Sept. 4, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Much has happened in the 10 months since the 2007 Yale field hockey season ended, including a memorable spring trip to Argentina and a series of productive practices back in the United States. The Bulldogs get their first chance to show their progress this Sunday in the 2008 season opener at Providence (1:00 p.m., GameTracker, Providence All-Access Video), the team that edged them 2-1 in last year's opener.
At this time last year, junior goalkeeper Charlotte Goins (New Bern, N.C.) was an unproven commodity who had seen only 67 minutes of playing time as a freshman. The Providence game was her first career start, and she used it as a springboard for a memorable season. Goins stopped nine of 11 shots against the Friars, keeping her team in the game until a goal by Abby Maguire at 60:17 of the second half gave Providence a 2-1 lead that held up the rest of the way. Goins went on to finish the season third in the country in save percentage (.804), earning second team All-Ivy League honors, and the Bulldogs hope for continued contributions from her this year.
The Bulldogs also return their leading scorer from a year ago in junior forward Ashley McCauley (Rye, N.Y.), a second team All-Ivy pick. McCauley's 15 goals and 35 points represented a big jump from her freshman year (one assist in 14 games), and Yale now looks to her as its most reliable scoring threat. The two players who finished behind McCauley in scoring, Cat Lindroth '08 and Harriet Thayer '08, have both graduated, so Yale will need others to step up to keep some of the attention away from McCauley. Junior midfielder Katie Cantore (Hershey, Pa.), an honorable mention All-Ivy honoree a year ago, finished fourth on the team in scoring with two goals and three assists.
Providence, which was among the teams receiving votes in the preseason national poll, opened its season by splitting a pair of games down South, beating William & Mary 2-1 but falling to No. 11 Virginia 4-1. The Friars have four players coming off 20-point seasons, led by senior forward/midfielder Meghan Holden (6-10-22) and junior forward Nellie Poulin (9-4-22). Senior back/midfielder Jessica Lane racked up 18 assists last year, one shy of the school record. Two-time Big East Goalkeeper of the Year and 2006 NFHCA All-American Rachel Chamberlain (.794 save percentage, 1.25 goals-against average) anchors the defense.