NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale field hockey team honored three players with awards at its annual post-season banquet earlier this month. Senior midfielder/back Mary Beth Barham (Fairfax, Va.) was recognized with a pair of awards, the Player of the Year Award and the Coaches' Award. Junior forward Brooke Gogel (Bronxville, N.Y.), won the Walton Award for confronting the challenge of playing after missing nearly two years with an injury. Additionally, freshman Molly Wolf (Endwell, N.Y.), received the Senior Award.
The Bulldogs also recognized the senior class at the banquet: Barham, back Lexy Adams (Lancaster, Pa.), goalkeeper Ona McConnell (London, England) and forward Maddy Sharp (San Diego, Calif.). In addition to helping Yale to an Ivy League title last year, that group went 4-0 against archrival Harvard -- the first class in school history to do so. The seniors were a part of 20 Ivy League wins, setting the school record in that category. That group was also a part of an Ivy League championship (2011) and a pair of second-place finishes.
This is the second year Yale has given a Player of the Year Award, but it is based on an award that has been in place since 2007. The Player of the Year Award had been known up until last year as The Cup. It is awarded to the member of the team who has performed at the highest level for the season as a whole, determined by the coaching staff through game-to-game recognition as the Player of the Match.
The Coaches Award that Barham received is given to the player who exemplifies principles, direction and persistence in pursuit of field hockey excellence at Yale.
Barham was chosen second team All-Mideast Region by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association this year. That was the third major honor for her since the end of the season, as she was also named first team All-Ivy League and selected to play in the NFHCA Senior Game.
Barham, who was an honorable mention All-Ivy selection as a freshman and a second team selection last year, made a remarkable transition to earn her first All-Region and third All-Ivy honor this year. She spent her first three seasons at Yale as a forward/midfielder, where she was a major factor in generating attack. But this year, with the graduation of Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year Erin Carter '12, the Bulldogs found themselves in need of help in the backfield. That need was exacerbated when one of Yale's best defensive players, junior midfielder/back Georgia Holland (Stony Brook, N.Y.), was lost to a season-ending injury in the third game. Barham wound up being the player who stepped up to fill that void on defense, emerging as a steadying force for a unit that had just one other upperclassman (Adams). With Barham's help, Yale held five opponents to just one goal.
Barham, who started all 17 games this year and 66 games over the past four seasons, also scored four goals. That included a pair in Yale's 2-1 overtime win at Harvard, which made the senior class the first in school history to go 4-0 vs. the Crimson.
Prior to Yale Barham attended W.T. Woodson High School, where she was second team all-state. She is in Jonathan Edwards College.
The Amanda Walton Award that Gogel received is given by the Yale players and coaching staff to that team member who demonstrates the ability to confront challenges, displaying the courage to overcome them, while inspiring teammates with her work ethic and unselfish attitude.
The award is named after Amanda Walton '02, who has been an inspiration to the Bulldogs. After her sophomore year at Yale, Walton -- a field hockey and lacrosse player -- was involved in an automobile accident that put her career on hold. She overcame a coma and physical injuries with hard work and dedication.
When the Bulldogs were hit with a series of injuries this past fall, they turned to Gogel for help. She had served as team manager ever since her injury, and did not miss a beat when she returned to action -- despite not having played since Oct. 23, 2010. She set up the game-winning goal at Harvard in her first game back (Sept. 15, 2012) by drawing a penalty corner in overtime, and went on to play in all 14 remaining games. She scored her first goal since the injury on Oct. 13, one of three goals on the season for her.
Gogel is in Saybrook College. Her brother, Evan, is a 2010 Yale graduate. Her father and her two sisters are Harvard graduates. Prior to Yale, she attended Bronxville High, where she was all-state and all-section.
The Senior Award that Wolf received is awarded by the senior class to a freshman team member who reflects positive contribution to the team's philosophy and whose individual character encourages the future direction and excellence of Yale Field Hockey.
Wolf stepped right in to contribute in Yale's backfield, playing in all 17 games and starting 16. She was also a key part of Yale's attack corner unit, and finished with a pair of goals and an assist. She had the game-winner in Yale's season-ending 2-1 win at Brown.
Wolf is in Silliman College. Prior to Yale, she attended Maine-Endwell, where she was a Regional All-American.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity