Sept. 28, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - For nearly 69 minutes Sunday afternoon at Johnson Field, Yale was either tied with or ahead of Lock Haven -- a team that entered the day with an 8-2 record and was among the teams receiving votes in the national poll. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the Lady Eagles grabbed the lead when it mattered most. Forward Suzann Hobart's goal with 1:19 to play broke a 1-1 tie and denied Yale's bid for the upset.
Having outscored their previous opponents 30-17, the Lady Eagles presented a formidable challenge for a Yale team coming off of a disappointing 6-1 loss to Princeton the day before. The Bulldogs tabbed sophomore goalkeeper Katie Bolling for her first career start after three strong appearances in relief.
"We felt Katie had earned a start," said Yale head coach Pam Stuper. "She has done well off the bench."
The Bulldogs set the tone for Sunday's game early on. Freshman forward Mia Rosati had the first shot two minutes in, forcing Lock Haven keeper Erin Terreson to make a nice save -- the first of six on the day for her. The Bulldogs eventually got a penalty corner but were unable to convert.
The first Lock Haven penalty corner came four minutes in, and that gave the Lady Eagles the first chance to try to get the ball to All-America midfielder Blair Wynne. But Yale freshman forward Dinah Landshut came flying out on the corner and got to Wynne just as the stick stopper fed her the ball, breaking up the play and ending the threat.
The Lady Eagles had five penalty corners in the first half but were unable to convert on any of them. Bolling denied two with kick saves during a one-minute span late in the half. Terreson came up with a save on junior forward Ashley McCauley with a minute to play, knocking away a shot with her hand protector, and the teams were scoreless at halftime.
Yale got the break it was looking for five minutes into the second half on a penalty corner. Junior midfielder Katie Cantore, the stick stopper, set up Landshut for a hard shot from the left side that a lunging McCauley was able to get her stick on and deflect high past Terreson for the 1-0 lead. The goal was the 20th of McCauley's career, moving her into a tie for ninth on Yale's all-time list with Erin Arruda '00.
"We knew the left side was open," said Stuper. "Our corners were on this morning in warmups, and we felt comfortable. Ashley got into the right spot to redirect the ball Dinah hit."
Bolling followed that play with another kick save to deny a Lock Haven corner 30 seconds later. The Bulldogs caught a tough break right after that when a diving deflection attempt by senior forward Alyssa Jethani hit the crossbar, keeping the Yale lead at 1-0.
Another kick save by Bolling on a penalty corner shot by forward Amy Hordendorf kept the lead intact. Within a span of two minutes midway through the second half Cantore and McCauley both drew penalty corners, but the Bulldogs were unable to increase their lead.
Bolling denied Mary Keister from right in front with 12 minutes to play, and the upset began looking more and more achievable. Then Wynne, who had 12 goals in the team's first 10 games, finally began turning the tide in Lock Haven's favor. She freed herself up at the top of the circle for a pretty shot into the upper right corner at 62:23. It was the only shot on goal of the game for her.
"Mo [sophomore midfielder Marissa Waldemore] was on her all game long, and was able to shut her down for the most part," said Yale head coach Pam Stuper. "The few opportunities that she had, she was able to take advantage of. That was a beautiful goal, and there was nothing we could do about it."
Yale (2-5) kept the offensive pressure on, with Rosati deflecting a cross from Landshut high and wide with three minutes to play. Landshut also sent a low shot through traffic in front of the goal with two minutes to play that was stopped.
Hobart's goal, assisted by midfielder Najia Hassan, effectively ended Yale's chances of the upset with 79 seconds to play. Bolling finished the day with four saves, and has stopped 18 of 21 shots she has faced on the season (.857).
With 10 games left on the schedule, Stuper saw reason for optimism from the way her team played Sunday.
"They did exactly what I asked them to do, and stuck with the game plan," Stuper said. "This was probably the best hockey we've played all season. If we play that kind of hockey every day, success will come."
Yale takes a road trip to Western New York next weekend, playing at Cornell Saturday (Noon) and at Syracuse Sunday (1:00 p.m.)
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity