Lukas Flippo, Photo Editor

After losing their previous season to the pandemic, members of the Yale field hockey team will finally get their first taste of competition since 2019.

The Bulldogs take on Merrimack College (0–2, 0–0 NEC) at Johnson Field Friday afternoon and Fairfield (1–1, 0–0 NEC) on Sunday.

While the squad endured a rocky start in their 2019 campaign, losing nine of their first 11 games, they capped off the season strong with five wins in their final six matches. Despite welcoming back 10 players who have never experienced Ivy League competition, the Blue and White are hoping to win their first Ivy League crown since 2011. Yale was picked fifth in this fall’s Ivy League preseason poll.

“I’m most excited just to be back with the team and playing with a full squad after so long,” back Katie Pieterse ’23 said. “I think I can speak for everyone on that — it seems to be a popular feeling. We are all so grateful to just be back on Johnson Field competing for Yale.”

This year, some of the team’s most prominent veterans include Imogen Davies ’22, the team’s captain, and Iliana Cabral ’22. Both midfielders have notable honors under their belt — Davies received three All-Ivy League selections, while Cabral earned a spot in the 2018 National Field Hockey Coaches Association National Academic Squad.

Following the 2019 season, Davies told the News the group would focus on adjusting to playing without graduating seniors. In 2019, the Bulldogs tied for fifth in the Ivy League, finishing with a record of 7–10 overall and 3–4 in the Ivy League.

“We will try to figure out what went wrong in the middle of the season and what went so right at the end and just look to carry on with the momentum from the last few games,” Davies said.

Although Yale lost goalkeeper Sydney Terroso ’21 to graduation, the netminder has since returned to Yale as a volunteer assistant on the staff. Other additions to the program include six first years with noteworthy credentials.

Forward Ellie Barlow ’25, back Keely Comizio ’25, forward Julia Freedman ’25, goalkeeper Alexa Pitts ’25, forward Lily Ramsey ’25 and back Colette Staadecker ’25 will be fresh faces on the pitch this season. Five of the six have secured at least one national, state or league championship title, and four are former team captains. Additionally, Comizio was a second team All-American in 2019.

“I think the number of players in this freshman class will have a positive impact on the season — lots of different playing styles and talent,” Pieterse said. “Through preseason, they’ve already shown a great level of commitment to embracing and contributing to our existing team culture.”

With Terroso graduated and now on the coaching staff, Pitts is one of two goalies on the roster along with Luanna Summer ’24.

“I am definitely most excited to see what this team is going to do this year with all of the hard work that we’ve been putting in,” Pitts told the News. “We all feel so grateful to get to play the sport that we love. Personally, I’m excited to see where all of our hard work and love for each other is going to get us this season.”

In its 2019 matchup with Merrimack College, the Blue and White took home an 8–1 victory.

Trisha Nguyen |

Trisha Nguyen covers men's ice hockey and field hockey as a staff reporter. Originally from St. Louis, she is a sophomore in Saybrook College majoring in molecular, cellular and developmental biology.