Coming off of two hard-fought losses against nationally-ranked opponents Virginia and Liberty, the Yale field hockey team has an opportunity to rebound on Friday when it takes on Wagner in Staten Island.
The Elis (1–3, 0–0 Ivy) have heavily relied on their defense so far this season. During their games against No. 16 Liberty (4–0, 0–0 Big East) and No. 6 Virginia (5–1, 0–0 ACC), the Bulldogs remained within a single goal of both opponents at some point during the second half of each game. Goalie Sydney Terroso ’21 tallied a remarkable 12 saves against Liberty last weekend, keeping the Bulldogs in the contest. Meanwhile, Wagner (1–2, 0–0 NEC) faces Yale in one of the Seahawks’ first games since its field hockey program restarted after lying dormant since 1978.
“We were really pleased with our performances over the weekend against ranked opponents,” forward Imogen Davies ’21 said. “We definitely have a lot to take away and learn, but we definitely feel like it was a really positive experience for the team.”
Led by first-year head coach Niki Miller, the Seahawks are a young team composed of ten freshmen, four sophomores, two juniors and one graduate student. Despite their youth, the Seahawks opened the season with a strong 3–0 win against Hofstra before falling to La Salle and Villanova.
Even without much experience, the Seahawks are not lacking in talent. First year Kira Mordvinov and Hannah Meyer both have six points through the first three games. Mordinov, a forward, joined Wagner after being the leading goal-scorer for her high school’s varsity field hockey team for two years in a row. She was also named offensive MVP during her final high school season.
Meyer, a midfielder, comes to the Seahawks from Germany, where she competed for UHC Hamburg in the German FeldHockey – Bundesliga. Goalies Annabel Zandvoort and Justine Van Spengler have split time evenly so far this season, with neither making the net their own. Both have recorded 13 saves in 90 minutes played, with Zandvoort and Van Spengler conceding five and nine goals, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Elis’ experience both as a team and as a program should play in Yale’s favor in the matchup against Wagner. Terroso, who leads the Ivy League with a .766 save percentage, and Davies, who has tallied six points through the first four games, are key players whose experience should make an immediate impact on Friday’s contest.
“I feel that we are better prepared in general to adapt to changes in the game as a team because we are more comfortable with each other’s tendencies and style of play,” Katie Pieterse ’22 told the News.
The game against Wagner is Yale’s final fixture before the Elis open Ivy play against No. 14 Harvard (1–1, 0–0 Ivy) on Sept. 28. After facing two ranked teams in non-conference play, the Bulldogs can apply those experiences on the field versus the Seahawks and later against conference opponents as well.
“Our team has great depth and experience, as well as new talent, so we feel confident that we can put in another great performance on Friday against a new opposition,” Davies said.
Yale faces off against Wagner on Friday at 4 p.m. at the Seahawks’ newly constructed field hockey facility on Staten Island.
Drew Beckmen | email@example.com
Madison Mahamy | firstname.lastname@example.org