December 8, 2008

Annual Banquet Offers Chance to Look Back at 2008, Ahead to 2009

Dec. 8, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale field hockey team held its annual team banquet Friday night at Ray Tompkins House, looking back on the 2008 season and ahead to 2009. Junior back Julia Weiser (Houston, Texas) was officially introduced as the 2009 team captain after being elected by a team vote last month. The Bulldogs presented their team awards at the event, honoring junior midfielder Katie Cantore (Hershey, Pa.) with the Coaches Award, junior back Stephanie Colantonio (Watertown, Mass.) with the Amanda Walton Award and freshman Kirsten Krebs (Selinsgrove, Pa.) with the Senior Award.

Weiser is the 39th captain in Yale field hockey history. She enjoyed her best season in 2008, running her streak of consecutive starts to 33 while finishing third on the team with a career-high four goals. Her nine points were also a career high. She is a three-year letter winner and has appeared in 44 games, including 37 starts, for her career.

Weiser has been a vocal leader for the Yale defense since first arriving in New Haven and has also emerged as a factor on offense. Her first career goal was the game-winner in the 2-1 win at Holy Cross in 2007 that gave Yale a six-game winning streak. Her contributions this year as one of the team's top strikers on attack penalty corners helped the Bulldogs to a team total of 36 goals, Yale's best total in five years. This was the fourth straight season the team has improved its goal total over the previous season. The Bulldogs also had 32 assists, the second-highest total in school history.

The Senior Award that Krebs received is awarded by the senior class to a freshman team member who reflects positive contribution to the team's philosophy and whose individual character encourages the future direction and excellence of Yale Field Hockey.

Krebs missed the season with an injury but remained an integral part of the team and should be back to full strength for 2009. She was the PIAA District 4 Outstanding Female Athlete and also earned first team all-state, all-conference and all-league honors for Selinsgrove Area High School prior to coming to Yale.

The Amanda Walton Award that Colantonio received is given by the Yale players and coaching staff to that team member who demonstrates the ability to confront challenges, displaying the courage to overcome them, while inspiring teammates with her work ethic and unselfish attitude.

The award is named after Amanda Walton '02, who has been an inspiration to the Bulldogs. After her sophomore year at Yale, Walton -- a field hockey and lacrosse player -- was involved in an automobile accident which put her career on hold. She overcame a coma and physical injuries with hard work and dedication and currently serves as a special assistant to the Yale coaching staff.

Colantonio has now received all three team awards, as she won the Senior Award as a freshman and the Coaches Award last season. A positive presence at all times, she appeared in a career-high 11 games this year and played through an injury. She is a graduate of Watertown High, where she was a two-time Middlesex League All-Star.

The Coaches Award that Cantore received is given to the player who exemplifies principles, direction and persistence in pursuit of field hockey excellence at Yale. Cantore, a second team All-Ivy League selection, enjoyed a breakout season on the stat sheet this year. She tied for fourth in the Ivy League in assists with 10 and established a career high in points with 14, doubling her previous single-season best. Her assist total tied for fifth on Yale's single-season list, and she is now tied for 11th on Yale's career assists list with 13. A factor at both ends of the field, Cantore tied for the Ivy League lead in defensive saves with three.

Cantore has played in all 51 games of her career and has started the last 49. She is a graduate of Hershey High, where she was a two-time all-state selection. All four of the players recognized Friday night return for next season, including three that are part of a large Class of 2010 that also includes goalkeeper Charlotte Goins (New Bern, N.C.), forward Lesley Kiger (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and forward Ashley McCauley (Rye, N.Y.).

The Bulldogs enjoyed a solid run at the end of 2008, winning five of their last seven games and outscoring their opponents 22-12 in that stretch, and hope to build on that success in 2009.

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

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