FIELD HOCKEY | Elis set for last games before league play

Midfielder Mary Beth Barham ’10 had a goal in the Elis’ 4–3 win over Quinnipiac on Sunday.
Midfielder Mary Beth Barham ’10 had a goal in the Elis’ 4–3 win over Quinnipiac on Sunday. Photo by Zeenat Mansoor.

Although the field hockey team opened its 2010 campaign with wins against in-state rivals Sacred Heart and Quinnipiac last weekend, the Elis will face two tough opponents in their last games before Ivy League play begins next week.

The Bulldogs play the Patriot League’s Colgate on Saturday and perennial field hockey power UMass on Sunday.

Last weekend, the Elis proved they could win physical games — suffering 24 penalties committed by their two opponents. Colgate and UMass will also be tough competition for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs won a tight 1–0 battle against Colgate’s Red Raiders last season on a neutral field in Orono, Maine, while dropping a heartbreaking 1–0 decision to the UMass Minutewomen in a game the Elis mostly dominated.

Goalie Alesha Widdall was the story of that game, as the Massachusetts netminder made 15 saves to hold her team in the game and keep the Bulldogs off the scoreboard. She will be back between the pipes again Sunday, when her team makes the trip to Johnson Field.

UMass will visit Yale following a Saturday game against the No. 4 UConn Huskies in Storrs, Conn. UMass enters that game with a 1–3 record, having dropped two of its three games to teams in the nation’s top 20: No. 7 Boston College and No. 15 Boston University.

The Minutewomen themselves received 13 votes in last week’s Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I National Coaches’ Poll, though it is still possible that they will take the field Sunday in New Haven with an 1–4 record.

Yale hopes the new additions to its team will help the Bulldogs to reverse last year’s outcome. Breakout freshman Erica Borgo ’14, last week’s Ivy League Rookie of the Week, scored three goals in Yale’s first two games and has already established herself as the team’s primary inserter on the always-crucial corner. Classmates Georgia Holland ’14 and Emily Schuckert ’14 also had strong opening-weekend performances — performances they will need to duplicate this weekend if the Bulldogs hope to continue their winning ways and make a statement heading into Ivy League play.

Also important to those efforts will be the continued strong play of center midfielder Dinah Landshut ’12, who tallied three assists in last weekend’s games. Back Taylor Sankovich ’12 also started on a hot streak, scoring two goals against Sacred Heart.

Sunday’s matchup against UMass represents the final tune-up for the Bulldogs before the start of Ivy League play, as their conference opener against Harvard looms on Sept. 18.

The second weekend of play opens at noon on Saturday, as the Red Raiders come to New Haven. That game will be followed by a Sunday showdown with UMass at noon on Johnson Field.

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