The Yale field hockey team can close out their 2010 season in grand fashion Saturday when they travel to Brown (5–11, 2–4) in the hopes of finishing their Ivy League season with a win that would give them the most conference wins in school history.
Also within reach for the Bulldogs (11–5, 5–1) is the school record for goals — the Bulldogs are five short of their current record 55 — a tie for third for most wins in school history — 12 — and the individual single-season assist mark — 16 — which Dinah Landshut ’12 is just one helper away from tying. With six goals and seven assists, Erica Borgo ’14 could become the first freshman to lead the Bulldogs in scoring since ’02, while classmate Georgia Holland ’14 has made the most defensive saves — 5 — since Jenn Slough ’07 in 2006, a number good for tops in the Ancient Eight.
Besides approaching the school’s record books, this year’s Yale team has also made its mark on the Ivy League. With the exception of a loss to No. 5 Princeton, the Bulldogs have run the table, including an impressive 10-0 win over Penn two weeks ago. A win over Brown would give Yale a chance at an Ivy League title, although they would also have to rely on Penn pulling an upset over the Tigers, who beat Yale 7-0.
Even without the Ivy League title, however, this year’s squad has certainly made a statement, responding to the loss of a decorated senior class last year with their first back-to-back 50-goal season, and double-digit wins for the second straight year, just the second time that has happened in Yale history. Juniors Taylor Sankovich, Erin Carter, Mia Rosati, Kirsten Krebs, Chelsey Locarno, and Landshut have all made jumps in scoring this season, while sophomore Mary Beth Barham ’13 — 4 goals, 4 assists — has burst onto the scene as a major scoring threat at forward.
In addition to the strong play of the freshmen class, this year’s squad has established itself as one of the elite teams in the Ivy League, a status Brown will hope to challenge Saturday.
Brown is led against the Bulldogs by junior Leslie Springmeyer, who was named Ivy League Co-Player of the Week after a seven point weekend against Penn and Holy Cross. The Bears’ Ivy League wins have come against the Quakers and in an overtime game against Harvard on Oct. 2nd.
When the Bulldogs and Bears square off, it will be the last game for Yale’s senior class, Erica Cullum ’11, Marissa Waldemore ’11, Johna Paolino ’11, and captain Katie Bolling ’11. Bolling has been strong between the pipes for Yale this season, posting a.695 save percentage for the Elis. Paolino has had her best year yet, setting a career high in points with four goals and two assists. Cullum and Waldemore have both struggled with injuries, but have been strong in front of Bolling in the Yale backfield, and will look to keep an Ivy League foe off the scoreboard one last time, and cap off a stellar 2010 season Saturday.
“I think we’re all very happy about the way our season has gone, and we’re ready to play Brown with the same intensity and focus that has helped us to be successful so far.” Krebs said. “We already beat some of our ‘raise the bar’ goals … and we’re very close to beating several others. When we play Brown, we’re going to focus on the process of the game, and making sure we play with good fundamentals. If we do this, the rest of our goals will fall into place.”
The Bulldogs’ quest to achieve those goals will come to an end Saturday at 1 p.m. on the Rooftop in Providence.