NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Senior forward/midfielder Carol Middough has led the Yale field hockey team in scoring for each of the past two years -- and based on Saturday's season opener against Sacred Heart at Johnson Field, she is in good position to accomplish that feat again in 2017. Middough scored the Bulldogs' first two goals of the season, helping the team build a 4-0 lead in the first half. Then, after the Pioneers closed within 4-2, Middough tacked on an insurance goal for the hat trick. A tally by sophomore forward/midfielder Bridget Condie with 90 seconds to play made the final 6-2 Yale.
"It's no secret that Carol can score goals," said Pam Stuper, Yale's Caroline Ruth Thompson '02 Head Coach of Field Hockey. "But she is also a playmaker. She helps build the play and can set up her teammates, which you saw today with her getting an assist in addition to the three goals."
One of the subtle differences for Yale this year is depth, which allows Middough to shift into a role on the field where she can focus even more on scoring. That depth comes from both the addition of six freshmen and the ongoing development of those players who were a part of the team last year. After making strides in 2016 -- increasing their goals scored by 75 percent and decreasing their goals allowed by 13 percent -- the Bulldogs appear ready to make even more progress this year.
"This team took a huge step with its physical and mental training in the offseason," said Stuper. "The returnees are stronger than they were a year ago. And the freshmen have slotted right into spots where we need them, either in the starting lineup or coming in off the bench."
Indeed, four members of the Class of 2021 started on Saturday -- midfielder Iliana Cabral, midfielder/forward Imogen Davies, forward Sarah King and goalie Sydney Terroso. Two more, forward/midfielder Anissa Abboud and midfielder/forward Olivia Levieux, came into the game later to make their varsity debuts.
Terroso was arguably the most prominent newcomer, stepping into a role as the starting goalkeeper. With the graduation of Emilie Katz '17 -- who played every minute for each of the past two years and was the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year last season -- Terroso had big shoes to fill but did so admirably.
"Sydney did a great job in goal, picking up a win in her first college game," said Stuper. "She made all the saves we could have asked her to make. It was a great way to start."
Davies also made a big contribution, stepping in as the inserter on Yale's penalty corners with Katz' sister, Steffi Katz '17, having graduated. Davies' work paid immediate dividends as she and senior midfielder/forward Katie Smith, the stick stopper, set up Middough for a penalty corner goal just 97 seconds into the season.
Middough scored again at 19:09, and goals by junior forward Brooke Reese and sophomore midfielder/back Holly Jackson extended the lead to 4-0 by the 31:02 mark. That was Jackson's first career goal; Reese now has seven career goals on 13 career shots.
Goals by forward Lauren Lawson right before halftime and forward Kelsy Hopkins right after halftime helped Sacred Heart (1-2, 0-0 MAAC) get within 4-2, but after that Yale (1-0, 0-0 Ivy League) kept the Pioneers at bay. Middough and Condie's late goals helped the Bulldogs improve to 14-3 all-time vs. SHU.
Yale now turns its attention to another local rival, travelling to Quinnipiac next Friday afternoon for a game at the Bobcats' new Field Hockey Turf Complex.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity