Season Starts with “Get a Grip” Game vs. No. 20 Stanford, Visit to QU

The 2011 Yale Field Hockey Team in their Get a Grip Campaign T-shirts.

Bulldogs Kick Off 2011

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale field hockey team has set its sights high in many ways as the 2011 season begins. Over the past two seasons the Bulldogs have won 23 games, tied for the second-best two-year span in school history. They have increased their season goal total every year since 2006, and last year's total (52) tied for second on the school's all-time list. And the Bulldogs have been making an impact off the field during that time as well. Each goal scored last year meant more funds raised for the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation as part of the team's "Get a Grip" campaign goal-a-thon, inspired by junior goalie Ona McConnell (London, England). The team wound up raising more than $50,000 for the cause last year, a figure the Bulldogs aim to top this season. The 2011 campaign begins Saturday with a visit to Johnson Field from No. 20 Stanford (2-1), and the Bulldogs' opening weekend also includes a trip to Quinnipiac (1-0) on Sunday.

Yale returns its top seven scorers from a year ago, led by sophomore forward Erica Borgo (Randolph, N.J.) (8-7-23) and senior midfielder Dinah Landshut (Hamburg, Germany) (2-15-19). The defense is led by senior back Erin Carter (Perkiomenville, Pa.), the team captain. Carter and Landshut were both first team All-Ivy League selections last season, and both also earned All-Mideast recognition (first team for Landshut, second team for Carter).

The Bulldogs received votes in the preseason national poll, making this the third straight season Yale has received votes in the poll. Five of Yale's 2011 opponents were ranked in the top 20, and five more were among the teams receiving votes.

Saturday marks the last game in a four-game swing through the Northeast for Stanford, which opened its season with a 4-3 win over Hofstra and a 4-2 loss to No. 4 UConn at the Husky Invitational Aug. 27-29. The Cardinal beat No. 17 Albany 3-2 on Wednesday night. Stanford posted a 15-6 record in 2010, the third-most wins in school history. The Cardinal also made its 10th NCAA Tournament appearance.

Three-time All-NorPac goalie Ale (pronounced Ally) Moss anchors the Cardinal defense. She posted a career-best 1.31 goals-against average last season. The defense also includes All-West Region defender Becky Dru, who paced the team in goals (13), assists (10), points (36) and shots (88) last year. The import from England was also the NorPac Defensive Player of the Year and was named NorPac Tournament MVP after leading Stanford to its fourth consecutive tournament title.

Quinnipiac, which plays at Boston College Friday, opened its season with a 6-2 win over Holy Cross last Friday. Forward Kaitlyn Notarianni scored the first goal of the season, and forward Danielle Allan became the first freshman to score twice in her first game in Quinnipiac's history as a Division I program.

The Bobcats were picked to finish third in the NEC Preseason Coaches Poll. In addition to Notarianni, they return All-NEC selections in midfielder Megan McCreedy (a two-time selection before being sidelined by injury last year), defender Kim Cunniff (who tied Notarianni for the team lead in goals with seven and points with 17 last year) and midfielder Lauren Zimniski (second on the team with four assists, serving as inserter on penalty corners).

Every goal Yale scores this season brings the world closer to a cure for myotonic dystrophy. Junior 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