3-1 loss drops field hockey out of first

by Haley Gordon | 10/27/14 3:48pm

Following a two-game win streak that included a 5-4 win over Holy Cross, the field hockey team has now lost two straight.

The field hockey team lost a crucial league game to Columbia University in its Sunday matchup and fell out of a tie for first place in the Ivy League. The Big Green (5-9, 3-2 Ivy) let up three goals in the first half and failed to equalize in the second despite shutting the Lions (11-4, 4-1 Ivy) out in the final frame.

Dartmouth dropped to fourth place in the league, behind Columbia, Cornell University and Princeton University, who have 4-1 records in the Ancient Eight. The win extended the Lions’ win streak to five.

“I think everyone put their hearts out on the field. Everyone left everything on the field. Unfortunately we just couldn’t put it together as a team, which resulted in us not being able to take home the ‘W,’” Janine Leger ’15 said.

The Big Green had the first chance of the game on a penalty corner from Ali Savage ’15 and consecutive shots by Brooke Van Valkenburg ’16, but the team could not find the net in the fourth minute.

The Lions responded in the seventh minute when Columbia senior Zoe Blake found the back of the net after a penalty corner taken by senior Kyle Marsh.

The Big Green fought to level the score and had possession in Columbia’s end, resulting in five shots on goal. One went wide, another hit the post, two were saved by the goalie and one by a defender, however, as the Big Green remained unable to break through.

The shots off the post, Anna Ewasechko ’18 said, were particularly disappointing “because it was a big game in terms of Ivy League standings.”

The Lions notched their second goal of the game in the 16th minute, off of a penalty corner from senior Lauren Skudalski. Blake ultimately assisted freshman Whitney Hartstone for the point. The third goal for Columbia came over 10 minutes later when junior Christina Freibott put a shot past Meyer.

After the Lions scored their third goal of the game, the Big Green called a time out. After this break, Meyer said, the team “buckle[d] down” and “kick[ed] it up into another gear.” Meyer attributed the team’s success in the second half to a renewed intensity and aggressive defensive transitions.

Ellen Meyer ’15 had a strong showing in net, making 13 total saves, including three in a 14-second span in the 29th minute.

The Dartmouth players took the field after halftime and immediately moved to strike back, with a scoring attempt by Julia Donald ’18 just 35 seconds in.

Ewasechko scored the only goal for Dartmouth after Eliza Becker ’16 drove to the baseline and fed the ball in. Ewasechko, who had five total shots in the game, buried it for her second tally of the season.

The Big Green offense, despite a 20-shot performance on the afternoon, could not connect with the back of the net again. This was due in part to junior goalkeeper Kimberly Pianucci’s nine saves, as well as three saves by Columbia’s defensive line.

“It was really frustrating because you could see how hungry people were for goals and how they were trying, but it just didn’t fall in our favor,” Leger said.

Dartmouth had six penalty corner situations in the first half, but only managed three in the second half. Columbia had 14 such opportunities

“We were able to get a lot of short corners, but we just weren’t able to execute,” Ewasechko said. “If we were able to execute on them, the score would have been completely different.”

The field hockey team will next take the field against Harvard University on Saturday at 1 p.m. Harvard (8-6, 2-3 Ivy) occupies the fifth-place spot behind Dartmouth. The team’s final game of the year is at league-leading Cornell University. If the team hopes to win the Ivy title this season, it must win its last two games and get some help along the way.