As midfielder Nicole Wells ’16 and back Noelle Villa ’16 departed from Johnson Field on Saturday for the final time of their college careers, they ended their season in familiar fashion. For the fourth-consecutive year, the seniors and the Yale field hockey team finished with a win over Brown, this time in a resounding 6–2 rout.
The dominant effort extended Yale’s (3–14, 1–6 Ivy) winning streak over the Bears (7–10, 1–6) to five games, dating back to 2011.
“The game was great not only because we came up with a win, but because our energy was so high and our play was incredibly cohesive and strong,” Carol Middough ’18 said.
The Bulldogs had only scored 14 goals all season entering Saturday’s matchup. The six goals against the Bears doubled Yale’s previous single-game high in goals this season, which came in a 3–2 victory over Bryant on Sept. 18.
Yale began the game aggressively, earning a 1–0 advantage just 11:31 into the first half as Middough scored unassisted. The goal was Middough’s first of two that afternoon. She has been a consistent offensive threat for Pam Stuper’s squad: The Oceanport, New Jersey native leads the team with nine goals this season.
In the final contest of her career, Villa found the back of the net off a corner for her fifth career goal, providing for a fitting ending to the Bulldog captain’s time in New Haven.
Yale scored twice more in the first half to increase the lead to 4–0 to enter halftime firmly in control of the game. Midfielder Lily Smith ’18, assisted by her twin sister midfielder Katie Smith ’18, notched Yale’s third goal — the first of her career — with 31:17 on the clock, and Middough scored again approximately a minute later.
“It felt really good to be leading by that much at halftime,” goalkeeper Emilie Katz ’17 said. “The team has been focusing on the process and working hard all season to hammer home details. Sometimes it’s hard to see the process when you are in it, but this game was exemplary of how far we have come this season.”
The Bulldog defense stifled the Brown attack for much of the game, with the only Bears threat in the first half resulting from a penalty stroke, which midfielder Maggie Mostoller was unable to convert. However, Brown did get on the board eventually at 38:50, thanks to an unassisted goal from midfielder Alexis Miller. Forward Hannah Roger later notched a goal with less than four minutes remaining in the contest.
Katz, who finished the regular season ranked second in the nation in saves and fifth in save percentage, stopped 12 of the 14 shots on goal she faced.
In the second half, two Yale freshmen added goals of their own. Forward Brooke Reese ’19 scored off an another assist from Smith, as did forward Katerina Toffoloni ’19. Smith finished the day with three assists in Yale’s offensive outburst while Toffoloni closed her season on a high note, scoring twice in the final two Ivy League games.
“I am so excited for the future and I hope that this game shows what the future holds for Yale field hockey,” Reese said. “I cannot wait to get back out on the field and score even more next season.”
With Wells’ assist in Saturday’s game, the senior moved into sole possession of 20th place on Yale’s career assist list.