The field hockey team started its Ivy League season on the right note this weekend with a 4-3 victory over Harvard on Saturday, and then followed that win with another against Holy Cross the next day.
Chelsey Locarno’s ’12 goal 13 minutes into the second half at Holy Cross on Sunday not only provided insurance for the Elis (4-2, 1-0 Ivy) in their 3-1 win over the Crusaders but also capped off a prolific offensive weekend for the Bulldogs, who scored seven goals and outshot their opponents 38-12 on their way to two huge victories.
The scoring started just nine minutes into the game against the Crimson (3-1, 0-1 Ivy), when midfielder Marissa Waldemore ’11 tipped in a shot by captain and back Julia Weiser ’10 for her first goal of the season, giving Yale a lead they would never relinquish.
Then, forward Ashley McCauley ’10, who is well on her way to having one of the most spectacular scoring seasons in Yale history, took over. In a span of just 19 minutes, McCauley poured in three goals for her second hat trick of the young season. She is now tied for second on Yale’s all-time scoring list with 36 tallies, with 14 points already this season, and is now tied for fourth all-time in that category.
Midfielder Katie Cantore ’10, who is poised to break some records of her own, picked up the assist on two of McCauley’s goals and now has nine helpers in just six games this year, leaving her a mere five assists away from tying the single-season record.
McCauley also got help from forward Maddy Sharp ’13, whose assist on McCauley’s first goal gives her 6 points in six games this season.
Though the Yale offensive onslaught continued in the second half, when they outshot the Crimson 9-3, they failed to capitalize on their chances, allowing Harvard to claw back into the game with three second-half goals.
Ultimately, though, the Bulldogs were able to hold on for a crucial victory to go 1-0 on their Ivy League season.
“The first half we played great,” midfielder Dinah Landshut ’12 said. “We didn’t play badly the second half, but it was frustrating because we had so many chances that we didn’t take advantage of. But overall it was a really good effort.”
A trip to Worcester, Mass., to take on Holy Cross (1-6) did nothing to cool down the Yale offense. Led by a 3-point effort from Weiser, the Eli offense dominated, scoring three goals and outshooting the Crusaders 20-7.
Holy Cross drew first blood when senior Courtney Callahan scored her first goal of the season 15 minutes into the first half to give her team a 1-0 lead.
But the Bulldogs wouldn’t be down for long, as just two minutes later Weiser scored on a penalty corner to tie it up.
Yale capitalized on another penalty corner a few minutes later when Waldemore, who had assisted on Weiser’s earlier goal, tipped in a pass from the captain to give the Elis their first lead of the game.
The scoring resumed midway through the second half, when Weiser’s second assist of the game set Locarno up for her first career goal.
“Chelsey has definitely stepped up,” head coach Pam Stuper said. “She worked hard this summer, and that has allowed her to come in and contribute. She finds a way to make something happen.”
In an indicator of just how spectacular the Yale offense has been this season, Locarno is the 12th Bulldog to record a point this season in just six games. The Elis have outshot opponents 124-60, and have taken 64 penalty corners.
Yet the Yale offense now faces what may prove to be its biggest challenge of the season, when the team travels to Princeton next Saturday. Because field hockey has no Ivy League postseason play, if the Bulldogs hope to take home this year’s championship, they must finish with the league’s best regular season record. Though it is clearly still early in the season, upsetting the Tigers, the perennial Ivy League field hockey powerhouse, would be a major step for the Elis, putting them in a great position as they head down the stretch.
“It felt great to come out of the weekend with a sweep,” Locarno said. “We’re definitely on the right path to achieving our goals for the season. We’re really looking forward to one of our biggest games of the season next weekend, and hopefully we’ll bring a lot of the good aspects of our play from these two games with us to Princeton [on] Saturday.”
The Bulldogs and Tigers will take the field Saturday at 12 p.m. at Princeton’s Class of ’52 field.