Cain Makes 10 Saves
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – Balanced scoring combined with great goaltending makes a simple formula for victory, and that is exactly what the Yale field hockey team utilized Saturday afternoon at Hofstra for its first victory of the season. Five different players scored goals, and sophomore goaltender Emily Cain made 10 saves, as the Bulldogs topped the Pride 5-3.
Yale (1-2) has diversified its attack dramatically in recent years. Two years ago, more than a quarter of the Bulldogs' 51 goals (14) came from one woman, Ashley McCauley '10. Last season, with McCauley lost to graduation, the Bulldogs still managed to increase their season goal total -- the fifth straight year they have done so. They did it by spreading out the attack, as no single player scored more than 15 percent of the 52 goals -- sophomore forward Erica Borgo and senior back Erin Carter tied for the lead with eight each.
That trend appears to have continued into 2011, as by the end of the day Saturday Yale's eight goals for the season had come from six different players.
Borgo had been held without a point in both of Yale's games last weekend, but it did not take her long to get involved in the scoring Saturday. Four minutes in, midfielder Mary Beth Barham drove in on the right side of the circle and fed the ball across to Borgo. Hofstra goalie Amanda Heyde was caught out of position when Borgo quickly kept the ball moving to a wide-open senior forward Mia Rosati, who drove the ball home emphatically for a 1-0 lead.
"I liked our start," said Yale head coach Pam Stuper. "I thought we got out there and played a nice passing game. We were tenacious and really aggressive, and that was the reason for that first goal."
The Bulldogs scored again with slightly more than six minutes to play in the half, as senior midfielder Dinah Landshut got a piece of Carter's shot off a corner to tip it past Heyde.
Hofstra (3-4) outshot the Bulldogs 12-10 in the first half, but Yale had the lead at halftime thanks to seven saves from Cain -- including a pair of spectacular ones in the final minute of the half.
With Yale coming off a double-overtime loss at Quinnipiac in which the Bobcats' keeper made 19 saves, the Bulldogs knew all too well what effect great goaltending can have on an opposing offense.
"Emily was outstanding in that half, and she kept us in the lead," Stuper said. "Hofstra had some nice opportunities and she made great saves. When a keeper keeps stealing goals from you, it's hard on an attack. Emily probably caused some frustration on their end."
The Bulldogs kept the offensive pressure going in the second half, and they continued to find a variety of ways to score. While the first goal was based on tic-tac-toe passing and the second was on a corner, the third goal was purely individual effort. It started after Hofstra keeper Meredith Golden, who came on for Heyde, made a save on a shot by sophomore midfielder Emily Schuckert. Sophomore back/midfielder Georgia Holland controlled the rebound on the left side.
Holland, playing just 40 miles from her hometown of Stony Brook, had a sizable contingent of supporters in the stands -- and she gave them all something to remember with her next move. As she drove in on goal from a tough angle, the Hofstra defense backed off to play the pass. Seeing just enough space as she closed in on the cage, Holland stopped, scooped the ball up and air-mailed it past Golden and the rest of the stunned Pride defenders, tucking it underneath the cross bar inside the far post.
Going top shelf is not a typical scoring strategy in field hockey, but the ease with which Holland pulled it off came as no surprise to those who have seen the work she has put in during practice.
"'T' [Associate Head Coach Tamara Durante] has been working with all of our forwards and midfielders specifically on goal scoring," Stuper said. "Georgia can really read the space well. She saw what was open and put the ball where there was no way for the keeper to get to it. That was one of the nicest goals I've seen in my seven years as head coach."
The Bulldogs extended their lead to 4-0 just four minutes later when a Yale penalty corner led to the Bulldogs being awarded a penalty stroke. Carter rifled it past Golden for her second goal of the year.
Hofstra scored twice in a 10-minute span right after Carter's goal, as forwards Genna Kovar and Krizia Layne helped knock the lead down to 4-2. The Bulldogs ended that run at 54:24, when Landshut fed Schuckert, who got the ball to Borgo for her first goal of the year.
Just 23 seconds after Borgo's goal the Pride closed to within 5-3 on a goal by midfielder Arielle Williams, but that would be the end of the scoring. With 11 minutes to play Hofstra had a corner shot tipped up and over the cage, and with less than four minutes to play Carter broke up another Pride corner by blocking a shot.
Hofstra called timeout with 2:33 to play and did get one last corner, but that one wound up being deflected away and controlled by Holland. Yale held the Pride 0-for-9 on corners.
The Bulldogs complete their visit to New York State with a game at No. 16 Albany Sunday.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity