Junior Defender to Lead Bulldogs into 36th Season
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Junior defender Fielding Kidd (Atlanta, Ga.) has been elected Yale's 2010-11 women's lacrosse captain after a team vote held Monday morning at Ray Tompkins House. She is the 36th captain in program history.
“Our class is a very strong class, so the fact that my team chose me is a great honor and very humbling,” Kidd said.
Kidd is the third captain under Anne Phillips, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse.
“Fielding will not only lead this team as captain, but also as a vocal leader of the defense,” Phillips said. “As captain she is part of a very large class that will provide support in her leadership role. Her challenge is to help continue the team's progress.”
Kidd leads a Yale team that is looking to build on the accomplishments of the past year, which included knocking off then-No. 13 BU on the road and coming up with three hard-fought Ivy League wins. Yale also started establishing Reese Stadium, which will be dramatically transformed by renovation this coming offseason, as a tough place for opposing teams to play. The Bulldogs went 3-1 against Ivy teams at Reese, and the lone loss was a narrow 7-5 defeat to eventual league champion Penn. No other league team held the Quakers to fewer goals, and even five-time NCAA champion Northwestern allowed Penn eight goals. In the end, the Bulldogs missed out on a spot in the Ivy League Tournament by just one win.
“Next year can be a great year,” Kidd said. “It's going to take every member of the 2011 class to lead. I look forward to being a part of that leadership. Anne Phillips has brought this team along and now it's time for us to step up and take advantage of what's in front of us, which is a chance not just to go to the Ivy League Tournament but to win it.”
Kidd will benefit from having six classmates leading along with her next season – midfielder Kaitlyn Flatley (Berwyn, Pa.), midfielder Logan Greer (Berwyn, Pa.), defender Augusta Hixon (Cambridge, Mass.), attacker/midfielder Ariana Papier (Rochester, N.Y.), midfielder Mahi Trivellas (Chadds Ford, Pa.) and attacker Myra Trivellas (Chadds Ford, Pa.).
Kidd's path to playing lacrosse at the collegiate level was not a conventional one. Coming from Atlanta -- not a traditional recruiting hotbed -- she had to find ways to get in front of college coaches to make an impression.
“Recruiting was a very different scene for me,” Kidd said. “I had to work really hard to get recruited. There was one summer where I only had 14 days off. I went from camp to tournament to camp to training sessions … I lived out of a suitcase and my lacrosse bag. I knew I just had to get out there and get seen.”
Academics were a major factor in Kidd's decision to come to Yale. She is a political science major in Jonathan Edwards College. After spending last summer in New York City as an intern with NBC Sports, she will spend this summer in New York again as an intern with ESPN. She is working on espnW, which will focus specifically on female athletes.
“Yale has been an amazing place for me to grow personally,” Kidd said. “It has opened a lot of doors. Some of the people I've met here will be my best friends for life. The lessons that I've learned in the classroom have been important, but the lessons I've learned from the people surrounding me are equally important.”
Kidd is the second straight defender elected captain, following in the footsteps of senior Claire Eliasberg (San Diego, Calif.).
“Claire was, for me, an amazing captain,” Kidd said. “She handles herself with such grace and poise, and was so effective in dealing with any problems that came up. I can only hope to fill her shoes. She's left a tremendous legacy.”
Kidd also credits her younger brother, Jack, for pushing her athletically. Jack is in his junior year as a football and soccer player at Westminster, the same school Fielding attended.
“I attribute a lot of my athleticism to playing with him,” she said. “To this day, when I come home from Yale, it's 'Let's have a race.'”
After appearing in eight games as a freshman Kidd became a key part of Yale's defense her sophomore season, starting all 16 games. That year the Bulldogs held seven of their final nine opponents to eight or fewer goals, and ranked 13th in the country in scoring defense (9.19 goals per game).
Kidd has battled injuries throughout her career, and the most serious of those was a pelvic injury diagnosed this year. She still wound up playing in every game this past season, extending her streak of consecutive games played to 33.
“I made the decision to play with this injury that is inoperable,” Kidd said. “I was committed to this program and committed to playing through that injury.”
Other than games started (30 over the past two years), there are few other statistics that can accurately measure Kidd's impact on the team. She routinely marks one of the opposing team's top players, and she has totaled 34 ground balls and 18 caused turnovers in the past two years.
“Being on defense, you don't always get all the glory, the chance to score goals,” Kidd said. “For me, the only thing that matters is that every player on this team knows that I am committed to doing everything possible to stop that ball, and to stop the girl I'm defending.”
In addition to announcing Kidd's election as captain, Yale also announced its annual award winners at the luncheon. Senior defender Michele Fiorentino (Berwyn, Pa.) won the Bowditch Award as most valuable player. Eliasberg won the Holgate Award for dedication. Sophomore attacker Caroline Crow (Davidsonville, Md.) won the Most Improved Player Award. The Bulldogs also recognized all of the seniors -- Eliasberg, Fiorentino, attacker Jenna Block (Owings Mills, Md.), midfielder Sarah David (New Haven, Conn.), attacker Lindsey DeMarco (Marlboro, N.J.), midfielder Natalie Reid (Ellicott City, Md.), attacker Jessica Sturgill (Ellicott City, Md.) -- with special gifts: engraved pendants.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity