April 28, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale field hockey team announced its 2009 schedule Tuesday, with the season opener set for Sept. 4 against Sacred Heart at Johnson Field. In addition to the seven Ivy League games --starting with Harvard at home on Sept. 19 -- the Bulldogs' 10 non-league games include a pair on a trip to Maine. Overall there are four teams on the schedule that were either ranked or receiving votes in the national poll at the end of 2008, and three teams that took part in the NCAA Tournament.
The day after opening against Sacred Heart, the Bulldogs host Northwestern. Yale has taken on at least one Big Ten opponent three times in the last four seasons, as the Bulldogs played the Wildcats in 2005 and 2006 and also played Michigan State in 2006 and 2007. The following weekend Yale departs for Orono, where the Bulldogs will play Maine on Sept. 11 and Colgate in a neutral site game at Maine on Sept. 12.
Harvard and Yale renew their rivalry at Johnson Field on Sept. 19. The last five meetings between these two teams have each been decided by just one goal, including two that went to double overtime.
After a visit to Holy Cross the day after the Harvard game, the Bulldogs travel to Princeton Sept. 26 to take on the team that has won the last four Ivy League titles. The Tigers went 17-3 last year; they were ranked No. 9 in the final 2008 poll and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Princeton enters 2009 having won 10 Ivy League games in a row and 27 of its last 28 league games.
After the trip to New Jersey Yale visits Hempstead, N.Y., the next day for a non-league game against Hofstra. The Pride was among the teams receiving votes in the final national poll last season. Two years ago, the Bulldogs spoiled the debut of Hofstra Field Hockey Stadium by beating the Pride 6-2 thanks to four goals by junior forward Ashley McCauley (Rye, N.Y.). McCauley had no goals in 17 career games to that point; she has scored 29 in 34 games since then to rise to fifth on Yale's all-time list.
Yale hosts another key Ivy League game when Cornell visits Johnson Field Oct. 3. Thirteen of the last 16 games between these two teams have been decided by one goal. The Big Red edged Yale 2-1 in overtime last season en route to finishing second in the league with a 6-1 record (11-5 overall). The Bulldogs travel to UMass the next day to take on the Minutewomen. Last year UMass won the Atlantic 10, made an NCAA Tournament appearance and was ranked No. 17 in the country.
During Parents' Weekend Yale hosts its long-time state rival UConn on Oct. 11. The Huskies, who have made 19 NCAA Tournament appearances, went 17-4 last year and were ranked No. 5. The Bulldogs are right back at Johnson Field the following weekend, hosting Ivy League foe Dartmouth on Oct. 17 and Fairfield on Oct. 18.
Yale makes a brief trip up I-91 to Hamden to play at Quinnipiac on Oct. 22, then plays at Penn on Oct. 25. The Bulldogs play another Ivy League road game at Columbia on Nov. 1.
Yale plays its final game of the regular season Nov. 7, hosting Brown. The game will mark Senior Day, as Yale pays tribute to the Class of 2010: McCauley, midfielder Katie Cantore (Hershey, Pa.), back Stephanie Colantonio (Watertown, Mass.), goalkeeper Charlotte Goins (New Bern, N.C.), forward Lesley Kiger (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and back Julia Weiser (Houston, Texas), the team captain.
Yale returns nine starters and three All-Ivy League players from last season, when the team put together wins in five of its last seven games. McCauley, who was third in the league in both goals (14) and points (31), was a unanimous first team All-Ivy selection and also was second team All-Region. Cantore and sophomore goalkeeper Katie Bolling (Ann Arbor, Mich.) were both second team All-Ivy selections.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity