Bolling and McConnell Combine for Shutout
WORCESTER, Mass. – After a hard-fought league win at Dartmouth on Saturday, the Yale field hockey team showed no let-up Sunday afternoon against a winless Holy Cross team. The Bulldogs outshot the Crusaders 7-1 in the first half, taking a 1-0 lead on a goal by sophomore forward/midfielder Mary Beth Barham. Junior back Erin Carter added another goal in the second half, and senior goalkeeper Katie Bolling combined with sophomore goalkeeper Ona McConnell for the 2-0 shutout.
In addition to a 7-1 edge in shots in the first half, Yale also had a 4-0 edge in corners. Holy Cross goalkeeper Kelly Sotsky kept her team in the game with three saves, and the Crusaders also got a defensive save from midfielder Alanna Sikorski to deny a shot by junior midfielder/back Taylor Sankovich.
Barham scored off a rebound at 19:54 to give Yale its only goal of the first half.
"We played very well in the first half, and did a good job sticking to the game plan, but Holy Cross did a nice job of not allowing us too many scoring opportunities," said Yale head coach Pam Stuper.
Yale's penalty corner unit produced its third Landshut-to-Carter goal of the weekend 10 minutes into the second half. Senior midfielder Dinah Landshut, the stick stopper, set up Carter for a hard shot that made it 2-0.
The assist moves Landshut into a tie for fourth on Yale's all-time list with Jan Colarusso '82 (25), and Landshut is also within four of the school record for assists in a season. She has 12, and Katie Cantore '10 set the record with 16 last year.
The goal was the sixth in as many games for Carter, who had just one in the season's first seven games.
"She has really started to execute on her penalty corner shot," Stuper said of Carter. "She played very well overall today, commanding the team on defense and on attack. She was a big presence."
Carter took over the team lead in goals this weekend, finishing with seven.
Bolling stopped the only shot she faced in 64:04 of work. McConnell came on in relief to finish off the shut out, making just the second appearance of her career. Her continuing battle with myotonic dystrophy, which has fueled Yale's season-long "Get a Grip" fundraiser for the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation, has not affected her play.
"Ona deserved that time," Stuper said. "She works hard, and it is a lot more difficult for her to train than for others. Despite what she is facing, she has worked hard to get better and has improved her balance, footwork and ability to be set for a shot. It was nice to get her an opportunity in a game, because of all the work she has put in in practice."
Yale (8-5, 3-1 Ivy League) is now 20-10 in its last 30 games dating back to last season, and the Bulldogs need only two more wins to reach double-digits in victories for the second year in a row. Yale hosts Penn at Johnson Field next Saturday.
Every goal Yale scores this season brings the world closer to a cure for myotonic dystrophy. Sophomore goalkeeper Ona McConnell (London, England) has been diagnosed with the disease, the most common form of muscular dystrophy. The Bulldogs are taking pledges for a season-long "Goal-a-thon" as part of their "Get a Grip" campaign to raise awareness and funds for the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.yalebulldogs.com/getagrip
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity