Schlesier’s 16 Saves Not Enough; No. 8 UConn Beats Yale 3-0

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Heather Schlesier. (photo by Sam Rubin ?95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Huskies Take Advantage of Penalty Corners and Penalty Stroke for Goals

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – No. 8 UConn overcame a career high 16-save effort by Yale junior goalkeeper Heather Schlesier to beat the Yale field hockey team 3-0 Sunday afternoon at Johnson Field. Midfielder Roisin Upton scored a pair of goals for the Huskies, including one on a penalty stroke.

On a day where UConn (15-4, 5-1 Big East) would get 14 penalty corners, Schlesier and the Yale corner unit faced three in just the first nine minutes. While Schlesier made a nice kick save on a shot by Upton on the first, and forward Anna Jeute sent a shot wide on the second, the third resulted in a 1-0 UConn lead as midfielder Anna Middendorf drilled one home off the stick stop by midfielder Chrissy Davidson and the insertion by Jeute.

Yale (7-9, 3-3 Ivy League) got its first corner halfway through the period but could not get off a shot. On the Bulldogs' second corner, senior midfielder/back Georgia Holland's shot was denied by UConn goalkeeper Sarah Mansfield. Minutes later Mansfield also turned aside a tricky backhand shot by forward/midfielder Erica Borgo, and the Huskies eventually extended their lead to 2-0 heading into halftime thanks to a goal by Upton on a penalty stroke.

Mansfield made another save on Holland on a penalty corner midway through the second half, lying down to stuff the low shot. The Huskies got three corners of their own in a span of just over two minutes later in the half, but they came up empty on all three -- including a pair of saves by Schlesier on shots by forward Chloe Hunnable. Right after the third corner Schlesier made another save on Hunnable, this one a kick save. Hunnable, the Huskies' leading goal scorer with 18 for the season, wound up being held scoreless by Schlesier on eight shots on goal.

Upton tacked on one more goal after a penalty corner with less than five minutes to play to make the final score 3-0, but that did not diminish the accomplishments of Schlesier and the Yale defense. Just a day earlier, the Huskies had racked up seven goals against Temple, and they had scored four or more goals in 10 of their other 18 games this season. Schlesier's efforts this weekend -- including eight saves in Friday's 3-1 win at Columbia -- have placed her atop the Ivy League in save percentage (.793).

"Our defensive effort was very good," said Pam Stuper, Yale's Caroline Ruth Thompson '02 Head Coach of Field Hockey. "It took a strong effort by everybody to minimize UConn's opportunities. Heather played outstanding today in goal. She frustrated UConn and allowed us to stay in the game."

While the Bulldogs have been hit hard by injuries all season long, on Sunday they got healthy enough to keep UConn's potent offense from racking up big numbers. Freshman back Emmy Reinwald returned to the lineup after missing four games with an injury, and sophomore midfielder/back Nicole Wells continued to play with a mask on as she recovers from an injury suffered last weekend at Penn.

"Hats off to Emmy Reinwald and Nicole Wells -- Nicole for playing through an injury and Emmy for coming back," said Stuper. "There is no doubt those two made a difference for us defensively."

Holland also helped defensively, increasing her streak of games with a defensive save to five.

Yale concludes its season next Saturday vs. Brown, Senior Day at Johnson Field. The Bulldogs will honor Borgo, Holland, senior goalkeeper Emily Cain, senior forward/midfielder Gabby Garcia, senior forward Brooke Gogel and senior midfielder Emily Schuckert.

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