September 19, 2013

Alumnae Weekend Includes Visits from Harvard, Vermont

Ceremonies Recognize New Coaching Endowment

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – What promises to be a memorable Alumnae Weekend for the Yale field hockey team centers around two games at Johnson Field, as the Bulldogs host Harvard on Saturday and Vermont on Sunday. Saturday's game, the Ivy League opener, includes ceremonies recognizing the program's new coaching endowment -- Pam Stuper is now Yale's Caroline Ruth Thompson '02 Head Coach of Field Hockey. It is also Yale's chance to notch a fifth straight win in the series against Harvard, something that the Bulldogs have never done before.

Yale (1-3, 0-0 Ivy League) is coming off a 4-3 overtime loss at Hofstra. The Bulldogs rallied from a 3-1 deficit with two goals in the final 10 minutes of regulation, but could not complete the comeback.

Senior midfielder/back Georgia Holland (Stony Brook, N.Y.), who scored a pair of goals and added an assist at Hofstra, leads the Bulldogs in scoring (3-2-8). She is tied for the team lead in goals (three) with senior forward/midfielder Gabby Garcia (Garden City, N.Y.).

Senior goalkeeper Emily Cain (Laytonsville, Md.) and junior goalkeeper Heather Schlesier (San Diego, Calif.) have been splitting time in goal for Yale. Cain has a .773 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against average, while Schlesier has a .690 save percentage and a 4.34 goals-against average.

Yale's recent success against Harvard represents a dramatic turnaround from prior years. In 2005 -- Stuper's first year as head coach -- Yale snapped a string of six straight losses in the series with a 1-0 victory. After losing two of the next three in the series, the Bulldogs started their current four-game winning streak vs. Harvard with a 4-3 win in 2009, following up with a 1-0 win, a 5-1 win and a 2-1 win. That is Yale's longest winning streak in the series, besting a three-win run from Sept. 27, 1997 to Nov. 14, 1998.

Harvard (1-2, 0-0 Ivy League) is coming off a 4-0 win at Holy Cross, an offensive outburst that matched the Crimson's best goal total in a game since Sept. 24, 2012. The win also snapped a 10-game losing streak that dated back to Sept. 29, 2012. The Crimson is in its second season under head coach Tjerk van Herwaarden.

Forward Sarah Finnemore leads Harvard in goals and points (3-0-6). Jenn Hatfield has played all 210 minutes in goal, posting a .792 save percentage and a 1.67 goals-against average. Midfielder Caitlin Rea was a second team All-Ivy League honoree last season, and she participated in USA Field Hockey's Women's National Championship this past spring.

Vermont (0-6, 0-0 America East), which plays at Quinnipiac Saturday, has lost 14 of its last 15 games dating back to last season -- with the lone win coming against Harvard in the 2012 season finale.

Forwards Ashley McDonald (5-0-10) and Colleen Slaughter (3-4-10) are tied for the team lead in points. Stephanie Zygmunt, who was second in the nation in saves per game last year (10.44), has a .686 save percentage and a 5.45 goals-against average.

The Catamounts took a 2-1 lead on Yale late in last year's game, but Mary Beth Barham '13 tied the score 2-2 with 27 seconds left and senior forward Brooke Gogel (Bronxville, N.Y.) scored the game-winner in overtime at the 72:40 mark.

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Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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