Bulldogs vs. Bulldogs at Johnson Field Wednesday; Trip to Maine Saturday

Carol Middough. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Carol Middough. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

First Meeting between Yale and Bryant

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The first meeting ever between the Yale Bulldogs and the Bryant Bulldogs in field hockey takes place Wednesday night at Johnson Field. Yale then heads to Maine for a game vs. the Black Bears on Saturday, giving the Bulldogs two chances to get back into the win column this week. Yale lost 4-0 at then-No. 19 Cornell in Ivy League play this past Saturday, the Bulldogs' second loss in a row to a nationally ranked opponent. Including No. 7 Stanford, Yale's last two opponents have a combined won-lost record of 20-3.

Senior goalkeeper Heather Schlesier (San Diego, Calif.) made 11 saves Saturday, the third time this season she has reached double digits in saves. Schlesier leads the Ivy League in saves with 77, 16 more than any other goalkeeper in the league. She is second in the nation in saves per game (8.25, trailing only Quinnipiac's Megan Conaboy at 8.33).

Schlesier also leads the Ivy League in save percentage at .748, 11 percentage points better than the next-best keeper. Last year Schlesier led the league in save percentage (.795), and she was fourth in the nation in that category.

Yale's attack is led by three players with two goals each: senior forward Jessie Accurso (Jamison, Pa.), sophomore midfielder Kelsey Nolan (Lancaster, Pa.) and freshman midfielder Carol Middough (Oceanport, N.J.). Those three will look to help Yale against a Bryant defense that is second in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in goals-against average (2.01) and a Maine team that entered the week second in America East in goals-against average (1.80).

Yale's freshman class has made some instant contributions. Five of the six have started at least one game, and back Kiwi Comizio (New Vernon, N.J.) has started all nine games. Three of the team's nine goals have come from freshmen, including two from Middough despite the fact that she was sidelined for the first four games of the season. Other than Middough, each member of the class has played in every game so far this season.

Wednesday will mark the third time this season Yale (1-8, 0-3 Ivy League) faces a team from the MAAC, and the previous two games were closely contested. Yale lost to Sacred Heart 3-2 and beat Quinnipiac -- the preseason coaches' poll pick to win the MAAC -- 1-0 in overtime at Johnson Field last month.

Bryant (3-7, 0-0 MAAC) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-1 win at Holy Cross last Thursday. Bryant has played a pair of Ivy League teams, losing 3-2 at Harvard and 3-0 at Brown. Forward Rosie Bird leads the team in scoring (6-2-14) and has 39 shots, 19 more than any other player on the team. Bird was a preseason All-MAAC selection, along with defender Kelsey Hiltebeitel and midfielder Erin Karcher.

Goalie Megan Hancock has a .756 and a 2.12 goals-against average.

Maine (6-6, 1-0 America East), which hosts Fairfield on Friday, has won four games in a row after starting the season 2-6. The Black Bears have several opponents in common with Yale, including Stanford (Maine lost 1-0), Harvard (Maine lost 2-1), Hofstra (Maine lost 2-1), Bryant (Maine won 3-1), Quinnipiac (Maine won 4-1), Sacred Heart (Maine won 3-1) and Dartmouth (Maine won 5-2).

Forward/midfielder Danielle Aviani, an America East All-Rookie Team selection last year, leads Maine in scoring (9-2-20). Midfielder Annabelle Hamilton has 51 shots, 27 more than anyone else on the team. A third team All-American last year, she is second on the team in scoring (5-7-17). Forward Holly Stewart, one of eight Canadians on Maine's roster, is a member of the Canadian National Team and has 16 points for the Black Bears this year.

Two goalies, Emma Cochran and Emily Corbet, have seen time in goal for Maine. Cochran has a .742 save percentage and a 1.43 goals-against average. Corbet has a .650 save percentage and a 2.51 goals-against average.  

Yale beat Maine 4-3 in overtime last year, with junior midfielder Nicole Wells (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) getting the game-winning goal. Schlesier made 15 saves.



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