The Yale field hockey team seeks victory over Brown this weekend to end its 2016 season on an Ivy League high.
The Bulldogs (7–9, 3–3 Ivy) have won their last three conference games and, if they are successful on Saturday, would capture their fourth consecutive Ancient Eight win — a feat the team has not achieved since 2011. The Elis square up against a Brown (7–9, 2–4) team, which, despite a six-game win streak early on in the season, has lost seven of its last eight games. The Bears have not defeated Yale since 2010, when they clinched a 3–2 win with just five minutes left to play.
“We are all very excited to play this [Saturday] because Brown is a really good team and we have the opportunity to have a winning Ivy League season,” forward Bridget Condie ’20 said. “I think everyone wants to end the season with no regrets, playing together and just having fun.”
The Elis will look to goalkeeper Emilie Katz ’17 to keep the winning momentum going in their direction when they take the field on Sunday. The 2015 first-team All Ivy netminder was named by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association as one of 38 players who will play in the NFHCA Senior Game on Nov. 19 at William Smith College in Geneva, New York. Katz’s 0.743 save percentage, though slightly lower than her 0.791 clip from last season, still ranks first of all Ivy League goalkeepers. The senior also ranks second in total saves this season, one spot ahead of Brown’s Katie Hammaker.
The upcoming encounter with the Bears will mark the end of four Yale seniors’ careers. Katz, forwards Danee Fitzgerald ’17 and Alyssa Weiss ’17 and captain and midfielder Steffi Katz ’17 all played in their last home game against Quinnipiac last Sunday, where the Bulldogs were unable to emerge with a win in overtime. The quartet of seniors received a touching send-off to mark Yale’s Senior Day.
“There are different emotions and a different feel [on Senior Days]” Quinnipiac head coach Becca Main said after the Bobcats’ victory over Yale last weekend. “There are two different sets of emotions playing out on the field.”
The Bears feature five seniors on their roster who will also be searching for a glorious end to their collegiate careers. Senior forward Jaclyn Torres will be a force to be reckoned with as she leads Brown with seven of its 28 goals coming on 22 targeted shots. Torres is complemented by fellow senior Lucy Green, who has five scores to her name this year. Captain and back Katarina Angus averages a team-high 2.5 shots per game and has made three assists in total to go along with one game-winning goal for Brown this season.
The last time the Bulldogs met the Bears nearly 12 months ago, Yale annihilated Brown with four goals in the first half and emerged with a 6–2 victory. This was the Elis’ highest scoring output of any game last season, coming as a bit of a relief on the back of a 12-game losing streak. Forward Carol Middough ’18, who currently leads the Bulldog attack with nine goals and 21 points, scored twice in the 2015 defeat of Brown. Fellow forward Katie Smith ’18 made three assists in that game, and forwards Brooke Reese ’19 and Lily Smith ’18 each claimed one goal apiece. The Elis will likely look to these players to spearhead the attack on Sunday and potentially repeat the heroics of last year’s encounter.
“Because it’s our last game, people will be really motivated to win and go out on a high note,” defender Kiwi Comizio ’18 said. “It would also be huge for us to end with a decisive score and another shutout.”
A Yale win would solidify the Bulldogs’ final conference record at 4–3, doubling their win total from the past two seasons combined. The Bulldogs will face Brown in Providence at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Matthew Mister contributed reporting.