Field hockey hosts 0-16 Bears; hope to leave seniors with win

As the season draws to a close this weekend, the field hockey team has another motivation to win its final game of the year — the four seniors who will be playing their last regular-season match.

The Bulldogs (7-9, 2-4 Ivy) will take on struggling league rival Brown (0-16, 0-6) at home tomorrow in their final game of the season. With the Elis now unable to move beyond a sixth-place finish and the Bears at the bottom of the Ancient Eight, the game cannot ultimately sway the final Ivy standings. But even if the conference title is out of reach, this weekend is important for another reason. Saturday is Senior Day, when back Lorrie Kiger ’08, forward Cat Lindroth ’08, back Beth Raveche ’08 and team captain Harriet Thayer ’08 will don Yale blue for the final time.

“Our goal for tomorrow is definitely to beat Brown and end our season on a high note,” forward Ashley McCauley ’10 said. “Hopefully, we can do it for the seniors, because they definitely deserve the win.”

Brown has had a difficult season, plagued with injuries that decimated its starting lineup. Bear senior forward Andrea Posa missed six games due to injury but still leads the team in scoring with four goals. Posa did play in the Bears’ most recent game — a tough 6-1 loss to Providence (13-7) on Tuesday afternoon. But in spite of Brown’s winless record, the Bears could still pose a threat to the Bulldogs and should not be underestimated, head coach Pam Stuper said.

“I don’t think their record reflects the quality of their team,” she said. “They had to play with illness and injuries early in the season, so it shook up their lineup. But I don’t take them lightly for one second. I know it hasn’t been an easy year for them, but I’m sure they’re dying to get out there and get one win before the end.”

The Elis are coming off a disappointing 3-1 loss to Columbia (10-6, 4-2) on Tuesday. They outshot the Lions 16-10 and took twice as many shots on goal as their New York opponents. But in spite of their solid offense, the Bulldogs could not manage to overcome Columbia goaltender Gena Miller, who is ranked first in the nation for save percentage (83.3 percent).

The Elis now turn their attention to finishing the season with a bang. They have lost their last four games — a tough slump, especially after the six-game winning streak that preceded it. The Bulldogs’ record is already the best it has been since 2003, when they finished 12-6, but they are still determined to snap their losing streak and end with a victory, Kiger said.

“I really want to win,” she said. “It’s senior year, and I don’t want to go out having lost five in a row. I want to win, and I want to dominate. I think we can do it, and I’m really excited.”

But tomorrow, although the team is determined to tally one final victory, that will not be the only focus of their play, Stuper said.

“The most important thing for me is that the team comes out, plays together, plays as a team, has fun competing together and walks off that field knowing they’ve done everything they could for those last 70 minutes,” she said. “So that, no matter what the result, they’ll walk away feeling proud of what they’ve done.”

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