McCauley Moves within Three Points of School Career Points Record
PHILADELPHIA - In winning eight of 11 games heading into Sunday's contest at Penn, the Yale field hockey team had only fallen behind by more than one goal twice in that span. But that was the hole the Bulldogs found themselves in less than 13 minutes into the game Sunday, as a pair of goals by midfielder Kelsey Tahan put the Quakers in control early. The Bulldogs chipped away at the lead with one goal late in the first half and one early in the second half, while four saves from senior goalkeeper Charlotte Goins kept Penn off the scoreboard. Yale finally won it in dramatic fashion, 3-2, on sophomore forward Mia Rosati's goal 3:26 into overtime.
Tahan scored her first goal just 59 seconds into the game, as her long shot deflected off a Yale stick high into the left corner. She then extended Penn's lead off a penalty corner at 12:42, as Yale junior goalie Katie Bolling was screened on the play.
Yale (10-5, 4-1 Ivy League) began its comeback 10 minutes later, as senior forward Ashley McCauley deflected a pass from outside the circle by sophomore midfielder Dinah Landshut past Penn keeper Kieran Sweeney (five saves).
Penn (4-10, 1-3 Ivy League) had a 4-2 advantage in penalty corners in the first half but could not extend its lead any further. The Bulldogs, playing on the grassy Sprinturf-brand artificial turf that Franklin Field has for the one and only time this season, eventually adjusted the speed of the game to their advantage.
"In the first half, it took some time to get used to the turf even though we had practiced on it," said Yale head coach Pam Stuper. "Some of the things we had talked about doing in practice we weren't doing. We went out in the second half and controlled the tempo, put the ball in space and allowed the forwards to run to the ball."
Rosati knotted things up at 44:08 when she dove to deflect in a pass from McCauley. Goins made all four of her saves in the second half, when she came on in relief Bolling.
"Char stepped in and help organize the defense," Stuper said. "We had to shut them out from that point on. We know both goalies can step in and help us be successful."
A great save by Sweeney denied the game-winner in regulation, but the Bulldogs converted their first penalty corner of overtime into Rosati's game-winner. With the teams playing seven-on-seven, McCauley took the role of inserter normally handled by sophomore back Marissa Waldemore. She sent it to Rosati for a self-stop, and Rosati's shot from just inside the circle deflected off a Penn stick and in to the opposite corner for the win.
Rosati has come alive of late, with four goals in the last five games after scoring one in the first 10.
"Mia has been battling injury all year long," Stuper said. "It's difficult when you can't play the minutes you know you're capable of. The past few weeks she's been feeling better and has found a way to use her opportunities."
McCauley's four-point day leaves her with 95 points for her career. That is three points shy of the school record set by Emily Montgomery '78.
"Ashley and Mia, when it came down to it, just made sure we would win this game," Stuper said. "They did a tremendous job on the front line, generating speed and combining with each other and the other forwards."
Yale remains one game behind Princeton in the Ivy League standings with two games remaining. Two 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