Four of Top Six Scorers from Last Year's Record-Breaking Campaign Return
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The bar has been set high for the 2010 Yale field hockey team. The Bulldogs are coming off a 2009 season that saw them set the school record for wins in Ivy League play, earn votes in the national poll, and finish with a 12-5 record. Topping those feats will be a challenge, but with a veteran defense anchored by the team captain in goal, the pieces are in place for the 2010 team to make its own mark on the record book. Four of Yale's top six scorers return, and the Bulldogs also have five players with All-Ivy League credentials.
Head coach Pam Stuper, the 2009 NFHCA Mideast Region Coach of the Year, has seen Yale increase its season goal total each year for four straight years. Last year's squad scored 51 times, the third-highest total in school history. The recently graduated Class of 2010 played a large role in that, as it included the school's all-time leading point scorer (Ashley McCauley '10, 100 points) and the single-season assist record holder (Katie Cantore '10, 16 assists). But the biggest chunk of Yale's scoring (20 goals) actually came from the Class of 2012, and those players are all back. Plus, McCauley will forever remain an example of how great scorers can develop at any time -- she had just one point her freshman year, then averaged 33 points for the next three years of her career.
Defensively, Yale lost an All-Ivy back (Julia Weiser '10) to graduation but returns four players who played at least 14 games. The defense also carries some momentum over from last season, as the Bulldogs held nine of their last 10 opponents to two goals or fewer.
Here is a position-by-position look at the team:
The forward group is young but features plenty of potential. The lone senior is Johna Paolino, who has shown steady improvement throughout her career. She notched her first two career goals last season.
The junior forwards both can make an impact. After being sidelined for her entire freshman season by an injury, Kirsten Krebs came back strong last year and played in all 17 games. She could also see some time in the midfield. Mia Rosati's continued development ended with her taking home honorable mention All-Ivy League honors last year. She doubled her goal total from the previous season, tying for third on the team with six. She ended the season on a roll: eight points in the final seven games.
Sophomore Maddy Sharp made an instant impression with a goal and an assist in her first collegiate game. She remained a key part of the Yale attack for the rest of the year, and her athleticism indicates that she could make an even bigger scoring impact this season.
The freshman class includes a pair of all-state forwards who posted impressive goal totals for successful teams last year. Erica Borgo (Randolph, N.J.) led Randolph High with 22 goals, helping the Rams to a state sectional championship. Brooke Gogel (Bronxville, N.Y.) led Bronxville High in scoring, totaling 35 goals and helping the Broncos to a state sectional championship.
With no seniors in the midfield, the bulk of the leadership for this group is in the capable hands of a pair of juniors. Dinah Landshut has been one of Yale's most consistent playmakers ever since arriving on campus from Germany, and last year she earned second team All-Mideast Region and second team All-Ivy League honors. She was second on the team in assists with eight, and her four goals gave her a total of 16 points (fourth on the team).
The junior class also includes versatile Chelsey Locarno. She started every game last season, scoring her first career goal and getting her first career assist. Her athleticism also enables her to play forward, and each spring she plays for the Yale softball team.
Sophomore Mary Beth Barham was an honorable mention All-Ivy League selection last season, starting all 16 games that she was healthy for. Having spent part of her summer playing in USA Field Hockey's Junior National Championship, she should be ready to make an even bigger contribution this year. She can also play forward.
The freshman class includes two midfielders. Georgia Holland (Stony Brook, N.Y.), who is also capable of playing back, was an All-American and Newsday's Long Island Field Hockey Player of the Year last year for Ward Melville. She finished second on Long Island in goals (18) and assists (11), and led her team to its first New York state championship two years ago. Emily Schuckert (Wilmington, Del.) was first team all-state and a senior all-star last season, and helped Tower Hill to three state championships in the past four years. Schuckert can also play forward.
The Yale backfield is loaded with veterans, starting with a pair of seniors who have combined for 89 career games played. Erica Cullum has developed into one of Yale's most reliable players, and has started the last 34 straight games. Marissa Waldemore has started 25 straight. In addition to the defensive prowess she has shown since her freshman year, Waldemore made a big impact offensively last season with five goals -- including three game-winners -- and five assists.
An honorable mention All-Ivy League selection last season, Erin Carter is just like her senior counterparts: hard to keep off the field. She has started the last 31 games of her Yale career and has played in all 34. Like Waldemore, she showed that she can contribute offensively last year as well. Her eight goals were second on the team, and her 17 points were third. She and Waldemore both do much of their damage on penalty corners, where Waldemore is the inserter and Carter is one of the top options as a striker.
Another junior, Taylor Sankovich, played in 14 games last season, and has the ability to play back in addition to midfield. She also got her first career goal last year.
Sophomore Lexy Adams made an impression on her teammates last season, earning Yale's Senior Award as a player "whose individual character encourages the future direction and excellence of Yale Field Hockey." Adams appeared in four games, and during a brief stint at forward scored her first career goal.
Freshman Gabrielle Garcia (Garden City, N.Y.) was an all-state selection last season. She helped her team to one state championship and three Long Island championships.
Senior Katie Bolling's development culminated after last season with her election as captain by her teammates. Bolling did not appear in a game as a freshman, but she did earn the Senior Award that year. Her hard work paid off in her sophomore season, when she earned second team All-Ivy League honors while posting a .809 save percentage (third in the NCAA) and a 1.89 goals against average. Last season she lowered her goals-against average to 1.51 while splitting time with Charlotte Goins '10. The duo combined for 12 wins and three shutouts.
Sophomore Ona McConnell now has a year of experience after coming over from England, where she was her club team's MVP.
Freshman Emily Cain (Laytonsville, Md.) has been a part of USA Field Hockey's Olympic Development and Futures Elite select programs. She was an all-state selection and her team was IAAM "A" Conference Division Champions all four years she played.
The 17-game slate for Yale starts at Johnson Field on Sept. 3 against local rival Sacred Heart. In addition to the seven Ivy League games -- starting at Harvard on Sept. 18 -- the Bulldogs have 10 non-league games. Overall there are three teams on the schedule that were ranked in the top 10 in the final 2009 national poll and took part in the NCAA Tournament.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity