What to watch for this fall sports season
With several teams hoping to win Ivy League titles this season, here’s what you need to know about fall season sports.
Courtesy of Musco Sports
A few weeks into the fall athletics season, many Yale teams are preparing for the start of Ivy League play. Here are the most important things to know for each sport.
FOOTBALL: The football team opened their season with a stiff test against No. 13 Holy Cross, falling 38–14. Predicted to finish fourth in the Ivy League, the Blue and White open up conference play against Cornell this weekend. There is reason for optimism, as last year’s leading passer, receiver and running back are all back with another year of experience under their belts.
“[Grooms] has really progressed, he’s really grown,” head coach Tony Reno said. “The game has really slowed down for him.”
On Nov. 19, the team will go up to Boston to try to avenge last season’s loss to Harvard.
GOLF: After strong seasons last spring, both the men’s and women’s golf teams are looking to continue their dominant spell. The men’s team won last year’s Ivy League Championships with rookie Ben Carpenter ’25 winning the Bulldogs’ third straight individual title and men’s head coach Colin Sheehan ’97 earning his second consecutive Ivy Coach of the Year.
Over the summer, second-time women’s captain Ami Gianchandani ’23 played the USGA’s Women’s Open Championship and Women’s Amateur Championship, the latter of which was also played by teammate Kaitlyn Lee ’23. While the women’s team will be competing away in Princeton this weekend, fans can watch the men’s squad host the MacDonald Cup nearby at the Yale Golf Course. Both teams play a fall and spring season that is capped off by the Ivy League Championships.
SOCCER: The women’s squad won three of their first four games and tied in the other. Since then, they have lost four straight away games against tough competition. All of that goes out the window as the Bulldogs open up Ivy League play at home against Princeton this Saturday.
Coming off a second-place Ivy League finish last year, the men’s team has picked up right where it left off. After draws in their first two matches, the squad has won four in a row, including a thrilling upset against West Virginia, which was then ranked 23rd in the nation. In a preseason media poll, Yale was picked to finish second in the conference, trailing only Princeton. They have one more tune-up next week at Duke before beginning conference play.
CROSS COUNTRY: The Bulldogs have only competed in one race so far this season, falling in overall scoring to foes Harvard and Princeton. Seniors Cade Brown ’23 and Kosana Weir ’23 secured top-10 finishes on the men’s and women’s side respectively. There are several events remaining before postseason play and several talented first years, this team has the potential to be more competitive this year.
TENNIS: While the women’s team has yet to compete this season, expectations are high as the team showed flashes of potential last year and now welcomes in the twelfth-ranked recruiting class in the nation. On the men’s side, the team competed in the Duke Bonk Invitational last weekend, where Luke Neal ’25 and Theo Dean ’24 advanced to the semifinals. Following a 10–12 season last year, the Bulldogs hope that the strong performance was an indication of improvement to come.
FIELD HOCKEY: With a 4–2 record, first-year head coach Melissa Gonzalez has led the field hockey team to their best start since 2010. Ellie Barlow ’25 has already netted two-clutch game-winning goals, and the team looks ready to take a step forward from last year’s 9–8 record. The team opens up Ivy League play when they go to Providence to take on Brown on Friday.
SAILING: The Bulldogs won both the Women’s Team Race Nationals and the Open Team Race Nationals last year, in addition to the Fowle Trophy, awarded at the end of the season to the best overall sailing program in the country. Two weekends into the regatta, and it appears as if the top-ranked team in the nation is on pace to continue their dominant ways. Although last year’s College Sailor of the Year Shawn Harvey ’22 graduated in the Spring, a strong first-year class has already picked up the slack, securing several first-place finishes already.
Correction: A previous of this article stated that Shawn Harvey ’22 did not win 2022 College Sailor of the Year. In fact, he did win the award.
Hamera Shabbir contributed reporting.