The Yale field hockey team, traveling to Michigan for this past weekend, saw a pair of shutouts in its final games before conference play, but fared very differently in the two.
The Bulldogs (3–2–0, 0–0–0 Ivy) defeated Central Michigan University (0–7–0, 0–0–0 Mid-American) Friday afternoon 2–0, giving rookie goalkeeper Sydney Terroso ’21 the first shutout of her career. On Sunday, however, a flurry of three goals by Michigan State (4–5–0, 0–1–0 Big Ten) in the second half left Yale on the other end of a one-sided 4–0 loss.
“To me we look the best of my four years here which is really exciting,” captain Kiwi Comizio ’18 said. “The team is now in a really good place. We had a pretty good weekend in Michigan. I think we had a good start to the season overall and if we can keep improving I’m excited to see where we go.”
Although the Elis have previously struggled with energy in their opening half, Friday’s game saw Yale score both of its goals against the Chippewas early. Within two minutes of beginning play, forward Carol Middough ’18 and midfielder Holly Jackson ’20 each took a shot; Yale would shoot three more times before Central Michigan’s first attempt. Beginning 12 minutes into the half, Central Michigan launched three consecutive blocked shots with two penalty corners in a brief challenge to the Bulldogs’ dominance. However, just two minutes later, forward Camille Scheyer ’20 scored the first goal of the game with an assist from midfielder Imogen Davies ’21 to give the Elis a lead.
The pace remained fast for the remainder of the half — Yale narrowly outshot Central Michigan 11–9 — but the only other goal came 25 minutes into play from forward Bridget Condie ’20 with an assist by midfielder Lily Smith ’18. Most of the Chippewas’ shots were blocked, a testament to the Bulldogs’ improving defense. Terroso made two saves in the half, both in the final 90 seconds and crucial in preserving Yale’s lead, while Central Michigan goalie Lily Amadio made five saves throughout the first half to keep the Chippewas in contention. Although Central Michigan had the slight advantage in penalty corners for the half, earning five to Yale’s four, it was unable to convert those opportunities.
Central Michigan opened the second half with two penalty corners and four shots, one saved by Terroso and two blocked, but Yale returned to possession with a penalty corner and shot by Davies. Terroso made one additional save before the Bulldogs settled into control, taking two penalty corners and six shots while Central Michigan was unable to grasp any chances.
With 22 minutes left in play, the Chippewas’ called a timeout, frustrated and hoping to end Yale’s momentum. Following the timeout, both teams continued to shoot prolifically — the Elis outshot the Chippewas with 16 attempts in the second half to total 27 shots taken for the game, the highest output by any Ivy team this season — but the score remained the same. Meanwhile, Central Michigan’s eight shots in the second half brought the day’s total tally up to 17, nearly three times the Chippewas’ per game average of 4.67 prior to the contest. Terroso totaled five saves, while Central Michigan’s Amadio saved 13, eight falling in the second half, to guard against a greater deficit created by the Bulldogs’ potent offense.
On Sunday, the same Yale offense that shot 27 times against Central Michigan took only four shots in the first half against the Spartans.
A slow start by the Elis saw Michigan State take seven shots in the first 15 minutes. Eight minutes and three shots by the Spartans in, Yale head coach Pam Stuper collectively subbed out four starters, putting in four players that included experienced twins Lily Smith and midfielder Katie Smith ’18. Michigan State’s possessive control, however, continued. Five seconds off Terroso’s fifth save, Sophie Macadré found a rebound goal for the Spartans.
Twenty-five minutes into play and with no shots taken by the Bulldogs, Stuper subbed en masse again. Finally, with less than three minutes remaining in the first half, Condie took Yale’s first shot of the game. Although her attempt was wide, it resulted in two corner kicks and a pair of shots from Middough and Scheyer, both saved by Michigan State’s rookie goalie Mairi Fletcher to conclude the half with the Spartans up 1–0.
Michigan State began the second half with senior goalie Katie Miller in goal and took its first shot of the half only thirty seconds in. But two early missed shots from the Spartans, one off a penalty corner, were then mirrored by a hopeful Yale with its own two shots, both blocked by Miller. Eight minutes into the half, however, Terroso saved one shot before Kendal Anderson scored for the Spartans.
The next four minutes delivered a crushing blow to the Bulldogs — two blocked and saved shots from Michigan State were followed by a penalty corner that resulted in Makenzie Brown netting the Spartans’ third goal. Twenty seconds later, straight off the face-off and to the goal, Brown scored again to rally the Spartans’ advantage to 4–0, where the tally would remain for the rest of the game.
“Knowing [Michigan State] was our last game before conference play, we focused on our own game plan so that we could feel ready for this upcoming weekend,” Middough said.
In the second half, Michigan State outshot Yale by less than the first, 14–9, and the Elis had the advantage in penalty corners, taking eight in the half compared to the Spartans’ four. The Bulldogs were frustrated by an inability to convert these opportunities, and Stuper, searching for some dynamic that would change Yale’s energy, continued to substitute frequently and in multiples. The 4–0 loss for Yale was Michigan State’s first shutout and most decisive victory of the season thus far.
Yale will play Harvard and Liberty at home this weekend. The Bulldogs will celebrate Alumnae Weekend and the program’s 45th anniversary with festivities throughout the weekend.
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