Sept. 7, 2008
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - If the 2008 season had begun just 35 minutes later, the story of Yale's opener at Providence Sunday might have been different. With an untested sophomore in goal for the second half and five freshmen seeing significant action, the Bulldogs outshot the Friars 7-4 and drew six penalty corners over the game's final 35 minutes. But by that time the Friars had already established a 4-0 lead, and Yale was not able to turn any of its chances into goals. The end result was a 5-0 Providence win.
"I was really proud of how the team played in the second half," said Yale head coach Pam Stuper. "Providence is a good team. This game helps put in perspective where we are at the start of the season. There are some things that we are good at and some things that we need to improve upon."
Providence (3-1) set the tone early on, scoring 66 seconds into the game, and went on to control play in the first half. The Friars, who were ranked just outside the top 20 in the preseason coaches' poll, outshot Yale (0-1) 11 to 2 and got four penalty corners while the Bulldogs had none.
Nellie Poulin scored the first two goals, giving the Friars a 2-0 lead just past the ninth minute. The Bulldogs did not get their first shot on goal until senior midfielder Ali Rotondo put one on Rachel Chamberlain for a save 16 minutes in. Rotondo then slid the rebound wide.
The Bulldog defense held off the Friars for 15 minutes after the first two goals, including a nice clear by sophomore back Vicki Gordon of a ball that got behind junior goalie Charlotte Goins (three saves). But the Friars took advantage of their third corner to end their brief drought with a goal from Julie Ruggieri at 24:46.
Goins made a kick save on a shot off of the Friars' fourth penalty corner, and junior midfielder Katie Cantore followed that up with a defensive save, but shortly after that Megan Montecalvo scored to make it 4-0 heading into halftime.
Sophomore goalkeeper Katie Bolling then made her varsity debut, coming on in relief of Goins. Three other Bulldogs who had not seen action in the first half also made their way into the rotation in the second half, including freshman back/midfielder Erin Carter, freshman midfielder Chelsey Locarno and sophomore forward/midfielder Johna Paolino.
Carter and Locarno's appearances meant that all five healthy freshmen made it into the game for Yale. Three of the newcomers -- midfielder Dinah Landshut, forward Mia Rosati and back Taylor Sankovich -- earned starts and made immediate contributions. Rosati had one of Yale's nine shots for the game, while Landshut showed the ability to help generate attack and blocked one of Providence's penalty corners in the second half.
"I've been very impressed with the freshmen class," Stuper said. "I thought they handled their first collegiate game very well."
Bolling stopped three of the four shots she faced, allowing only Meghan Holden's tally with nine minutes to play.
Yale kept fighting to the end on the hot and humid day, with Cantore forcing Chamberlain to make a nice save with her blocker off of a penalty corner with less than a minute to play. The Bulldogs also had another corner with time expired, but they could not cash in.
Yale hosts No. 4 UConn Wednesday at 4:00 at Johnson Field.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (email@example.com), Yale Sports Publicity