Junior Back is Bulldogs' 41st Captain
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Junior back Erin Carter (Perkiomenville, Pa.) has been elected captain of the Yale field hockey team for the 2011 season. Carter, the 41st captain in Yale history, was selected by a team vote at Ray Tompkins House Monday afternoon.
"First and foremost it is an honor to be selected by my teammates," said Carter. "That's what gives me the most confidence: knowing that they are the ones supporting me, and that they want me in this position."
Carter has been a part of a historic run by the Bulldogs in recent years. Yale went 11-6 overall and 5-2 in the Ivy League this past season, tying for second place. That was the second straight second-place finish for Yale. The Bulldogs are 23-11 overall in the last two seasons, 11-3 in the Ivy League. That is the most league wins, and the second-most overall wins, in a two-year span in school history. Yale finished the season with 52 goals, marking the fifth straight season the Bulldogs have increased their goal total over the previous year. This was the first time in school history Yale scored 50 or more goals in back-to-back seasons.
"We have had really good leadership, and also a commitment to improving our field hockey," Carter said of the team's development since going 7-10 her freshman year. "We have really worked hard to get ourselves where we are."
Carter was a second team All-Mideast Region and first team All-Ivy selection this past year. A weapon at both ends of the field, she tied for the team lead in goals (eight), matching her output from a year ago. Carter's 16 points tied her for third on the team. She started all 17 games, extending her streak of consecutive games played to 51 and consecutive starts to 48.
"Since Carter arrived freshman year, she has been a leader in the backfield," said Yale head coach Pam Stuper. "She has been vocal, and that is one of the keys to her leadership ability. She has a dynamic personality, and she cares passionately about the team and the goals we set. She doesn't accept being 'average', and she will push this team to be better than we have ever been before. She doesn't need a title to lead, and that's what makes her very effective as a leader."
Carter was an honorable mention All-Ivy League selection in 2009, when she was second in the Ivy League with four game-winning goals. She was second on the team with eight goals and third on the team with 17 points.
Carter appeared in all 17 games, starting 14, as a freshman in 2008. She scored her first career goal in a 6-0 win vs. Quinnipiac Nov. 2.
Carter is part of a class that also includes forward/midfielder Kirsten Krebs (Selinsgrove, Pa.), midfielder Dinah Landshut (Hamburg, Germany), forward/midfielder Chelsey Locarno (Boston, Mass.), forward Mia Rosati (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) and midfielder/back Taylor Sankovich (Short Hills, N.J.). That group accounted for 75 of Yale's 147 points as a team this year.
"Our class is really strong, both in terms of our hockey and in terms of our leadership," Carter said. "We have really strong personalities, and I think that can only help me. I have a really great group supporting me."
An environmental studies major, Carter is a member of Ezra Stiles College at Yale. She is interested in food and agriculture, particularly food policy and availability in low-income areas. She spent this past summer working for Connecticut Fund for the Environment, assisting on projects such as turning Plum Island in the Long Island Sound into a nature reserve. She is also a research assistant for Bulldog Sustainability, the Yale Athletics program designed to promote eco-friendly living within the Yale community.
Carter, who played club field hockey for X-Calibur, has also been a part of the USA Field Hockey program. She played for the California team at the Senior National Championship in June 2010. She has also been a USFHA Futures participant and a National Hockey Festival participant. She was a National Futures Tournament gold medalist in 2006 and earned a bronze medal in 2005. She was a four-year National Indoor Tournament medalist (two gold, one silver and one bronze). She was a Junior Olympics selection as a sophomore in high school.
Carter is a graduate of Perkiomen Valley High School and was a two-year captain of the field hockey team there. She was first team PIAA All-State, first team Philadelphia Inquirer All-Southeast PA, first team Times Herald All-Area and Academic All-State as a senior. She was also the Pottstown Mercury Player of the Year that season, and first team Pottstown Mercury All-Area as a junior and as a senior. Her team won two PAC 10 championships and was runners-up twice. Carter was a National Honor Society member and won the Army Reserve Scholar Athlete Award.
Of the 41 Yale field hockey captains, 11 have come from Pennsylvania. That is also Stuper's home state; she is from Lancaster and is a member of the Hempfield High Hall of Fame.
"Pennsylvania has been a field hockey hotbed for decades," Stuper said. "There is outstanding coaching there at both the high school and the club level. Pennsylvania players have a special work ethic. There is a blue-collar mentality. Kids are raised to work hard, persevere and take nothing for granted. I love those qualities in a player."
Carter's mother, Brenda, played for the University of North Carolina and coached at Perkiomen Valley. Carter's sister, Avery, played collegiately for Lebanon Valley.
"My mother definitely was the person that inspired me to play field hockey," Carter said. "I grew up playing field hockey and was always around it, going to practices. And my sister was a big example for me, playing sports in college."
Yale Field Hockey Captains from Pennsylvania
1972 Lawrie Mifflin (Swarthmore, Pa./Swarthmore)
1974 Jean Benefield (Bloomsburg, Pa./Bloomsburg)
1975 Donna Claxton (Philadelphia, Pa./Springside)
1981 Claire Cardie (Warminster, Pa./Archbishop Wood)
1983 Nicole Piasecki (Haverford, Pa./Groton)
1984 Georganne Natress (Milmont Park, Pa./Ridley)
1986 Lynne Brooks (Chadds Ford, Pa./Unionville)
1989 Michelle Cummins (Washington Crossing, Pa./Council Rock)
1992 Anne Lehman (Holtwood, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite)
1994 Janelle Kellman (Shavertown, Pa./Wyoming Seminary)
2011 Erin Carter (Perkiomenville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley)
Every goal Yale scored 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 took 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 (email@example.com), Yale Sports Publicity