances throughout the first two periods with eight shots and seven penalty corners, Yale’s robust defense held the home team scoreless in the first half. By halftime, Summer had saved four of the Leopards’ shot attempts.

Despite a quiet first half, Lafayette came out of the gates hot in the third period. Midfielder Ariel Schumacher opened the scoring with a tipper assisted by a reverse sweep pass. Nevertheless, the Bulldogs’ determination did not waver. Yale forward Lena Ansari ’24 bagged her second goal of the season after knocking in a rebound.

“The defensive penalty corner unit did a fantastic job, as did Lu[anna Summer],” Yale field hockey head coach Pam Stuper told Yale Athletics following the game. “It was also huge for us that, 30 seconds after Lafayette scored, we went down and answered.”

The remainder of regulation time proceeded in a similar fashion to the first half — the Leopards continued to outshoot the Bulldogs and gained four more penalty corner chances. 

In overtime, Yale was unable to maintain consistent momentum as the Bulldogs’ first two possessions resulted in turnovers. By the eight-minute mark, Lafayette had gained control of the ball, and at 8:31 in the first overtime, midfielder and defender Lineke Spaans delivered the game-winning golden goal with a low shot into the net.

Before the match with Lafayette, Yale captain and midfielder Imogen Davies ’22 told the News that Yale was looking to adjust its mindset on offense.

“[We want to be] more direct in terms of going towards the goal, so creating more chances just by being a little bit more aggressive,” Davies said.

Despite Yale’s push to generate more opportunities at the net, the Bulldogs were ultimately outshot 16–3. Yet, they finished the game down by just a single goal.

According to Stuper, Friday night’s showing fully demonstrated a tread in the right direction for the team.

“We had a great week of practice, and the players applied what we trained,” Stuper said. “We took a good step from our [Fairfield] game.”

Yale will face Colgate at Johnson Field this Saturday at 1 p.m.

TRISHA NGUYEN
Trisha Nguyen covers men's and women's ice hockey, as well as field hockey as a staff reporter. Originally from St. Louis, she is a sophomore in Saybrook College majoring in molecular, cellular and developmental biology.