Struggling to break past Yale’s defense, Cornell field hockey fell to the Bulldogs in a well-fought 1-0 overtime loss, but recovered to triumph 2-0 over Lehigh Monday evening.
Both the Red and the Bulldogs arrived at Cornell’s Dodson Field on Saturday looking to secure their first Ivy League win of the year.
In the first half of the game, the Bulldogs (5-4, 1-2 Ivy) took the offensive advantage, overwhelming Cornell (3-8, 0-3) with a 6-2 lead in shots. Sophomore forward Grace Royer struggled to find the back of the goal as goalie Sydney Terroso and defender Theodora Dillma thwarted her back-to-back shots.
During the second half, Yale once again outshot the Red, 9-4. However, junior goalkeeper Maddie Henry managed to neutralize the Bulldogs’ offensive spree, saving a total of 10 shots on goal — an ironclad defensive performance that kept Yale off the scoreboard.
But the battle of defenses lasted just a few minutes into overtime, when Yale midfielder Bridget Condie intercepted a pass in the Red’s defensive zone, rushed into the circle and tucked a reverse stick shot into the back of the goal — ending the game with a 1-0 score.
“Frankly, overtime was a disappointment. We were immediately playing against friction instead of passing the ball to open space and giving ourselves a chance to spread the field and get into our pattern,” said assistant coach Steve Simpson. “The goal that we lost on came directly from losing the ball when we didn’t have to lose the ball.”
With just two penalty corners during the whole game, Cornell continually struggled to gain access into Yale’s defensive zone.
But despite closely missing a chance at notching its first conference victory of the year, Simpson said that the Red’s loss was not without its positives.
“We played well against Yale,” he said. “As is often the case in sports, small percentages make the difference, and it was small percentages in this game that made the difference.”
As it turned out, the Red successfully capitalized on these critical ‘small percentages’ when it toppled Lehigh two days later.
Just 16 minutes into the game, junior midfielder Kirsten Pienaar put Cornell on the scoreboard when she sent a penalty stroke, assisted by Julianne Mangano, into the Mountain Hawks’ goal.