Seniors -- and a Freshman – Fuel Offensive Outburst in 6-0 Win Over SHU

Gabby Garcia and Brooke Gogel celebrate a goal. (photo by Sam Rubin 95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Gabby Garcia and Brooke Gogel celebrate a goal. (photo by Sam Rubin 95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Cain Earns 21st Career Victory

NEW HAVEN, Conn – The Yale field hockey team entered the 2013 season knowing that its six seniors were all capable of contributing significantly on the field. The six brought a total of 192 games of experience into 2013, including 39 goals, 40 assists and 20 wins in goal. It did not take long for them to start adding to those numbers this year. Seniors combined for five goals and three assists as Yale blanked Sacred Heart 6-0 in the second game of the year Saturday afternoon at Johnson Field. Senior goalkeeper Emily Cain got the win, the 21st of her career -- the most by a Yale keeper since Krissy Nesburg '04 finished her career with 24 10 years ago. Freshman midfielder Kelsey Nolan added her first career goal.

"It was great that the seniors scored and contributed so much," said Pam Stuper, Yale's Caroline Ruth Thompson '02 Head Coach of Field Hockey. "They have been showing some great leadership, and great ability to finish."

For the first 45 minutes of the game, though, Sacred Heart keeper Mary Altepeter nearly stole the show. En route to making 17 saves, she limited the Bulldogs to just one goal in the first half -- by senior midfielder Emily Schuckert, assisted by senior midfielder/back Georgia Holland.

"I was impressed with her explosiveness and reaction time," said Stuper of Altepeter. "She made it difficult to finish."

But Yale (1-1, 0-0 Ivy League) kept hammering away, outshooting the Pioneers 16-1 in the second half after holding a 13-3 edge in that category in the first. Eventually, the floodgates opened. Senior forward Brooke Gogel knocked home a feed from senior forward/midfielder Gabby Garcia at 45:12, and within the next six minutes senior forward Erica Borgo (on a penalty stroke) and Holland (on a penalty corner) would extend the lead to 4-0. Holland's goal came off assists by Borgo (the inserter) and junior back Megan Kirkham (the stick stopper). Borgo's three points on the day move her into eighth on Yale's all-time list (20-28-68).

After the Holland goal, Sacred Heart called timeout and settled down. The Bulldogs tacked on two goals in the final two minutes, though. In addition to Nolan's tally, which concluded the scoring, Garcia scored off a feed from sophomore midfielder Nicole Wells.

"Nicole Wells played an outstanding game," Stuper said. "She plays deep, so she's not necessarily going to be up scoring, but she finds ways to contribute."

Cain (three saves) and junior goalkeeper Heather Schlesier (one save) combined for the shutout, with Cain playing the first half and Schlesier the second.

"It's nice for our goalies and our defense to get a shutout," said Stuper. "It says a lot about the fact that we have good goalkeepers who are capable of splitting time."

While the Class of 2013 provided the bulk of the scoring on this particular day, the Bulldogs feel that Nolan's tally is a sign of things to come from the freshman -- a third team NFHCA All-American last year at Hempfield (Pa.) High.

"We were confident that Kelsey could contribute right away," said Stuper. "She does a great job in the open field, making tackles and interrupting the ball. She has very good game sense. She can finish too, and score some goals -- she did in high school."

Sacred Heart (2-1, 0-0 MAAC) had opened its season with road wins at Towson and Villanova. Yale travels to Albany and Hofstra next weekend.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity