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2018 Preview: Bulldogs Look to Continue Upward Trend

Yale returns four of its top six goal scorers from last season. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Yale returns four of its top six goal scorers from last season. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Buoyed by a new facility to call home -- Carol Roberts Field House -- the Yale field hockey team looks to make the 2018 season a special one. The Bulldogs have improved their win total compared to the previous season in each of the past two years, and last year's total was the team's best since winning 11 in the 2011 Ivy League championship season. Eight players who started 12 or more games last year return, including the starting goalie and four of the top six goal-scorers.

Pam Stuper, Yale's Caroline Ruth Thompson '02 Head Coach of Field Hockey, enters her 14th season at Yale's helm. Her staff includes one newcomer: Kristen O'Rourke, who brings eight years of coaching experience -- including roles with USA Field Hockey. The returning staff includes Jess Barnett and Mary Beth Barham '13. The Bulldogs are captained by senior back Jackie Kisa (Virginia Beach, Va.).

Here is a position-by-position look at the team heading into the 2018 season, which starts Sept. 3 vs. Michigan State at Johnson Field:

 

Forward
7 players (1 senior, 2 juniors, 3 sophomores, 1 first year)
2 returning players who started 12 or more games last season (Abboud, Davies)

Senior Brooke Reese has a knack for scoring goals, with eight on just 20 career shots (a .400 shooting percentage). That includes a pair of game-winners. She has missed only four games in her career, and figures to be a key part of Yale's attack again this season.

Junior Camille Scheyer continued developing last season, having spent part of the previous summer playing for the United States in the Maccabiah Games. She appeared in all 17 games for Yale, starting seven, and more than tripled her point total from the previous season. Classmate Annina Zelkin completed her comeback from an injury that ended her 2016 season; she wound up playing eight games and got her first career assist.

A trio of sophomores could make big contributions. Anissa Abboud started the final 15 games last season, tallying her first career goal. A proven scorer at the high school level, she could emerge as a factor for the attack. Classmate Imogen Davies, who could also play midfield, made a smooth transition to the U.S. college level after developing in her native Scotland. She earned second team All-Ivy League honors, leading Yale in assists and tying for second in points (6-6-18). South Africa native Olivia Levieux appeared in 14 games last season, scoring a pair of goals.

First year Kelly Dolan (Hamden, Conn.) is a local product who helped the Kent School win the Founders League Championship for the first time in school history. She was a three-time team MVP.

 

Midfield
7 players (1 senior, 2 juniors, 2 sophomores, 2 first years)
4 returning players who started 12 or more games last season (Condie, Jackson, King, Medici)

Senior Marissa Medici has been a regular in Yale's lineup as a midfielder or back for three years, totaling 42 starts. She had a career-high five assists last year, serving as one of the primary stick-stoppers on Yale's penalty corner unit.

A pair of juniors play big roles in Yale's midfield corps. Bridget Condie emerged as a second team All-Ivy League honoree last season, finishing second on the team in goals and tied for second in points (7-4-18). Both of those totals represented career highs. Holly Jackson started all 17 games, proving to be a poised and effective presence defensively. She can play midfield or back.

The sophomore class includes Iliana Cabral and Sarah King. Cabral appeared in 13 games last year, making four starts and scoring her first career goal. King started all 17 games and got her first career assist.

First years Théodora Dillman (Lancaster, Pa.) and Alissa Wong (West Vancouver, B.C.) bring experience with National Team programs to the midfield. Dillman has attended USA Field Hockey's Junior National Camp. A three-time all-state selection, she was a PHSFHCA second team regional All-American last year. Wong has been a part of the Canadian National Junior Development Squad since 2016 and was the 2017 U18 Female Player of the Year for Field Hockey British Columbia.

 

Back
5 players (1 senior, 2 juniors, 0 sophomores, 2 first years)
1 returning player who started 12 or more games last season (Kisa)

Senior Jackie Kisa, Yale's captain, leads the backfield. She brings 44 career games of experience into 2018, including 31 starts. She started all 17 games last season, and picked up a goal on a penalty corner. Her three career defensive saves include a spectacular diving effort against Cornell last year. Efforts like that earned her the team's Coaches' Award, given to the player who exemplifies principles, direction and persistence in pursuit of field hockey excellence at Yale. Kisa will face her twin sister, Kristin, when Yale hosts Davidson on Sept. 30.

Junior Tara Litjens could play back or midfield. She appeared in all 17 games last year, making her first career defensive save in the 2-0 win at Central Michigan. Classmate Alex MacKay also appeared in all 17 games, making her first career defensive save in the game at Michigan State.

First year Laine Garber (Downingtown, Pa.) adds to Yale's options in the backfield. She was second team all-area last season, helping her Downingtown West team to a 25-1 record and the PIAA District 1 Championship. Classmate Katie Pieterse (Ridgefield, Conn.) is a local product. She helped Ridgefield qualify for the state tournament four times and was second team all-state twice.

 

Goalkeeper
2 players (1 senior, 0 juniors, 1 sophomore, 0 first years)
1 returning player who started 12 or more games last season (Terroso)

Senior Chaney Kalinich has recovered from the injury that cost her the 2017 season, and this past June she gained experience by playing for the Puerto Rican National Team in the FIH Hockey Series Open in Salamanca, Mexico. Sophomore Sydney Terroso is coming off a first team All-Ivy League season, posting a .784 save percentage that ranked eighth in the country and second in the Ivy League. She won a pair of team awards -- the Senior Award and the Amanda Walton Award -- in recognition of her work ethic and ability to overcome challenges.

 

Schedule Notes

  • The 17-game slate starts Sept. 3 against Michigan State at Johnson Field.  
  • In addition to the seven Ivy League games -- starting Sept. 21 at Harvard -- the Bulldogs have 10 non-league games.
  • Alumnae Weekend is Sept. 28-30, when the Bulldogs will dedicate Carol Roberts Field House. Yale hosts Princeton that Friday and Davidson that Sunday.
  • Senior Day at Johnson Field is Oct. 27 vs. Columbia. The Bulldogs will honor their four seniors -- Chaney Kalinich, Jackie Kisa, Marissa Medici and Brooke Reese.

 

Links

 

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