NEW HAVEN, Conn. – First year midfielder Théodora Dillman capped a hard-fought game between Yale and Sacred Heart Sunday afternoon at Johnson Field by knocking in the game-winning goal 1:57 into overtime, lifting the Bulldogs to a 2-1 win.
Yale (4-3, 0-1 Ivy League) fell behind shortly before halftime on a goal by SHU forward/midfielder Colleen McAninley, but the Bulldogs still had some momentum. They had outshot the Pioneers 10-3 and gotten four corners to SHU's one in the first half.
"We felt if we played our game, the result would take care of itself," said Pam Stuper, Yale's Caroline Ruth Thompson '02 Head Coach of Field Hockey. "Overall, we stuck with the game plan. The opportunities we created were good. We didn't get frustrated. At the end of the first half when Sacred Heart got a goal, we started swinging for a bit, but then we settled back in."
Shots were similarly lopsided in favor of Yale in the second half (14-4). The Bulldogs came up empty on their first four corners, but converted one at the 24:13 mark on a beautiful deflection by sophomore midfielder Imogen Davies off a shot by junior midfielder Bridget Condie. That was Davies' team-leading fourth goal of the season.
Sacred Heart (6-5, 0-0 NEC) had the final four corners of regulation but could not score. One last threat for Yale with 20 seconds left ended when the ball was tipped away from Dillman right in front of the goal.
Dillman took advantage of her next opportunity in overtime, taking a feed from first year back Katie Pieterse low in the circle and tucking the ball past SHU keeper Alyssa Stevens from a tough angle.
Pieterse, listed as a back, did some of her best work playing forward in this game. The assist marked her first career point, rounding out a big day for Yale's first-year class. In addition to Dillman and Pieterse, Stuper also called on first year midfielder Alissa Wong for critical minutes in overtime.
"Theodora played a great game," said Stuper. "She was very dangerous on attack, and we slotted her in more of a defensive role in the midfield. She's a regular for us anyway, and when you have a kid that's hot like that it's a no-brainer to put her on the field for overtime. We thought at some point she was bound to score, she was creating so much. Katie got in near the end of regulation and made some things happen. We figured she would provide us with some fresh legs. She played forward in high school, and did a great job of setting people up. And Alissa is someone who can be a playmaker."
Sophomore goalkeeper Sydney Terroso finished with three saves, while Stevens made 11.
The win moves Yale to 4-0 at home this season, and 11-4 in the last 15 games at Johnson Field. The Bulldogs host No. 5 Princeton next Friday, part of Alumnae Weekend. The festivities include the dedication of the team's new facility, Carol Roberts Field House.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (email@example.com), Yale Sports Publicity