The accolades are piling up for field hockey goalie Spike Nesburg ’04 and midfielder Sarah Driscoll ’05.
After recording a shutout in the ECAC finals, Nesburg was named championship series Most Valuable Player for her combined 6-save effort in Yale’s 3-1 win over Dartmouth College Nov. 16 and 1-0 win against Drexel University Nov. 17.
Nesburg also earned first-team All-Ivy and second team All-Region honors from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association. The Eli goalkeeper led the league in saves with 135, 17 more than Cornell’s Kaitlin Tierney, who had the league’s second-most saves. Nesburg averaged a league-high 7.11 saves per game.
She was also a workhorse this season, starting all 19 games, sitting out just 12 minutes and recording two solo and two combined shutouts.
After letting a first-period goal squeak by in an Oct. 26 contest against the University of Pennsylvania, a game the Bulldogs later won in a shoot-out, Nesburg did not allow another tally in over 180 consecutive minutes, spanning four games. She had a league-high 18 stops against the University of Connecticut and five other games where she had at least 10 saves.
Teammates were quick to point to their goalie’s backfield communication and leadership skills as pivotal reasons for the Bulldogs’ season turnaround. Yale began the year 3-7 before winning its final nine games.
During a crucial series in California, Nesburg recorded 15 saves in a 2-1 victory over Stanford University on Oct. 20, marking the beginning of the team’s nine game winning streak to close out the autumn.
Teammate Driscoll was named to both the second team All-Ivy and second team NFHCA All-Region. Driscoll, the primary Eli ball-distributor, led the league in assists with 14 and was eighth in points with 22. Her 13 regular-season assists tied her for second most in Eli history. The Bulldogs were an astounding 10-1 this season when Driscoll recorded either an assist or goal.
Sweeper Meredith Hudson ’05, who had two hat tricks this season, earned honorable mention All-Ivy recognition. Hudson was Player of the Week for Nov. 5 and was second in the league with four game-winning goals. Hudson also netted the shot that won the ECAC championship.
And Yale’s winning streak is by no means over; all three stars will return for next fall’s campaign.