PRINCETON, N.J. – The Yale field hockey team was three minutes away from upsetting No. 16 Princeton Friday night at Bedford Field -- but in the end, a decisive Tigers advantage in penalty corners proved costly for the Bulldogs. Princeton scored on its 10th and 11th penalty corners of the game -- the last with time expired -- to pull out a 3-2 win. The loss overshadowed a 10 save performance from Yale first-year goalkeeper Sydney Terroso. Senior forward/midfielder Carol Middough and first-year midfielder Imogen Davies scored the Bulldogs' goals.
Princeton (5-4, 2-0 Ivy League), which had won its first Ivy League game 5-0, took an early lead on Yale as back MaryKate Neff tipped a shot high into the back of the cage at the 4:45 mark. But that would be the last Tigers goal for more than 62 minutes.
Yale (4-4, 0-2 Ivy League) answered quickly. After intercepting a Princeton pass near the top of the circle, Middough spun around and fired in a reverse shot high to tie the game at the 7:23 mark.
"After they scored early, for Carol to capitalize on that one shot and get a goal out of it was awesome," said Pam Stuper, Yale's Caroline Ruth Thompson '02 Head Coach of Field Hockey. "That kept Princeton from getting any momentum."
The Tigers came up empty on their first two corners of the game, and the Bulldogs' defense would wind up limiting them to nine shots for the half.
Yale, meanwhile, capitalized on its first corner of the game. After Middough took a hard, low shot, Tigers keeper Grace Baylis went down to make the save. Davies, the inserter, was all alone at the post and lifted the rebound in for a 2-1 lead at 16:49.
"We have been working on our corners, making sure we get quality shots and have people in the right place to get a rebound," said Stuper. "That goal was a product of that hard work."
After Princeton striker Ryan McCarthy hit the crossbar with a shot late in the first half, the Bulldogs went into halftime up 2-1. Senior back Tess Thompson cleared the ball in the waning moments to end the final Tiger threat.
The penalty corners came early and often for Princeton in the second half, including three in the first 10 minutes. Terroso then delivered a nice kick save on the Tigers' seventh corner of the game, with less than 20 minutes to play. Sophomore midfielder/back Holly Jackson blocked a corner shot with less than six minutes to go, and Terroso made a save on the next one.
But the decisive edge in corners for Princeton (8-0 for the second half, 11-1 for the game) eventually turned things in the Tigers' favor. McCarthy scored off a slip left with 2:56 left to tie the game. Terroso then made three more saves as time wound down in regulation, but Princeton got one last corner as the clock hit 00:00. After McCarthy's initial shot was blocked, she followed up with the game winner.
Despite the loss -- Yale's second one-goal loss to a nationally ranked Ivy League team -- the Bulldogs still could draw some positives from the game. They wound up scoring more goals than three ranked teams that had already played Princeton: No. 10 Maryland and No. 22 Rutgers scored one, and No. 24 BU was shut out. Yale's two goals matched the output from three of the top four teams that Princeton has faced: No. 1 North Carolina, No. 3 Penn State and No. 4 Duke.
"I'm very proud of the team's effort," said Stuper. "Every single person contributed, both on attack and on defense. We played as a team again, and that was what allowed us to take the lead and hold it for so long."
The Bulldogs now head west to take on Lehigh Sunday.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity