DEAR DIARY - Sarah Driscoll

Sept. 15, 2003

With the disappointing loss to Sacred Heart behind us we showed up to practice on Monday ready for a fresh start. The season opener taught us a lot and we were ready to prove that we are not a team who crumbles after a tough start. Even from the practice warm-up it was evident that this was a group ready to work hard and make the necessary adjustments before our next game against URI on Wednesday.

The energy on Wednesday was great and as a team we knew all of the fundamentals were in place just as they had been throughout preseason, all we needed to control was our heart and desire. We made a pact as a team that we were never going to walk off of Johnson Field feeling that we had been outworked by our opponents. Sure practices exist to improve your skills and review certain plays but when it comes to the actual game day the most important components are heart and desire and the rest will fall into place. Once we reached and trusted this conclusion as a team we were ready to take the field against URI and prove that Yale Field Hockey was ready to compete. It was a hard fought game on both ends but in the end our efforts paid off as we walked off the field with a 1-0 victory! The new streak had begun...

Once again, however, we showed up on Thursday with the exciting win behind us for we had one of the biggest games of our season ahead of us, our Ivy League opener against Princeton. It would be tough to forget the unfortunate beginning to our season last year but we had an entirely new mentality this year and we were ready to work hard and prepare over the next two practices to begin our journey towards an Ivy championship. On Thursday Ainslee came to us with a plan of attack that would utilize our strengths and exploit their weaknesses and as a team we successfully adjusted to the new system and got more and more excited to "tear up the tigers".

After practice on Friday, we loaded the bus and headed down to Princeton, stopping at Bertuccis to ensure we were all fueled for the big game. As expected the rain began that night, but the predicted dreary weather did nothing but enhance our excitement and give us confidence knowing that Yale Field Hockey will compete under any conditions, any time, anywhere. Emotions soared the next day and in the pre-game meeting we reconfirmed our commitment as a team to leave our hearts on the field and prove to everyone why it is a privilege to where the Yale across our chests. Not a single person could doubt this after watching Saturday's game.

By the second half we found ourselves down 0-3 which in field hockey is a considerable deficit to overcome, for some teams. Not ours. We battled back, every single person giving everything they had, with impressive performances from four freshman, Trish Bissett (who got her first collegiate goal) Lindsay Collins, Heather Orrico and Emily Palilonis who showed unbelievable skill and poise in their first league game. After a successfully converted corner, Meredith Hudson tied the game in the remaining minutes of regulation to bring the game into OT with a score of 4-4. While we had our chances in overtime, things did not fall in our favor as the Tigers scored at about the 4 minute mark. While there were tears and obvious disappointment we kept our heads high because we knew that for those 70+ minutes each and every one of us had done everything in our power and that is all you can ever really ask. As a team we had taken a huge step and now realized we could compete with absolutely any team out there...our dreams for an Ivy ring are far from gone.

Thanks to the Worthington's generosity and hospitality we all went to Brooke's house following the game. The food was incredible and spirits were high, for although we went into Saturdays game looking for a win the day proved to us that we are a team that does not shy away from challenges or adversity and that this season will be everything we are expecting it to be.