September 1, 2007

Upset Bid Comes Up Short as Bulldogs Fall to No. 17 Providence 2-1

Sept. 1, 2007

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Facing a Providence team that was ranked No. 17 and already had two games in hand, the Yale field hockey team opened its season with a hard-fought 2-1 loss Saturday afternoon at Johnson Field. The Bulldogs, buoyed by nine saves from sophomore goalkeeper Charlotte Goins, hung with the Friars until Abby Maguire's goal with 9:43 left provided the decisive score.

"I told the players that it is disappointing to lose, but they should be proud of how they performed," said Yale head coach Pam Stuper. "That was 70 minutes of very good hockey, and there is a lot that we can build on in our practices as we prepare for the rest of the season. A lot of good things happened."

The Friars (1-2), who had lost each of their first two games by a goal, were on the offensive right from the start. Goins set the tone by denying the first golden Providence chance. She ranged far out of the cage to kick away a shot by Nellie Poulin, who was coming in all alone after getting the ball off a Yale turnover.

Senior back Beth Raveche showcased her ability to help the Bulldogs at both ends of the field early on, breaking up a nice pass from Poulin in front of the Yale goal and minutes later feeding sophomore forward Ashley McCauley with a long pass that set her up for a shot attempt that just missed.

Providence keeper Rachel Chamberlain, an All-American last year, made a key save by kicking away a Raveche shot on Yale's first penalty corner of the game with 11:30 left in the first half.

The Friars' Ashlyn Hudson scored the first goal of the game after nearly 31 minutes of shutout action from Goins and Chamberlain, who made all three of her saves in the first half. Hudson's tally on a penalty corner made it 1-0 Providence and also ended Goins' streak of 97:47 without allowing a goal at the start of her career.

Despite a decided edge in shots (25-7), shots on goal (11-4) and penalty corners (11-3), the Friars could not put away the pesky Bulldogs. Senior forward Cat Lindroth tipped in a shot by senior back Lorrie Kiger on a penalty corner to knot the score at one with 14:02 left in the game. Coming down the right side of the field, Lindroth deftly redirected Kiger's blast past Chamberlain.

"That was brilliant execution," Stuper said. "They knew what they needed to do and where they needed to put it."

Maguire's goal, which came as she was falling to the turf, proved decisive. Goins denied a penalty stroke from Jessica Lane with 8:29 remaining after a defensive save by freshman midfielder/forward Marissa Waldemore, but the Bulldogs could not get another shot past Chamberlain.

This was the first time in four years Yale (0-1) has lost its home opener.

"Charlotte had an outstanding performance in goal," said Stuper. "We played well as a team both on attack and on defense. Providence is a good team, and we were able to put some really good pressure on them."

The Bulldogs visit No. 5 UConn Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m.

report by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity