After coming away with a split last weekend, the Yale women’s field hockey team is preparing for their Ivy opener this Saturday against rival Harvard.
Harvard (3–2, 0–0 Ivy) is currently riding on a two-game winning streak, having beat both Northeastern and Colgate last weekend. Harvard goalie Issy Davies, however, made only seven saves in her last two games — Yale goalie Emilie Katz ’17, in comparison, made 26. This leaves Harvard with a 0.645 save percentage compared to the 0.810 mark of Yale (2–3, 0–0 Ivy).
“We are all feeling very confident going into Ivy play this weekend,” Carol Middough ’18 said. “We’ve put in the work and we have the capability to win in league play.”
Middough has been a crucial player in Yale’s roster this season. The forward/midfielder has scored five of Yale’s six goals — two of which were game-winners. Her performance has also contributed largely to Yale’s average shots per game, which currently stands at 13.2, up 10 percent from last season’s.
Harvard, however, is currently averaging 16.6 shots per game. Back Elizabeth Jacobson leads in total points while forward Marissa Balleza leads the Crimson with five total goals, the same as Middough. Balleza as been named an All-Ivy League honoree twice in her college career.
Although Harvard has shot more so far, the two teams are much closer on shot percentage. Harvard is shooting at 64 percent, with Yale close behind at 58 percent.
“I think the biggest challenge for us this weekend will be to treat the game like any other so we are not too nervous or overthinking,” back Kiwi Comizio ’18 said. “[That way we will be] playing our best, at the level we know we can and have against other teams.”
Middough also mentioned that the team needs to be focused going into the game, so as to not let the centuries-old rivalry get to the players.
Although Yale won four straight contests from 2009 to 2012, Harvard is currently holding on to a two-win streak over the Bulldogs.
“Everyone is incredibly excited to play Harvard,” Middough said. “Our biggest challenge going into this weekend is not psyching ourselves out.”
Back Tess Thompson ’18 added that the team prepared for this weekend by focusing on strengthening the weaknesses from last weekend’s games. However, she said most of the team’s preparation comes from their offseason.
After taking on Harvard on Saturday, the Bulldogs will travel to New York to play Hofstra (5–3, 0–0 Colonial). The team is riding on a three-game winning streak, and will play Quinnipiac on Saturday before hosting Yale.