Yale Field Hockey Announces Plans for 35th Anniversary Celebration

Yale Field Hockey Announces Plans for 35th Anniversary Celebration

Aug. 16, 2007

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale field hockey team will mark its 35th anniversary with a celebration based around the game against Harvard on Saturday, Oct. 13 at Johnson Field. The weekend festivities include an alumnae game that day and a reception/dinner that night, offering former Yale field hockey players and their families a unique chance to reunite with former teammates while also connecting with those currently involved in the program.

After Yale hosts the Crimson at Noon on Saturday Oct. 13, alumnae will have their chance to play on Johnson Field in a special Alumnae Game set for 2:00. Later that day alumnae are invited to a reception (6:00) and dinner (7:00) that will be held in Berkeley College. Alumnae may register for the dinner on-line at https://wems.worldtek.com/yalefh.

Those who remain in the New Haven area through Sunday can also see the Bulldogs host Syracuse Sunday, Oct. 14 at 1:00.

Other events for the weekend are also being planned. Those who arrive in New Haven on Friday, Oct. 12 and are interested in golfing at The Course at Yale that day can contact Jan Colarusso Seeley '82 (jan@marathonandbeyond.com or 217-369-8553).

Field hockey at Yale began with a club season in 1971 followed by the program's varsity debut Oct. 11, 1972 at Trinity. The Bulldogs went 3-5 that first season, coached by Barbara Bowditch and captained by Lawrie Mifflin '73 and Susan Morse '74. There have been 396 letter winners in the program's history, which includes three ECAC championships and one Ivy League title.

"When Yale first went coed, in the fall of 1969, nobody there imagined that some of us newcomers would want to play competitive field hockey," said Mifflin, who is now Executive Director of Television and Video for the New York Times. "Now, you can't imagine Yale without it. It's wonderful to see how excellent the level of play is today. I'm looking forward to seeing old-timers and celebrating along with lots of players from more recent years."

The 35th Anniversary celebration offers those former players an opportunity to re-connect with their teammates while also meeting those currently involved in the program.

"Yale field hockey has shaped my life, personally and professionally, in every way possible," said Seeley, a former U.S. National Team member who is now publisher and co-owner of the magazine Marathon & Beyond. "I would not miss this opportunity to celebrate with fellow field hockey alums for all the world."

"So much of the Yale experience is about tradition and opportunity, and Yale field hockey provided both - an opportunity to excel, to participate in and create traditions, and an opportunity to represent Yale," said Anne Lehman Dillman '93, president of the Yale Field Hockey Association. Dillman is now an attorney with Reed Smith LLP, a top-15 international law firm.

"I went back to Yale last fall and watched my first field hockey game in over 30 years," said Heidi Humphrey '75, president and head designer of Dot Four. "Although the game has changed greatly, the spirit of the women has not. It made me think back to when sports was one of the few outlets at Yale where women could be together, and made me want to re-connect with some of those dear friends and comrades in sticks on and off the field. I hope that women from the past 35 years of field hockey decide to come back and see each other once again, and realize that they have become a part of a uniquely female continuum."

The weekend is sure to bring back many fond memories while also creating new ones.

"I loved playing goalie for the Yale field hockey team," said Lorraine Pratte '78, executive director with UMWA Health & Retirement Funds. "The talent in front of me was tremendous and I enjoyed when we surprised some of the traditional New England powerhouse teams with our play. And I really enjoyed beating Princeton and Harvard. During practices, I hated doing sprint drills in goalie pads. When we scrimmaged during practices I sometimes ended up in a rough spot because I had been taking sneak peaks at the beautiful New England foliage changing colors! On a beautiful fall day even now, when it gets to be about 4 o'clock, I find myself thinking, `It's field hockey time.'"

Those interested in more information about the weekend can view the special section of the yalebulldogs.com website, http://www.yalebulldogs.com/fieldhockey35.html, or contact head coach Pam Stuper (pamela.stuper@yale.edu or 203-432-1479).

report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity