Saturday will be a special day for the Yale field hockey team (10-5, 4-1), as they not only celebrate the careers of the four members of the class of 2011, but also round out their home schedule with an ever-important Ivy League showdown with the Columbia Lions (9-6, 2-3).
Yale brings a four-game winning streak to Johnson Field Saturday, a streak which included a big road win at Dartmouth (3-1) , a 2-0 win at Holy Cross, and last week’s games against Penn and Fairfield.
The Elis hope to round out their season with two wins against their two remaining competitors, Columbia and Brown, and let the Ivy League chips fall where they may. If Yale wins the next two games, they will need a Princeton loss to have a chance at winning the title.
“I think [the Penn] win was great for us going into our last two Ivy games,” midfielder and back Taylor Sankovich ’12 said. “We now know we have the potential to beat teams by a lot of goals, and we will strive to repeat our performance in our last two games.”
As things stand going into Saturday, the Elis are tied for second place with Cornell, one game out of first behind No. 4 Princeton. Cornell and Princeton play Saturday in Ithaca, and if the Tigers were to fall, Yale’s 3-2 win over the Big Red on Oct. 2 would loom large, pulling the Bulldogs into a tie for first in the Ivy League.
The Lions come into Saturday’s game having won five of their last seven games, but one of their two losses came in overtime to Ancient Eight rival Penn – a team that the Bulldogs took down handily, 10-0.
The Eli defense will have to stop Columbia on offense. The Lions are just 2–8 when they have been held below to two points or lower this season, and have won every game in which they have scored over three or more points. Goalie Katie Bolling ’11 has played 792 minutes between the pipes this season, allowing just over two goals a game and stopping shots to the tune of a .692 save percentage, and has a 7-4 overall record on the year.
Gabby Kozlowski leads the Lions’ offensive attack with 15 goals this season. On defense, goalie Christie O’Hara has a 2.90 goals against average and a .679 save percentage so far this season.
For the Bulldogs, midfielder Dinah Landshut ‘12 is just two assists short of Katie Cantore’s ’10 single season record of 16, set last season. Forward Erica Borgo ’14 leads the team with 19 points. Sankovich has added seven goals and 16 points, while Erin Carter ’12 has contributed 8 goals and 16 points, both reaching career highs in those categories.
The Bulldogs have scored 47 goals this season, giving themselves a chance to post back-to-back 50-goal campaigns for the first time ever (last year’s team tallied 51). The school record, 55 (1998) would seem out of reach considering the fact that only two games remain on the schedule, but after Saturday’s 10-0 drubbing of Penn, knocking down that mark is not out of the question.
The Bulldogs matchup against the Lions is set to begin at 1 p.m. at Johnson Field.