Oct. 8, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Eight of the teams on Yale's 2008 schedule are either ranked or receiving votes in the current national poll, so challenges are nothing new for the Bulldogs. Sunday brings the next one, as Yale heads to Boston College's field for a neutral-site showdown at Noon with No. 4 North Carolina, the defending national champions. The game is part of BC's Multiple Sclerosis fundraiser.
Yale (2-7) has played four straight games against teams that are in the current national poll, and that has inspired some of the best hockey the Bulldogs have played this year. Yale led Lock Haven, which is among the teams also receiving votes, until a pair of goals in the final eight minutes spoiled the upset bid 10 days ago. Last Sunday against No. 2 Syracuse the Bulldogs held the Orange to three goals, half of the team's season average.
Sophomore goalkeeper Katie Bolling (Ann Arbor, Mich.) continues to emerge in goal for the Bulldogs. She made 24 saves over the weekend -- six more than she had for her entire career before that point. Bolling is 20 minutes shy of the required number of minutes played to be listed in the NCAA leaders, but her .840 percentage is higher than national leader Maura McCormick of Villanova (.820). She has a 1.88 goals-against average and is second in the Ivy League in saves per game (7.00).
Three juniors have accounted for the bulk of Yale's offense. Forward Ashley McCauley (Rye, N.Y.) leads the Bulldogs in scoring (5-1-11). Midfielder Katie Cantore (Hershey, Pa.) has a team-high five assists, which is also a career high for her. Back Julia Weiser (Houston, Texas) has three goals on the season after totaling one in her first two years.
North Carolina (9-2), which plays at Boston College Friday night, is fourth in the country in goals per game (4.36). The Tar Heel attack is led by forward Danielle Forword, a South African Olympic team member who has 16 goals. She is second in the country in goals per game. The Tar Heels also have U.S. Olympian Katelyn Falgowski, a forward with seven points (2-3-7).
UNC will be without three players -- midfielder Elizabeth Drazdowski, back Riley Foster and goalkeeper Jackie Kintzer -- who are at the Pan American Junior Championships in Mexico City, competing as part of the 18-player U.S. team. Yale assistant coach Tamara Durante is on the U.S. staff for that event.
With Kintzer gone, Brianna O'Donnell will be in goal. She has a .471 save percentage and a 1.64 goals-against average.
Following Yale-UNC, BC will host Dartmouth at 3:00 p.m. Both games will honor BC senior forward Kathleen Murphy, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in April 2007. Black and orange ribbons will be distributed to fans attending the game, and all monies raised will be donated to the National MS Society. In addition, all four teams will wear orange wristbands with "BCFH #17" in support of Murphy. At half-time of the BC game, a special presentation involving the MS Society will take place.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity