November 18, 2003

Team Diary - Meredith Howell

Nov. 18, 2003

What a week it has been for Yale Field Hockey!! From a team dinner on Monday, a fabulous dress up practice on Tuesday and a repeat performance as ECAC champions on Saturday you couldn't ask for anything better as a college athlete.

On Monday night the entire team gathered at Buffy's apartment to eat a dinner prepared by the Fabulous Five of the junior class. We spent all day slaving over a hot oven to make a feast (okay, we really somehow threw everything together in about an hour.) The team seemed to enjoy the food and since no one was stricken with food poisoning I think we can call our little cooking escapade a success. The freshman provided the entertainment with a skit imitating the junior and senior classes. Trish's portrayal of Fran was pretty good but let's be honest - the junior class' skit can never be topped.

The next day instead of having a typical practice, Ainslee promised us we could have Fun Tuesday as long as we beat Fairfield and Brown. The seniors planned a practice full of our favorite competitions including Sockey (a combination of field hockey and soccer) and our own version of Super Mario Brothers. But the best part was the costumes! The freshman class came as football players, the sophomores as girls from the 80s (unoriginal!) and the seniors were characters from an End of the World comic website we're all addicted to. B.Woo's Sumo wrestling outfit was humorous but no one could top the junior's ballerina costumes. We hid in the press box for an hour, putting on our tutus and makeup and choreographing a dance routine. There's nothing funnier than watching Driscoll sprint down the field in a crushed velvet leotard and matching tutu. To top it all off - the football team used the turf afterwards. It's one thing to prance around in 80s spandex or ballet costumes in front of our team but pretty embarrassing for the entire defensive line to see us as well.

On Wednesday things got back to normal. No more costumes and skits - it was time to concentrate on beating Penn and winning a second straight ECAC championship. Since we had off since after the Brown game on Saturday, we were all raring to go come practice on Wednesday. We had a phenomenal practice and knew that if we kept our focus and drive, the ECAC title was ours for the taking. We continued to work hard on Thursday and Friday, fine tuning our corner unit and revamping our defensive corner to shut down Penn.

We woke on Saturday to blue skies and sun, slightly different weather than last season's ECAC games. Although it was cold, the low temperatures were nothing compared to the driving wind and rain we experienced last year. We gathered for our last team breakfast and then headed out to the field house for the final time. By our team meeting at 11:45 we couldn't wait to step onto the field! Ainslee fired us up with her pre-game speech and we headed to Johnson Turf to face the Quakers. Penn managed to score first but Steph DC answered a few minutes later by tipping in a beautiful pass from Lindsay Collins. The score remained deadlocked until late in the second half when Topper sealed the victory with a beautiful goal! She saved her signature fist pump until our victory lap. The senior class accepted the ECAC Championship plaque and Jana Halfon was honored as the Tournament's Most Valuable Player - a much deserved honor to culminate a fabulous senior year!

Riding in the car this afternoon with Krissy, Crandall and Chrissy on our way to watch #1 Wake Forest take on UConn we reflected back on the season. It seems like a year has gone bye since we spent the day by the pool at the Rivkin's - this fall has really flown. Wake Forest's skills and athleticism are unbelievably good and we all commented that their level of play makes field hockey look like a different sport. But as nice as it would be to compete for a national championship, there's no honor and privilege like playing for Yale with the group of intelligent, hard working and passionate women on the field hockey team. It's been a great season and we can't wait to step on the field next year! Thank you to all the friends and family who travel so far to bring us support (and food!) See you next fall!

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