September 25, 2006

Field Hockey Defeated By Yale on Home Turf

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The field hockey team came out of the locker room yelling and screaming. From every perspective, the Red appeared to be chomping at the bit to get out on to Schoellkopf Field and play. When the whistle blew and the first ball was struck, however, the Red came out flat, letting Yale take a quick lead on its way to a 4-2 victory Saturday night.

“I don’t know why we were so flat,” said sophomore attacker Helena Haas. “We had a real positive attitude, and a good pre-game warm up. We just didn’t click, and things didn’t come as naturally and quickly as they have in previous games. I think that made us a little frustrated.”

The team was also frustrated by Yale’s quick score out of the gate. In the seventh minute, Yale slotted a goal in past junior Lizzie Goldblatt on its only penalty corner, and shot, of the half. It was a foreshadowing of things to come, as Yale never looked back and converted on nearly every opportunity it had, improving to 2-5 (1-1 Ivy). For the Red, it was the second straight loss, as the team fell to 4-2 (2-1 Ivy).

“In the first half, they were just better going to the ball,” said senior co-captain Lindsay Moyer. “They were quicker on their feet. Quicker than we expected. We looked at video all week and the team that showed up was not the team on video. They looked like they didn’t take advantage of their speed, but I thought they were pretty quick Saturday. We also thought their transition and passing out of the back field would not be as good as it was.”

Despite the flat first-half play, Cornell was not without chances to equalize the score. The Red couldn’t convert on several penalty corners, and sophomore center midfielder Katlyn Donoghue was stopped on a penalty shot by the Bulldogs’ senior goalie Elizabeth Friedlander, who dove high and to her left to nab the save.

“We had a lot of shots on goal, which was the game plan,” Moyer said. “Their goalie’s style of play is that she moves around a lot in goal and comes out of the net a lot. The idea was we would shoot, bring her out, and capitalize on the rebounds. However, we were getting the shots in behind the goalie, but the defense was just getting the ball out of there. Sometimes they got a little lucky.”

Yale took its 1-0 lead into the locker room at half time. When the whistle blew for the second half, the Red played more like it had expected to.

“We definitely dominated on offense in the second half,” Donoghue said. “We were moving the ball well, and had a nice transition game going. The forwards did a good job of getting behind the defense, and the midfield was doing a good job getting up on offense.”

Cornell’s offensive thrust led to 10 second-half shots, and 15 overall, along with eight second-half penalty corners, and 10 on the evening. However, it was the Bulldogs that converted their opportunities, scoring four goals on only seven total shots. [img_assist|nid=18516|title=Aim, fire|desc=Sophomore Belen Martinez (21) scored a late goal off a penalty corner in the field hockey team’s 4-2 loss to Yale on Saturday night. (Kuan-Wei Chen / Sun Staff)|link=popup|align=right|width=95|height=100]

“Their transition game beat us,” Donoghue said. “They were just hitting the ball at us, just flailing at the ball instead of really using any sort of passing game. We didn’t really expect that, and it led to their forwards getting in behind our defense. There was nothing Lizzie could do about a bunch of those shots.”

Sophomore quarterback Belen Martinez did eventually convert on a penalty corner in the 54th minute, and sophomore Katie Bradshaw netted another goal on the Red’s second penalty stroke of the night in the 63rd minute. It was too little too late for the Red, however, as the clock ran out amidst an offensive flurry from the team. Yale’s bench met the team on the field around midfield in a pile of hugs and screams as sticks were thrown aside. Cornell took a quiet lap around the field before heading to the locker room.

“Maybe we didn’t have as much respect for them as we should have,” Donoghue said. “They got some lucky breaks, but you have to give them credit.”