After opening its season with a split last weekend, the Yale women’s field hockey team will head to the nation’s capital this weekend to face off against American University.
Last Saturday, the Bulldogs (1–1, 0–0 Ivy) went up against Sacred Heart University and won the game with a final score of 2–1. The next day, against local rival Quinnipiac, the Elis were unable to snatch a victory, losing by an identical 2–1 score. All three of Yale’s goals were scored by forward/midfielder Carol Middough ’18, who is now tied for fifth place nationally in goals per game.
American (3–1, 0–0 Patriot) has won three straight games since falling in overtime in its season opener against Richmond. In addition to wins over Old Dominion and Appalachian State, the Eagles also hold a victory over Ivy foe Brown.
“American has a good squad,” Nicole Wells ’16, a staff reporter for the News, said. “[It is] a well-disciplined team that often has some opportunities to play the toughest competition in Division I. American is definitely well seasoned to stepping up and playing at a high level.”
So far in its season, American has scored 13 goals in its four games, leaving it with an average of 3.3 goals per game. In their last three games, all wins, American outscored its opponents 12–4, and its average of four goals per game would tie for seventh nationally among all teams.
Leading the team in scoring is forward Natalie Konerth, who has already set a career high with four assists and 10 points this season.
“We always look forward to the opportunity to play a strong opponent, especially as we look forward to begin league play in a few weeks,” forward Alyssa Weiss ’17 said.
Both games last weekend provided moments of optimism for the Elis. On Saturday, Yale persevered and managed to win on a game-winning goal in overtime from Middough.
And in the loss on Sunday, following a miserable start where the Bobcats scored twice in the first 23 minutes, the Elis made a strong second-half push. Yale scored less than a minute after play resumed in the second half and out-shot Quinnipiac 10–5 in the period.
Back Kiwi Comizio ’18 said that the team had a strong week of practice following the team’s up-and-down start.
“Everyone worked hard and had a good attitude even though we did not have two wins last weekend,” Comizio said. “We are excited for this game because American is a good team and is very well coached. It will be a tough, but good game.”
Indeed, American’s program has earned quite a solid reputation over the past two decades. Head coach Steve Jennings, who was inducted into the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2012, has a 209–110 record in 17 seasons at the helm. The Eagles have won nine conference titles, and Jennings has also won nine Patriot League Coach of the Year awards.
Yale, however, is hoping to come away from the game with a win.
“The good thing about this weekend is that we only have one game instead of two — so we can really focus on just one opponent and lay everything out on the field,” Wells said.
She added that after last weekend’s win and loss, the team feels very motivated about the season in general and that it is ready to show that determination in the many games it has to come.
Saturday’s game against the Eagles starts at noon.