Oct. 10, 2007
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale has a five-game winning streak. Archrival Harvard is undefeated in Ivy League play. Syracuse is ranked No. 18 in the country. You couldn't ask for a better pair of matchups at Johnson Field on the weekend that the Bulldogs celebrate the 35th anniversary of field hockey at Yale. Saturday's game with Harvard (Noon, live stats available via GameTracker) will be followed by an alumnae game and a reception/dinner. The weekend activities conclude with Sunday's game vs. the Orange (1:00 p.m., live stats available via GameTracker).
Thanks to five straight wins Yale (6-5, 1-2 Ivy) is over the .500 mark, the first time since 2003 that the Bulldogs have been over .500 this late in the season. The Bulldogs have already surpassed last season's win total with six games left to play. During the five-game streak Yale has outscored its opponents 16-3.
The weekend figures to be a good test for Yale's stingy defense. Sophomore goalkeeper Charlotte Goins (New Bern, N.C.) was named Ivy League Player of the Week and earned a spot on the womensfieldhockey.com National Honor Roll for her work last weekend. She stopped 19 of 20 shots, recording her third shutout on Saturday -- a 1-0 double-overtime win over Dartmouth.
Goins has played all 785:35 in goal for Yale, posting the second-best save percentage in the country (.858). She is also fifth nationally in saves per game (9.36) and has the second-best goals-against average in the Ivy League (1.51).
Also among the national leaders for the Bulldogs is sophomore forward Ashley McCauley (Rye, N.Y.), who entered this week tied for the NCAA lead in goals per game (1.00, 11 in 11 games). She was also second in points per game (2.26, 26 in 11 games).
Senior forward/midfielder Harriet Thayer (Briarcliff, N.Y.) has had four of her five assists for the season in the last five games. She is tied for third in the league in that category. Among Yale players, only McCauley (7-3-17) and senior forward Cat Lindroth (Farmington, Conn.) (3-1-7) have scored more points than Thayer in the last five games.
The 2-1 win over Holy Cross Sunday marked the sixth time in 11 games the Bulldogs have held their opponents to fewer than two goals. Both Harvard (2.09) and Syracuse (2.98) have scoring averages greater than that figure, so something has to give.
Harvard (7-4, 3-0 Ivy) has a half-game lead over 3-1 Princeton in the Ivy League standings. Kristin Bannon leads the team in scoring (4-4-12), while Kylie Stone has played the majority of the minutes in goal (.706 save percentage, 1.99 goals-against average).
Syracuse (11-3, 0-1 Big East), which plays at Providence Friday night, entered the week with the sixth-best winning percentage in the country (.786). Two Orange players were among the top 16 in the NCAA in points per game: Maggie Befort (2.0, 10th) and Gloria Nantulya (1.86, 16th). Befort has already broken the school record for goals by a freshman. The old record was nine and she scored her 10th in the 12th game.
Yale's last winning streak longer than five games in one season came at the end of 2003, when the Bulldogs won their last six in a row as part of their run to an ECAC championship. Yale also won the first game of the 2004 season to make the overall streak seven games.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity