Bulldogs Salute 1980 and 2011 Ivy League Champions
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The celebration of the 40th anniversary of Yale field hockey takes center stage this weekend. In addition to the 40th festivities, which include golf, an alumni game/tailgate, a special dinner and brunch, there are two games: vs. Penn at Noon on Saturday and vs. Albany at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. As part of the weekend, the Bulldogs will pay tribute to their 1980 and 2011 Ivy League championship teams.
Field hockey at Yale began as a club sport, and after it became a varsity sport the Bulldogs quickly made their mark. After winning one game as a club team in 1971, Yale increased its win total for the next five straight years, culminating with a 10-4-2 mark in 1976. The 1980 season marked another high point, as Yale won the Ivy League championship in just the second year of the title's existence.
With last year's Ivy title, in a season that saw the team set the school record for goals (69), the Bulldogs have now come full circle as they look ahead to their fifth decade. They enter this weekend coming off their best two-day offensive output of the year, as they scored six goals on their road trip to Dartmouth and Vermont last weekend. That included a dramatic game-winning goal in overtime at Vermont from junior forward Brooke Gogel (Bronxville, N.Y.), who had scored her first career goal the day before.
Gogel and junior midfielder Erica Borgo (Randolph, N.J.) both scored a pair of goals over the weekend. Borgo has now moved into the top 14 all-time at Yale in assists (25, tied for 5th with Jan Colarusso '82), points (59, 11th) and goals (17, tied for 14th with Cat Lindroth '08). Borgo leads the team in points this season (4-1-9), followed by senior midfielder/back Mary Beth Barham (Fairfax, Va.) (3-0-6) and sophomore forward Jessie Accurso (Jamison, Pa.) (2-1-5). Junior forward/midfielder Emily Schuckert (Wilmington, Del.) leads the team in assists with three.
Junior goalkeeper Emily Cain (Laytonsville, Md.) is 16th in the country in saves per game (7.0). She has a .712 save percentage and a 3.82 goals-against average.
Penn (6-6, 1-3 Ivy League) gave Yale the biggest scare during its five-game league winning streak en route to earning a share of the Ivy title last year. The Quakers had a 1-0 lead until the 45 minute mark, when junior forward Gabrielle Garcia (Garden City, N.Y.) got the game-tying goal off an assist by Taylor Sankovich '12. The Bulldogs got the game-winner 10 minutes later, when Borgo scored on a spectacular backhanded shot to the top corner off an assist by Kirsten Krebs '12. That wound up being the only win by fewer than two goals among all of Yale's league victories last year.
The Quakers have continued to improve under third-year head coach Colleen Fink, and one more win this season would enable them to equal their total from the previous two seasons combined (when they went 7-27). Midfielder Sarah Hasson (6-4-16) and attacker Elizabeth Hitti (5-6-16) lead the team in scoring. Goalie Carly Sokach has a .708 save percentage and a 2.84 goals-against average.
Albany (8-7, 1-2 America East) edged Yale 4-3 in overtime last season, with the Bulldogs getting two goals from Erin Carter '12 and one from Dinah Landshut '12. The Great Danes' record is deceptive; Albany has played six games against nationally ranked teams and gone 2-4 in those games, with each loss by just one goal. Corrine McConville (10-2-22) leads the team in points. Kristi Troch has a .686 save percentage and a 1.78 goals-against average.
Every goal Yale scores this season brings the world closer to a cure for myotonic dystrophy. Senior 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