Bulldogs Tied for First with One Ivy Game Left
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale Field Hockey Class of 2012 has been a part of 40 wins over the past four seasons, more than all but one class in school history. One more victory -- on Saturday vs. Brown at Johnson Field on Senior Day (1 p.m.) -- would guarantee the Bulldogs at least a share of the Ivy League championship. Yale enters the final weekend of the regular season tied for first in the standings with Princeton.
It has been 31 years since Yale (10-6, 5-1 Ivy League) last earned an Ivy title. The 1980 squad went 4-0-2 to claim the crown, edging out Dartmouth and Penn (both 4-1-1). The Bulldogs have come agonizingly close to a championship recently, including four second-place finishes in the last eight years.
Yale was among the teams receiving votes in the latest NFHCA national poll and was ranked No. 19 in the latest womensfieldhockey.com poll. The Bulldogs enter Saturday's game on a roll, having won six games in a row and having outscored their opponents 27-5 in that span.
The offensive explosion in recent weeks has already put this Yale team in the record books. This year's Bulldogs now have the school single-season team records for goals (62), assists (59) and points (183). Yale is currently ranked No. 7 in the country in goals per game (3.88).
One of the individuals behind those team records is senior back Erin Carter (Perkiomenville, Pa.), who scored the school record-breaking 56th goal for the Bulldogs in last Sunday's 8-0 win over Holy Cross. Carter has eight goals in the last four games and 16 for the season, the fifth-best total in Yale history. Her 36 points this season are fourth-best. Carter was named Ivy League Player of the Week on Tuesday, the third time this season she has earned that honor.
Carter is also among Yale's career leaders in goals (33, 6th) and points (73, t-6th). She is tied for sixth on the career points list with senior midfielder Dinah Landshut (Hamburg, Germany), whose 15 assists this season have her one away from the Yale single-season record in that category (Katie Cantore '10 in 2009). Landshut became Yale's career assist leader last Sunday with three assists vs. Holy Cross, giving her 43 for her career -- one more than Sarah Driscoll '05.
Landshut and sophomore forward Erica Borgo (Randolph, N.J.) are both in the top 15 nationally in assists per game (Landshut is sixth at .94 and Borgo is 13th at .81). This is just the second time in school history that Yale has had two players reach double digits in assists in the same season (in 1979, Maggie Smeal '82 had 14 and Janet Colarusso '82 had 13). Borgo's assist total for the year (13) is tied for seventh-best on Yale's single-season list.
Senior forward Mia Rosati (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) and sophomore midfielder/back Georgia Holland (Stony Brook, N.Y.) are tied for second on the team in goals with eight. Borgo and senior back Taylor Sankovich (Short Hills, N.J.) are next with five. Goalie Emily Cain (Laytonsville, Md.) is 19th in the country in save percentage (.750) and has a 1.95 goals-against average.
Carter, Landshut, Rosati, Sankovich and their classmates (forward/midfielder Kirsten Krebs (Selinsgrove, Pa.) and midfielder/back Chelsey Locarno (Boston, Mass.)) will be honored on the field before the game as part of Senior Day. Only the Class of 1999 (45 wins from 1995 to 1998) has won more games than those six.
Brown (4-12, 0-6 Ivy League) has won four of the last six in the series with Yale, including a 3-2 win in Providence last year. The Bears are in their first season under head coach Jill Reeve, a former U.S. Olympian who played at Old Dominion with Yale head coach Pam Stuper. Forward Meghan O'Donnell leads the team in goals and points (8-1-17). Midfielder Avery Burns leads the team in assists with seven. Goalie Shannon McSweeney has a .718 save percentage and a 3.38 goals-against average.
Back Laura Iacovetti and forward Leslie Springmeyer were honorable mention All-Ivy League selections last year; Springmeyer is a three-time All-Ivy pick. They are two of the five Brown seniors making their final appearance for the Bears Saturday, along with midfielder Kit Masini, back Bridget McNamara and forward Abigail Taft.
By the time Yale's game with Brown starts on Saturday the Bulldogs will know whether they are playing for the outright Ivy League title or a share of the crown, because Princeton plays Penn on Friday night in Philadelphia. Only one team gets the Ivy League's spot in a play-in game vs. the winner of the Northeast Conference on Tuesday, Nov. 8, and that game determines which team gets an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. That play-in game will take place at the site of the Ivy League representative at 1 p.m. Tuesday, and if Yale and Princeton finish tied for first the Tigers would advance to the play-in game (they hold the first tiebreaker, which is head-to-head result). The full 16-team NCAA Tournament field -- including five teams with automatic berths, three winners of play-in games and eight at-large selections -- will be announced Tuesday night. The tournament begins Saturday, Nov. 12.
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