September 8, 2012

Hofstra Takes Defensive Struggle, 1-0

Bulldogs Limit Pride to 12 Shots

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – With 15 goals in its first four games, Hofstra figured to be a challenge for the Yale field hockey team's defense on Saturday afternoon at Johnson Field. The Bulldogs rose to that challenge -- limiting the Pride to just one goal and 12 shots -- but they could not muster enough offense of their own. The end result was a 1-0 Hofstra win.

The decisive goal wound up coming just 3:20 into the game, as forward Jonel Boileau scored her seventh goal of the season on a low line drive past Yale junior goalkeeper Emily Cain.

A defensive save by freshman back Molly Wolf 10 minutes later helped keep the Pride from doing any further damage on the scoreboard, but there was still more adversity in store for the Bulldogs. With just over 11 minutes left in the half, Yale lost junior midfielder/back Georgia Holland to an injury.

The Bulldogs had already been preparing to play without Holland for the next two weekends, ever since she was selected to play for the U.S.A. in the upcoming Junior Pan American Championship. But after she left the game Saturday they had to adjust immediately.

"We were preparing to be without Georgia, but this was a little earlier than expected," said Yale head coach Pam Stuper. "We tossed some people into positions they don't normally play. I thought we did a good job playing through adversity, and I'm proud of that."

The Bulldogs had one of their best offensive chances in the final minute of the first half, but Pride goalkeeper Kaitlyn De Turo denied sophomore forward Jessie Accurso's shot off a feed from freshman forward/midfielder Nicole Wells.

Boileau almost got another goal five minutes into the second half, but just before she could get off a shot junior midfielder Erica Borgo dove to knock the ball away from her low in the circle.

Yale (1-2) did not allow any Pride corners in the first half, but Hofstra (4-1) got five in the second. After denying three of those in succession midway through the half, the Bulldogs called timeout. They wound up getting five corners of their own in the game's final five minutes, but could not convert any of them into goals. A shot by junior forward/midfielder Emily Schuckert was blocked out of the circle on the final one, with no time remaining in the game. De Turo finished with seven saves for the shutout.

This was the last of three non-league games to start the season for Yale, which travels to rival Harvard for the Ivy League opener next Saturday. The Bulldogs' defensive progress figures to be key as they start Ancient Eight play. After allowing four goals in the season opener, they have allowed only three since. The last two games have seen senior midfielder Mary Beth Barham playing back, and she has clearly helped solidify a unit that includes only one other upperclassman, senior back Lexy Adams.

"We really worked hard on our defense this week, and have cut our goals allowed in each game down from four to two to one," Stuper said. "We have definitely made strides."

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity