November 3, 2010

Records in Reach Again as Yale Visits Brown for Finale

Bulldogs Seek to Tie School Mark for Wins in Ivy Games

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Entering 2010, the Yale field hockey team adopted the slogan "raising the bar". The goal was to keep momentum from the record-setting 2009 campaign going. Now -- with one game left in the season, at Brown on Saturday -- the Bulldogs have a chance to do just that by matching or exceeding the marks they established a year ago.

Yale (11-5, 5-1 Ivy League) has already achieved back-to-back double-digit win seasons for the second time in school history (2002-03). One more win and Yale would tie the school record for wins in Ivy League play (six, set last season). That would also give the team a tie for the third-most overall wins in a season in school history.

With 50 goals on the season, Yale also has the first back-to-back 50-goal seasons in school history. Last year's squad scored 51, and the school record is 55 (1998).

It all would have seemed difficult given that the Bulldogs lost 19 goals and 27 assists from last year to graduation. But seven of Yale's returning players have found ways to increase their point totals from last season, helping to replace the productivity of the Class of 2010.

Junior midfielder/back Taylor Sankovich (Short Hills, N.J.) has made the most dramatic difference in the stat sheet, going from one goal and one assist a year ago to seven goals and six assists this season. That +13 point improvement is the biggest on the team, followed by the seven-point jump from sophomore forward/midfielder Mary Beth Barham (Fairfax, Va.). Barham had two goals and an assist last year, and has four goals and four assists this year.

Yale's leading scorers are a freshman, forward Erica Borgo (Randolph, N.J.), and a junior, midfielder Dinah Landshut (Hamburg, Germany). Borgo (6-7-19) could be the first freshman to lead Yale in points since Amanda Walton '02 (18-3-39) in 1998. Landshut (2-15-19), meanwhile, needs one more assist to tie the school single-season record, set last year by Katie Cantore '10. Junior back Erin Carter (Perkiomenville, Pa.) is third on the team in points (8-0-16).

The freshman class also features one of Yale's best defensive players in midfielder/back Georgia Holland (Stony Brook, N.Y.). In addition to contributing four goals and five assists, Holland has an Ivy League-leading five defensive saves. That is the most by a Yale player since Jenn Slough '07 had six in 2006.

Point Improvement      
Name 2009 2010 Diff.
Taylor Sankovich 1-1-3 7-2-16 +13
Mary Beth Barham 2-1-5 4-4-12 +7
Johna Paolino 2-0-4 4-2-10 +6
Kirsten Krebs 0-0-0 2-1-5 +5
Mia Rosati 6-1-13 5-5-15 +2
Maddy Sharp 2-2-6 4-0-8 +2
Chelsey Locarno 1-1-3 2-0-4 +1

While matching their offensive output from a year ago the Bulldogs have kept pace defensively, and they enter the weekend with some impressive numbers from a trio of goalies. Senior Katie Bolling (Ann Arbor, Mich.), freshman Emily Cain (Laytonsville, Md.) and sophomore Ona McConnell (London, England) have combined for five shutouts, a .732 save percentage and a 2.09 goals-against average. Bolling's save percentage (.695) represents an improvement of more than 50 points from a year ago.

The Bulldogs enter the weekend in sole possession of second place in the Ivy League, one game out of first. First-place No. 6 Princeton hosts Penn Friday night, giving the Tigers the chance to claim sole possession of the Ivy League title.

Yale beat Brown (5-11, 2-4 Ivy League) 6-2 last season in New Haven, as Ashley McCauley '10 got a goal and an assist in her final game to become the first Bulldog with 100 career points. The Bears have won three of their last four, holding their opponent to two or fewer goals each time. Forward Leslie Springmeyer leads the team in goals (10) and points (24). Goalie Lauren Kessler has a .719 save percentage and a 2.96 goals-against average.

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 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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