December 12, 2007

Rotondo Introduced as Captain as Yale Hands Out Annual Awards

Dec. 12, 2007

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale field hockey team wrapped up the 2007 season with its annual team banquet Friday night at Ray Tompkins House. Junior Ali Rotondo (Greenville, N.C.) was officially introduced as the 2008 team captain after being elected by a team vote at the conclusion of the season. The Bulldogs presented their team awards at the event, honoring freshman Katie Bolling (Ann Arbor, Mich.) with the Senior Award, senior back Beth Raveche (Short Hills, N.J.) with the Amanda Walton Award and sophomore back Stephanie Colantonio (Watertown, Mass.) with the Coaches Award.

Rotondo is the 38th captain in Yale field hockey history.

"It has been a tremendous honor to have been elected captain by my teammates," Rotondo said. "I have the utmost confidence that our class will provide strong leadership over the next year. As captain, I hope to lead by example to continue the Yale Field Hockey tradition of excellence."

Rotondo has appeared in 46 games for her career and started all 17 games this past season. She scored her first career goal at Penn, adding her second career assist.

Rotondo has also been a part of the USA Field Hockey program. She was selected for the New England High Performance Center team roster and participated in USA Field Hockey's National Championship last summer along with teammate Harriet Thayer (Briarcliff, N.Y.), last season's captain, and the entire Yale coaching staff. Rotondo also attended 2007 Junior National Camp.

A history of science/history of medicine major, Rotondo is a two-time NFHCA Division I National Academic Team selection.

"Ali is an exemplary student-athlete," said Yale head coach Pam Stuper. "She is a very talented player and extremely strong student. Her hard work, attention to detail, and ability to stay focused will be an asset to the team both on and off the field. Ali's leadership in actions and words will be extremely important to our success."

The Senior Award that Bolling 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.

Bolling, who helped Ann Arbor Pioneer to back-to-back state titles before coming to Yale, served as a backup to sophomore goalkeeper Charlotte Goins (New Bern, N.C.).

The Walton Award that Raveche 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.

Raveche emerged as a leader for a Yale defense that held its opponents to two or fewer goals 11 times. She also scored her first career goal in the Bulldogs' 2-1 win at Holy Cross that was part of a six-game winning streak, Yale's longest since 2003. A tough player, Raveche battled through a variety of injuries to start all 17 games this season.

The Coaches Award that Colantonio received is given to the player who exemplifies principles, direction and persistence in pursuit of field hockey excellence at Yale.

Colantonio, who won the Senior Award last season, continued to be a vocal leader and positive presence for the Bulldogs. She appeared in a career-high seven games.

With three of the four players recognized Friday night returning for next season, the Bulldogs believe they have the building blocks in place for greater success in the future. They now embark on an off-season training regimen that will include a trip to Argentina in the spring.

"Champions are made in the off-season," Rotondo said. "The next several months of training will be paramount for our success in the fall of 2008. The spring is always a time of growth and renewal, and I look forward to playing and training together with passion, intensity and commitment."

report by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity

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