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Late Comeback Denied as Bulldogs Fall to Penn 3-2

Nicole Wells. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Nicole Wells. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Gogel, Wells Score

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale field hockey team nearly had the perfect ending on a day where the Bulldogs celebrated the 40th anniversary of field hockey at Yale. But in front of a large crowd of alums and supporters on a warm, sunny fall day at Johnson Field, a late Yale goal was disallowed and Penn eventually hung on to hand the Bulldogs a 3-2 loss.

This was the third one-goal loss in league play for the Bulldogs, who were coming off a 3-2 overtime non-league win at Vermont. Yale (4-9, 1-4 Ivy League) jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 19:44 when, amidst a scrum in front of the goal as play continued following a Yale penalty corner, freshman forward/midfielder Nicole Wells was able to tip in a pass from junior forward/midfielder Emily Schuckert.

But the lead lasted only seven minutes, as Penn tied the game on a goal by midfielder Sarah Hasson. Despite a 9-3 shot advantage for Yale, the game was 1-1 heading into halftime.

Penn (7-6, 2-3 Ivy League) got four penalty corners in the second half, and one of them produced the game-winning goal. Attacker Sunny Stirewalt scored at 36:40 to put Penn up 2-1. Less than 12 minutes later, attacker Julie Tahan -- who had assisted on the first two Quaker goals -- scored one to make it 3-1.

Yale fought back two minutes later, with junior forward Brooke Gogel getting a piece of a pass from junior midfielder Erica Borgo and sending it high past Penn keeper Carly Sokach (12 saves). Borgo was also in the midst of the Bulldogs' final push, as she appeared to score a goal in a sequence following a Yale penalty corner in the game's final minutes -- but it was waved off because a Yale player had inadvertently touched the ball with her feet.

Junior goalkeeper Emily Cain finished with six saves for Yale.

The large turnout for the game was just part of the memorable weekend. In addition to an alumnae game, a special dinner was held in Yale's Lanman Center Saturday night. With the focus on the team's 40-year history, the Bulldogs' two Ivy League championship teams (1980 and 2011) were saluted.

Yale is back out on the field Sunday afternoon, hosting Albany at 3:00 p.m.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity