Senior Midfielder Gets 15th Helper to Establish Mark
HAMDEN, Conn. - Senior midfielder Katie Cantore set the Yale single-season assist record to highlight Yale's 2-1 win at Quinnipiac Thursday afternoon. Cantore notched her 15th assist of the season on sophomore back Erin Carter's penalty-corner goal at 27:02 of the first half, breaking a four-way tie for the record. Cantore later added a goal of her own to cap the day.
The record breaker came when Cantore, as stick stopper, sent a pass to Carter for a low line drive that went in. Cantore actually did not officially get credit for the assist until hours after the game had ended, since the initial scoring had the assist going to senior back Julia Weiser. That was a case of mistaken identity, since Weiser and Cantore were both right next to each other on the penalty corner and wear similar uniform numbers (21 for Cantore, 20 for Weiser). Adding to the confusion was the fact that the ball appeared to go off a Quinnipiac player on its way in, but that does not change the scoring. Additionally, Yale sophomore forward/midfielder Chelsey Locarno -- who was right on the goal line behind Quinnipiac goalkeeper Jenna Grossman as Carter's shot went in -- got a stick on the ball, but the ball was ruled to be over the goal line before Locarno touched it.
As a result of the way the goal was scored and the assist was credited, there was relatively little hoopla about the record. And that's probably the way Cantore prefers it.
"She's one of the toughest competitors I've ever coached," said Yale head coach Pam Stuper. "She's also one of the most humble. She would just rather go out and win a game. All the records and individual accomplishments are secondary to her."
It was Stuper who, before the season, encouraged Cantore to make it her goal to break the school assist record of 14. Sarah Driscoll '05 had done it twice (2002 and 2003) and Maggie Smeal '82 had done it once (1979). When Cantore started this season with eight assists in the first five games it became clear that the record was in jeopardy. She has been a model of consistency all year long, with either one or two assists in 12 of Yale's 14 games. Cantore started this week third in the country in assists per game. Ironically, Thursday's goal was her first of the year.
"One of the keys to our success this season has been the leadership from Katie, captain Julia Weiser and the rest of the senior class," said Stuper. "All they care about is winning."
The win Thursday came by the slimmest of margins in part because of Grossman, who finished with 14 saves. Overall Yale had a 31-4 shot advantage and a 15-2 penalty corner advantage. Quinnipiac (4-10) had only one shot in the first half.
"Quinnipiac's goalie had an outstanding game," said Stuper. "She really made it difficult for us to score."
Yale (9-5) just missed out on a shutout when a breakaway gave forward Kristin Engelke the chance to set up forward Kaitlyn Notarianni for a Bobcat goal with 36 seconds left. Appropriately, the Bulldogs got the ball to Cantore on the pass back after the Quinnipiac goal, and she controlled it to run out the clock on the victory.
The Bulldogs' three remaining games are all Ivy League games, starting with Sunday's 1 p.m. contest at Penn. Three more wins would give Yale its fifth season of 12 or more wins in school history.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity