Bulldogs Seek Third Straight Home Win
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale field hockey team returns to the familiar turf of Johnson Field this weekend seeking a return to its winning ways. The Bulldogs won their last two home games by a combined score of 14-2, but then got tripped up by Princeton 3-2 last weekend on the road. That adds a sense of urgency to Saturday's Ivy League game vs. Cornell (Noon), and on Sunday the Bulldogs get a shot at knocking off a nationally ranked opponent in No. 4 UConn (2:00 p.m.).
Yale (3-4, 1-1 Ivy League) remains on pace for a record-setting season offensively. With 27 goals in seven games, the Bulldogs are projected to finish with more than 65 goals. The school record is 55, set in 1998. If Yale scores 53 or more goals, this would be the sixth straight season the Bulldogs have increased their season goal total from year to year.
Senior back Erin Carter (Perkiomenville, Pa.), Yale's captain, has the team lead in goals and points (6-3-15). She is just two goals away from tying her career high in that category. Sophomore forward Erica Borgo (Randolph, N.J.) leads the Bulldogs in assists with six, and could challenge Yale's single-season record (16 by Katie Cantore '10 in 2009) by the time all is said and done. Borgo's 10 points for the season place her third on the team behind senior forward Mia Rosati (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) (5-2-12), who is one goal away from tying her personal single-season high.
As a team, Yale is sixth in the country in goals per game (3.86) and seventh in assists per game (3.14). Sophomore goalie Emily Cain (Laytonsville, Md.) is in the top 15 nationally in both save percentage (.776) and saves per game (7.43). She has allowed just three goals in her last three games.
Cornell (3-4, 0-2 Ivy League) features one of the best goaltending duos in the nation, as the Big Red enter the weekend with the top combined save percentage in the country (.851). Senior Alex Botte, who is 10th on Cornell's all-time wins list (15) and five wins away from the school record, is second in the country with a .829 save percentage. Botte, a first team All-Ivy League selection last year, has played four games. Sophomore Carolyn Horner, who has a .875 save percentage, has played the other three.
The Big Red offense is led by forward Hannah Balleza, who shared the Ivy League Rookie of the Year Award last season with Yale sophomore midfielder/back Georgia Holland (Stony Brook, N.Y.). Balleza has four of Cornell's seven goals for the year and also has two assists. Holland had two goals and a defensive save last year vs. Cornell as the Bulldogs won 3-2.
UConn (7-1, 2-0 Big East), which plays UMass Wednesday night and No. 19 Louisville on Saturday, is outscoring its opponents by nearly 2.5 goals per game so far this season -- the seventh-best margin in the country. Four of the Huskies' last five games have been shutout wins. Their only loss was against No. 8 Boston College on Sept. 18, 3-1.
The Huskies are 15th in the country in goals per game (3.38). Forward/midfielder Marie Elena Bolles is the driving force behind the attack, averaging an assist a game (fourth in the country). Forward Chloe Hunnable, who was the leading scorer in the Premier League in her native England last season, leads the team in goals with seven.
Husky goalie Sarah Mansfield, another import from England and a third team NFHCA All-American last year, is second in the country in goals-against average (0.87) and 17th in save percentage (.767). At one point earlier this season she had a shutout streak of 265:30.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity