October 12, 2011

Weekend at Johnson Field Includes First-Place Dartmouth, Fairfield

Bulldogs Seek to Maintain Control of Shot at Ivy League Title

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale field hockey team enters the final four weekends of the regular season still in control of its own destiny for at least a share of the Ivy League title. Maintaining that control starts with winning Saturday's game vs. Dartmouth at Noon at Johnson Field. The Bulldogs, 2-1 in the league, must knock off the Big Green (3-0 in the league) to forge a tie atop the standings heading into the final three league games. Yale also hosts Fairfield in a non-league game Sunday at 2 p.m.

Yale (5-6, 2-1 Ivy League) has come agonizingly close to an Ivy title with second-place finishes each of the past two years, fueled by a constantly improving attack. The Bulldogs remain on pace for a record-setting offensive season this year, and they enter the week ranked 13th in the NCAA in goals per game. With 38 goals in 11 games, the Bulldogs are projected to finish with 59 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, was named Ivy League Player of the Week on Tuesday after scoring the game-winning goal in the Bulldogs' historic 3-2 win at Northwestern Sunday. The Wildcats were ranked No. 14 in the NFHCA poll at the time, making that the first victory over a top-15 team in head coach Pam Stuper's years at Yale (eight as an assistant coach, six+ as head coach).

That goal also gave Carter a career-high 19 points for the season; she has the team lead in goals and points (8-3-19). Sophomore forward Erica Borgo (Randolph, N.J.) leads the Bulldogs in assists with 10 (including five in Yale's three Ivy games). That places her 11th in the country in assists per game, and she still could challenge Yale's single-season record (16 by Katie Cantore '10 in 2009). Borgo has at least one point in six of the last seven games. Senior forward Mia Rosati (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) (7-2-16) is second on the team in scoring and has set a career high in goals scored.

Defensively for the Bulldogs, sophomore goalie Emily Cain (Laytonsville, Md.) enters the weekend with a .722 save percentage and a 2.48 goals-against average. She has allowed two goals or fewer in five of her last seven appearances.

Last year in Hanover Yale won 2-1 on goals by junior forward Mary Beth Barham (Fairfax, Va.) and Johna Paolino '11. Goalie Katie Bolling '11 made two saves, and the Bulldogs also got a defensive save from sophomore midfielder/back Georgia Holland (Stony Brook, N.Y.).

Columbia, Harvard and Princeton are all currently tied with Yale for second in the league with 2-1 records. The Lions host Penn Friday night, while the Crimson visits Cornell and the Tigers visit Brown Saturday afternoon.

Dartmouth (8-4, 3-0 Ivy League) last won the Ivy League in 1988, when the Big Green finished in a tie for first with Penn. This season, the Big Green put itself in position for a run at the title by knocking off Princeton 2-1 in Hanover on Sept. 17. That snapped the Tigers' 24-game winning streak in league games.

Big Green midfielder Kelly Hood, a third team All-American last year, scored both goals against Princeton and enters the weekend leading the Ivy League in goals and points (11-5-27). Dartmouth's next biggest goal-scoring threat is forward Ali Savage (9-3-21), a freshman import from Australia. Defender/midfielder Lisa Masini, the inserter on the team's attack corners, leads the Ivy League in assists with 13. Goalie Meagan Vakiener, an imposing presence in the cage at five-foot-eleven, has a .701 save percentage and a 2.34 goals-against average.

Fairfield (8-5, 0-2 America East) has dropped three of its last four heading into the weekend, including a 3-1 loss to one of Yale's Ivy League rivals, Brown. The Stags had enjoyed a string of three straight shutouts before that, however, and they enter the weekend 14th in the country in goals-against average as a team (1.44). Goalie Maddy Sposito is 17th individually in that category (1.66). She made seven saves in last year's game, a 2-1 Yale win.

 

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

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