Two Big Tests out West for Bulldogs

Rhoni Gericke. (photo by Sam Rubin ?95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Rhoni Gericke. (photo by Sam Rubin ?95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Travels to Cal, No. 13 Stanford

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Two teams with a combined total of 23 NCAA Tournament appearances await the Yale field hockey team in California this weekend. The Bulldogs are headed to the Golden State to play at Cal on Saturday (1:00 p.m. Pacific time) and at No. 13 Stanford on Sunday (12:00 p.m. Pacific time).

Yale (3-6, 1-2 Ivy League) is coming off a 3-2 loss at Quinnipiac Sunday. Freshman forward Rhoni Gericke (Cape Town, South Africa) scored her first career goal and senior forward/midfielder Gabby Garcia (Garden City, N.Y.) added her fourth goal of the season -- matching her career high in goals and points (4-1-9) -- but the Bulldogs were unable to overcome a 3-0 halftime deficit.

The Bulldogs did get an Ivy League win earlier in the weekend, topping Cornell 3-0 on Saturday at Johnson Field. Senior Emily Cain (Laytonsville, Md.) and junior Heather Schlesier (San Diego, Calif.) combined for the shutout -- the second time this season they have accomplished that feat. Yale is now 21-10 in Ivy League games since the start of the 2009 season.

Senior forward/midfielder Erica Borgo (Randolph, N.J.) got her seventh assist of the season in the win vs. Cornell. She leads the Ivy League in assists and is sixth in the country in assists per game (0.78). Not far behind her is senior midfielder Emily Schuckert (Wilmington, Del.), whose six assists tie her for second in the league. Schuckert is tied for 12th in the country in assists per game (0.67).

Schlesier, the lone Californian on the Yale roster, gives the Bulldogs another player among the Ivy League leaders; she stopped all eight shots she faced this past weekend and improved her save percentage to .756, third in the league.

Borgo (4-7-15) is Yale's leading scorer, followed by senior midfielder/back Georgia Holland (Stony Brook, N.Y.) (6-2-14), Yale's captain. Garcia leads the team in shooting percentage (.364).

Cal (4-7, 1-2 NorPac), which has made 11 NCAA Tournament appearances in school history, has been outshot 169-82 and outscored 22-12 this year. The Golden Bears did knock off the lone Ivy League team they have faced so far, beating Dartmouth 4-2 on Sept. 6 in California. Four of the team's losses have come by just one goal, including three to teams currently ranked in the top 10: No. 4 UConn, No. 7 Duke and No. 10 Northwestern.

Midfielder/forward Andrea Earle, an All-American in 2011 who missed the 2012 season due to injury, leads Cal in scoring (4-2-10). Two other key members of the Golden Bears attack were All-West Region selections last season: midfielder Shannon Elmitt, a former member of the Canadian Junior National Team, and forward Lara Kruggel. Elmitt led the Bears in assists last year with nine and is tied for the lead this year with two. Kruggel, the NorPac West Offensive Player of the Year, led the team with 18 goals and 44 points -- both good for fifth in the Cal record book. This year she is second on the team in shots (15) but has been limited to two goals and no assists.

Midfielder Michaela Swensen leads the Golden Bears with four defensive saves. Cal goalie Courtney Hendrickson ranks fifth in the country in save percentage (.796) and has a 1.79 goals-against average.

Stanford (8-3, 2-1 NorPac), which hosts UC Davis on Friday, has made 12 NCAA Tournament appearances (including each of the last four years) and won the NorPac five times in the last six years.

Defender Kelsey Harbin, who leads Stanford in scoring (5-3-13), was a third team All-American and NorPac Defensive Player of the Year last season. Harbin (USA), midfielder Maddie Secco (Canada) and defender Fran Tew (England) all played for their respective countries at the Junior World Cup in Monchengladbach, Germany, this past summer -- Harbin was teammates with Yale's Holland on Team USA.

Cardinal goalie Dulcie Davies ranks seventh in the country in goals-against average (1.15) and ninth in save percentage (.787). A sophomore, she has been the lone goalie on the team's roster each of the last two seasons.

Yale last played Stanford in 2011, falling 3-1 in the season opener at Johnson Field. Cain made 11 saves and Schuckert assisted on the Bulldogs' lone goal, scored by Maddy Sharp '13.

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Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity