The Yale field hockey team has two chances this weekend to resurrect its season and put an end to its five-game losing streak.
The Bulldogs (4–7, 0–3 Ivy) will first match up on Saturday against Dartmouth (3–8, 0–3), a team that has succumbed to defeat in all three of its Ancient Eight encounters this season. After their bout with the Big Green, the Elis will take on undefeated No. 1 University of Connecticut (13–0, 4–0 Big East). Sunday’s test against the Huskies will be the Bulldogs’ last road challenge on their schedule before returning to Johnson Field to round out the month.
“We try to look at one team at a time,” forward Alyssa Weiss ’17 said. “The team is feeling pretty good about Dartmouth. It’s a good time in the season for us to get the win, and hopefully Dartmouth will be it. UConn is obviously going to be a tough game, but it’s a great opponent for a [potential] upset.”
The Bulldogs and the Big Green enter the weekend’s contest as evenly matched adversaries. The two teams’ records differ by just one win, with two of Yale’s and Dartmouth’s victories coming against the same opponents. While the Big Green’s offense has been more successful in the circle, drawing 17 more penalty corners than their Eli counterparts, the sides nevertheless sport identical 0.560 shots on goal percentages.
Forward Joanne Nazareth stars as Dartmouth’s lead shot taker, but her totals have thus far been outdone by Yale’s own attacker, Carol Middough ’18, who has taken 49 shots in her offensive campaign to forge a tie second place in Ivy League rankings. Middough not only has the highest shot percentage of any player on the Bulldog roster, but she has also scored five of the Elis’ 17 goals.
The junior is supported by forward Bridget Condie ’20, who has accumulated a 0.425 shots on goal percentage with her 40 shots in 11 starts.
Forward Danee Fitzgerald ’17 completes the trio of Yale weapons on the front line. The senior has tallied three goals and an assist this season, giving her seven points and putting her tied for second with Condie in the Bulldog point rankings.
The Elis will rely on this offensive front in Hanover this Saturday in their quest to avenge the narrow 3–2 defeat they suffered at home last season. The Big Green took an early lead, firing in two goals in a span of just over two minutes, and surviving a late Bulldog goal by back Kiwi Comizio ’18.
“For Saturday, I’m definitely looking forward to us hopefully getting our first Ivy League win, especially because it’s [against] Dartmouth and we lost a close game to them last year,” Comizio said.
Yale’s second matchup of the weekend comes against a top-ranked Huskies squad that has defeated every opponent it has faced this season by an average of 4.24 goals. Last weekend, UConn annihilated Dartmouth in a 9–2 victory, holding the Big Green to just five total shots in the process.
The win against Dartmouth was UConn’s most recent display of offensive talent, as the Huskies nearly doubled their impressive season average of 5.08 goals per game. This trumps the Elis’ meager 1.5 goals per game, and indicates a tough match for the Bulldogs ahead.
Because of UConn’s offensive prowess, keeper Nina Klein has not been called upon often in goal. While Klein’s 0.667 save percentage is inferior to the 0.772 mark put up by Yale goalie Emilie Katz ’17, the Huskies’ netminder has only had to make 22 saves all season, compared to Katz’s 71.
Despite the Huskies’ staggering season statistics, Comizio said the team was enthusiastic going into the match.
“I know the whole team is excited about the opportunity to play UConn [this weekend],” Comizio said. “It will be really good competition.”
Yale will travel to New Hampshire on Saturday to play Dartmouth at noon and will return to Connecticut the following day to face the Huskies at 2 p.m.