In the field hockey version of The Game, an inspired Radcliffe squad battled a highly-favored Yale squad to a 1-1 tie, salvaging an otherwise dismal season.
"It will go down on the record as a tie," said Radcliffe coach Pippi O'Connor, "but it was a win for us."
O'Connor's comment summed up the feelings of the jubilant Radcliffe squad. Going into the contest, Radcliffe had a poor record of 1-6-1, while the explosive Eli team boasted an impressive 7-1-0 slate.
The secret to Radcliffe's "win" was a combination of fine defensive efforts of both center halfback Nancy Sato and all-Northeast college all-star Karen Linsley, together with the superb goaltending of senior captain Barbie Matson.
In the opening minutes Radcliffe dominated the game, keeping the play confined to the Yale side of the field. The pressure paid off ten minutes into the game when forward Lucy Wood rammed a pass from left wing Eve Gardner past disbelieving Yale netminder Jodie Hitchcock for a 1-0 lead.
For the remainder of the period the two squads engaged in a defensive battle, as neither team could mount an offensive threat.
Yale, demonstrating the poise that has made it a winner all season, turned aggressor in the next half and maintained constant pressure in the Radcliffe end.
At the six-minute mark Yale sophomore center halfback Anne Keating spoiled Barbie Matson's shutout with a clean slap, knotting the score at 1-1.
Karen "True Grit" Linsley was ecstatic with the draw. She explained that the team was "really psyched" for Yale and had practiced for two weeks in preparation for the contest.
"We thought that if we beat Yale, it would make up for our rather poor season," Linsley said. "But a tie's almost as good."
O'Connor lauded the steady performances of center halfback Nancy Sato and goalie Barbie Matson, her only two seniors playing their last game for Radcliffe. "Nancy was the backbone of our defense," O'Connor said, "and it will be awfully hard to replace Barbie in goal."