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Trip South Takes Yale to No. 5 Virginia

Mary Beth Barham. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Mary Beth Barham. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Homecoming for Barham

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The halfway point of a stretch of five road games finds the Yale field hockey team in Charlottesville, Va., this weekend to take on No. 5 Virginia. This will be the fourth time in six games that the Bulldogs take on a nationally ranked opponent. It is also a homecoming of sorts for senior midfielder/back Mary Beth Barham (Fairfax, Va.), whose hometown is about 100 miles away.

Yale (3-6, 1-2 Ivy League) is coming off a 5-0 loss to No. 1 Syracuse. Since Sept. 16 the Bulldogs have played three teams in the top four in the country right now, including the Orange along with No. 3 UConn and No. 4 Princeton.

Barham, who was a second team all-state selection at W.T. Woodson High, is second on the team in points (2-0-4) behind junior midfielder Erica Borgo (Randolph, N.J.). A four-year starter for the Bulldogs, Barham has been an All-Ivy League selection twice (second team last year, honorable mention as a freshman). This year she has transitioned from midfielder to center back to help replace 2011 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year Erin Carter '12.

Yale has held its opponents to one goal or less in four of the last seven games, thanks in part to the work of junior Emily Cain (Laytonsville, Md.) in goal. She enters the week 15th in the country in saves per game (7.67) and 23rd in save percentage (.742). Last weekend against Syracuse, sophomore Heather Schlesier (San Diego, Calif.) came on in relief of Cain and shut the Orange out for the final 35 minutes, making four saves.

Virginia (11-2, 2-0 ACC) has won six in a row, and its only two losses this season have been one-goal losses on the road (at No. 7 Penn State and at No. 8 Northeastern). The Cavaliers are third in the country in goals per game (4.38), with forward Paige Selenski fourth individually (1.50 goals per game). Selenski, who is on pace to become Virginia's all-time leader in points and goals, redshirted last season to compete with the U.S. National Team. She played in the 2012 London Olympics with current Yale volunteer assistant Melissa Gonzalez.


Every goal Yale scores this season brings the world closer to a cure for myotonic dystrophy. Senior goalkeeper Ona McConnell (London, England) has been diagnosed with the disease, the most common form of muscular dystrophy. The Bulldogs are taking pledges for a season-long "Goal-a-thon" as part of their "Get a Grip" campaign to raise awareness and funds for the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation. For more information, visit




Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity