McCauley Leads the Way with Hat Trick
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Entering the 2009 season, the Yale Bulldogs knew they had a good chunk of their offensive firepower from 2008 back. The question was whether there were any forwards other than senior Ashley McCauley, the team's top returning scorer, ready to add to the attack. The answer in Friday's season opener against Sacred Heart was a resounding yes, as a pair of freshmen forwards -- Mary Beth Barham and Maddy Sharp -- each scored their first collegiate goal. Junior forward Johna Paolino got her first as well, and sophomore forward Mia Rosati scored too. Those four goals, combined with a hat trick from McCauley, gave Yale a 7-1 win.
"To have five different forwards scoring shows we have some depth," said head coach Pam Stuper. "We can look at more options other than just Ashley."
McCauley is not the only returning veteran with a scoring touch. In fact, Yale's top six scorers from 2008 are back, and the No. 2 and 3 scorers behind McCauley from a year ago -- senior midfielder Katie Cantore and sophomore midfielder Dinah Landshut -- also made their presence known Friday, as each had a pair of assists. Cantore's long pass was deflected in by McCauley at 10:58 of the first to tie the score 1-1, and seven minutes later Cantore assisted on Sharp's first career tally. After that the Bulldogs never looked back, finishing with a 41-5 edge in shots that made life easy for junior Katie Bolling and senior Charlotte Goins, who split time in goal.
"The freshmen stepped in right away and contributed," said Stuper. "It's a nice addition to have all three field players in the freshman class (Barham, Sharp and back Lexy Adams) play and two of them score goals."
A defensive breakdown had enabled the Pioneers score just a minute into the game, but the Bulldogs regrouped quickly after that. After the freshman Sharp gave Yale the lead, McCauley deflected a pass from Landshut high past Pioneers goalkeeper Kim Stow (15 saves), who had done a good job of stymieing the Yale attack for the first 10 minutes of the game.
The Pioneers had a chance to get back on the scoreboard with two minutes left in the first half, as they appeared to have an edge in numbers with the ball deep in Yale territory to Bolling's right. But junior back Marissa Waldemore hustled back to break up the play and end the threat, and the Bulldogs took a 3-1 lead into halftime.
They broke it open quickly in the second half. Barham scored off another Landshut assist 90 seconds in, and a minute after that Rosati got loose behind the Sacred Heart defense and got one past Stow, who collided with her while coming out to try to break up the play. McCauley hit the post after a Yale corner five minutes later, but got that goal back by deflecting in a shot by Sharp with 15 minutes to play. In between those two shots by McCauley, junior back Erica Cullum made a nice defensive play to break up a developing two-on-one for the Pioneers in Yale territory.
Paolino completed the scoring with a penalty corner goal at 61:32. That was one of 13 corners on the game for Yale, and it came with many members of Yale's primary corner unit on the bench. Stuper turned to senior forward Lesley Kiger to generate the shot that Paolino tipped in for the goal.
"We've had a lot of corner practice in the preseason, and Lesley's one of the players we've had taking corners," Stuper said. "She did a great job and stepped up."
The three-goal start to McCauley's senior season raises the question of whether she can challenge two of the longest-held marks in the Yale field hockey record book. Emily Montgomery '78 ended her Yale career 33 years ago with 46 goals and 98 points. It has been 12 years since anyone has even come close to her goal total (Lindsay Hobbs '99 finished second all-time with 36) and 17 years since her point total has been challenged (Anne Lehman '93 finished second all-time with 87). Now, McCauley has 32 career goals (all in her last 32 games) and 70 career points. With 16 games left in her career, and after Friday's big showing, anything seems possible.
"It was a great start for Ashley," Stuper said. "She worked very hard over the summer, and that showed today."
Yale resumes action Saturday against Northwestern at 2:00 p.m.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity