F. HOCKEY | Virtual must-win for Bulldogs

The field hockey team has had Saturday’s game against Princeton circled on its calendar since the final minutes of last year’s 5–2 loss to the Tigers.

The lone blemish on an otherwise perfect Ivy League conference season last year, the loss to Princeton paved the way for the Tigers to secure an undefeated season and ended the Bulldogs’ hopes for an Ivy League title.

This year, No. 4 Princeton (5–0, 1–0) is tearing through its schedule yet again, having crushed Dartmouth — a team that has received votes in the NFHCA/Kookaburra Division I National Coaches’ Poll multiple times this season. Statistically, the Tigers are the most prolific team in the nation — they are the only squad in the country to average over five goals per game.

Freshman Michelle Cesan took Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors this week (an award monopolized by Yale’s Erica Borgo ’14 and Georgia Holland ‘14 earlier this season), and Kathleen Sharkey has been dominant — she leads the nation both in goals and points per game.

Having finished second to Princeton last season, however, Yale (4–2, 1–0 Ivy) may be the league’s best hope at preventing the Tigers from running away with the title again. If the Bulldogs are going to do it, all Yale’s weapons will have to be firing on all cylinders.

Borgo (3 goals, 4 assists) and Holland (2 goals, 3 assists) have already combined for 17 points already this season, and midfielder Dinah Landshut ’12 (eight assists in six games) is making a run at the single season assist record set just last season by Katie Cantore ’10 (16 in 17 games). Mia Rosati ’12 (seven points) and Taylor Sankovich ’12 (tied with Borgo for the team lead with 10 points) have also had strong offensive seasons so far, and Marissa Waldemore ’11 and Erin Carter ’12 have been threats out of the backfield. Maddy Sharp ’13 (six points) and Mary Beth Barham ’13 (five points) have also made offensive contributions.

That widespread scoring attack will need to be at its best Saturday. With a loss, the Bulldogs no longer control their destiny in the race for the Ancient Eight title but with a win, Yale would break things in the Ivy League wide open.

The battle gets underway at 12 p.m. at Johnson Field.

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