After five games on the road, the Bulldogs return to Johnson Field this weekend to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Yale field hockey with back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday.
The Elis (4–8,1–3 Ivy) will go up against the Penn Quakers (6–6, 1–3 Ivy) amid commemorative festivities on Saturday, looking to extend a three-game winning streak against the Red and Blue that includes a come-from-behind 2–1 win last year. On Sunday, the Bulldogs will seek redemption against Albany (8–7, 1–2 America East) after falling to the Great Danes 4–3 in overtime last season.
Hoping to carry over momentum from last Sunday’s overtime win against Vermont, the Elis enter this weekend with home-field advantage as well as the support of visiting alumnae.
“We are getting the chance to meet the amazing women who have played on this team before us and paved the way for Yale field hockey, which means so much to all of us,” midfielder Noelle Villa ’16 said in an email to the News.
Forward Brooke Gogel ’13, who was injured last year, scored her first two career goals last weekend as part of the team’s largest offensive output of the season. The Bulldogs found the back of the net three times in each game, snapping a three-game goaless streak and increasing their team total for the season from eight goals to 14.
Midfielder Erica Borgo ’14 leads the Elis with four goals after scoring two in each of her last two games. Midfielder Mary Beth Barham ’13 is not far behind Borgo with three goals of her own. Goalkeeper Emily Cain ’13 has a .712 save percentage and 3.82 goals-against average.
“I think we’ve definitely been working hard as a unit,” Villa said of the team’s overall performance.
Last season, the Bulldogs faced the Quakers en route to becoming Ivy League Champions. Though the Elis won 2–1, the Quakers posed the greatest challenge to Yale’s bid for the title. After going down 1–0 in the first half, the Bulldogs came back and scored two goals in the second half to secure the victory.
This year, Penn comes in with considerable offensive firepower at its disposal. The Quakers’ 32 goals have been spread across eight different players, and five players have each scored five goals or more. Penn midfielder Sarah Hasson and forward Elizabeth Hitti lead the team in points with 16 apiece. Goalkeeper Carly Sokach has a save percentage a little lower than Cain’s at .708, but an average of only 2.84 goals-against. This weekend, the Quakers will attempt to rebound from a 3–2 double-overtime loss to Columbia last Friday.
The Great Danes were one of only five non-conference opponents that managed to defeat the Bulldogs last year. Despite trailing 3–1 in the second half of last year’s contest, Albany rallied back and scored the equalizer before time expired, ultimately winning the game in overtime.
Albany has scored 36 goals this season while allowing only 22. Midfielder Corrine McConville leads with 10 goals and 22 points. Goalkeeper Kristi Troch holds a .686 save percentage and a 1.78 goals-against average.
The Yale defense will be challenged by both the Quakers and the Great Danes’ high-powered offenses, but Gogel says the Elis will be up to the challenge.
“Defense definitely starts with the forward line, so all of our players — including forwards — will work hard to play solid defense in order to try to deny our opponents offensive opportunities” Gogel said.
Saturday’s game against Penn will begin at 12:00 p.m.