September 18, 2010

Rosati’s Goal Wins Another Yale-Harvard Nail Biter, 1-0

Bolling and Cain Combine for Shutout

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. –The Yale and Harvard field hockey teams battling each other in a one-goal game is becoming a rite of fall in New England just like the leaves changing colors. Saturday's edition of the rivalry wasn't decided until the final 3:18, when junior forward Mia Rosati scored to give the Bulldogs a dramatic 1-0 victory. It was the seventh straight time Yale-Harvard was decided by one goal.

"This was your typical Yale-Harvard game," said head coach Pam Stuper. "It was hard-fought to the end. I thought our second half was stronger than our first half. We generated a lot more opportunities; it just took us 66 minutes to capitalize."

The game-winning sequence started with a corner, Yale's ninth of the game. A shot by junior midfielder/back Taylor Sankovich was blocked, and the ball bounced to freshman midfielder/back Georgia Holland wide on the left. Holland made a move around a Harvard defender and shot across the goal. The shot was going wide, but Rosati knocked it down in a crowd and just got it over the line.

"It was a scramble in front, and it was hard to see what happened," Stuper said. "That was one of those long-time-coming, what-a-relief type of goals. Mia had an outstanding game. She played really well defensively up front, putting pressure on Harvard's backfield."

Yale (4-1, 1-0 Ivy League) held on from there to earn a crucial Ivy League win. The Bulldogs outshot the Crimson 17-5, including 12-3 in the second half. In addition to her work on offense, Sankovich was a big part of Yale's defense.

"Taylor made some good tackles, and distributed the ball well," Stuper said. "The big difference today was that our backfield, with [junior back] Erin Carter and [senior back] Marissa Waldemore, controlled the ball. We did a very good job of dropping below the ball."

Still, Yale's attack was nearly denied by six saves from Harvard goalkeeper Cynthia Tassopoulos. Harvard (2-4, 0-1 Ivy League) also got a defensive save from Pilar Curtis, who stopped a shot by Carter near the end of the first half.

Senior Katie Bolling and freshman Emily Cain combined on the shutout for Yale, with Cain handling the second half and making the only two saves needed.

The move to throw a freshman, who had just 35 minutes of varsity experience prior to Saturday, into a scoreless game against Yale's biggest rival was one that Stuper did not take lightly.

"I coached Emily with the U.S. U-16 team that went over to Holland a year ago," Stuper said. "She's just very poised -- goes out and does her job. She made some huge saves for us in the second half."

The win also helps Yale get past the overtime loss to UMass from last Sunday, which snapped a nine-game winning streak.

"That was a tough loss last week," Stuper said. "It was nice to turn around and make sure we came home with a win from our first road trip of the season."

Yale returns home to host Maine Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Johnson Field.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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