October 23, 2007

Bulldogs Seek Return to Winning Ways in New York

Oct. 23, 2007

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale field hockey team travels to New York Friday to take on Columbia (7:00 p.m., live stats on Columbia's website) in a game that features the top two goalkeepers in the NCAA in save percentage, Columbia junior Gena Miller (.831) and Yale sophomore Charlotte Goins (.827). The Bulldogs need a win against the Lions to give themselves a chance to finish the season with a winning record both overall and in Ivy play.

After having a six-game winning streak snapped, Yale (7-8, 2-3 Ivy) has dropped three in a row to fall under .500. But wins against Columbia and Brown in the season's last two games would give the Bulldogs a winning record overall -- their first since 2003 -- and a winning record in league play for the second year in a row. Yale has never had back-to-back winning Ivy seasons.

The game at Columbia pits the Bulldogs against one of the league's stingiest defenses, as the Lions (8-6, 3-2 Ivy) have allowed only 15 goals all year -- seven fewer than any other Ivy team. Yale's offense is second in the league with 32 goals, and sophomore forward Ashley McCauley is second in the country in goals per game (0.93), so something will have to give Friday night.

There will be several interesting individual matchups Friday night as well. In addition to being second in the country in save percentage, Goins is fourth in the country in saves per game (9.53). In addition to leading the country in save percentage, Miller has the fourth-best goals-against average at 0.94.

The game also features two of the Ivy League's top rookies. Yale freshman midfielder/back Marissa Waldemore is one of only four freshmen in the league to have started all of her team's games, and Columbia midfielder Julia Garrison is one of the others. Waldemore has been a key part of Yale's defense and is tied for the league lead in defensive saves with three. Garrison is Columbia's leading scorer with four goals and two assists for 10 points.

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