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No. 5 Virginia Tops Yale

Erica Borgo. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Erica Borgo. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Cain Makes Six Saves

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale field hockey team has now finished a stretch in which the Bulldogs played four of the teams currently ranked in the top five in the country. While Yale managed to show some bright spots against each of them, Saturday's 4-0 loss at No. 5 Virginia left the Bulldogs 0-for-4 against those top-ranked teams.

Yale (3-7, 1-2 Ivy League) has also fallen to No. 1 Syracuse, No. 3 UConn and No. 4 Princeton in recent weeks. This was the halfway point of a stretch of five road games for the Bulldogs, played roughly 100 miles from the hometown of senior midfielder/back Mary Beth Barham (Fairfax, Va.).

"It was a great experience to be able to travel out of region like this and play such a strong team," said Yale head coach Pam Stuper. "What we were hoping when we scheduled these games was to be challenged defensively, and that would help prepare us for the remainder of our season."

The Cavaliers entered the week third in the country in goals per game (4.38), so holding them to four goals marked an accomplishment for a Yale team that also managed to blank the No. 1 team in the country (Syracuse) in the second half of last weekend's game.

"This was definitely some of the best defense we've played," said Stuper. She noted in particular the work of junior midfielder Erica Borgo, who helped hold U.S. Olympic midfielder Michelle Vitesse to just two shots and no points (Vitesse had seven goals and five assists entering the day).

But once again, the Bulldogs could not generate enough offense to supplement their effective defense. Barham had the team's lone shot.

Junior goalkeeper Emily Cain made four saves for Yale, while Jenny Johnstone and Rebecca Holden combined for the shutout for the Cavaliers.

Forward Paige Selenski, who was fourth in the country in goals per game at the start of the week, had two goals while Forward Taylor Brown and back Elly Buckley also scored. Selenski played in the 2012 London Olympics with current Yale volunteer assistant Melissa Gonzalez.

While the Bulldogs are done playing top-five teams for now, they do have games left on the schedule against the current No. 12 team (BU Oct. 28) and the current No. 22 team (Albany Oct. 21). Next week Yale travels to Dartmouth Saturday and Vermont Sunday.

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