PROVIDENCE, R.I. – In a clutch situation, the Yale field hockey team has one very clear option to look to for a goal: junior forward/midfielder Carol Middough. Entering Sunday Middough -- Yale's leading scorer last season -- had accounted for three of Yale's last four game-winning goals dating back to last season. So it was no surprise that when the Bulldogs earned a penalty corner early in overtime at Goldberger Field against Bryant Sunday afternoon, they set up a shot for Middough -- and she delivered. Her blast at the 71:45 mark gave Yale a 2-1 win.
"When we need a goal, Carol is the person you're going to call to the line," said Pam Stuper, Yale's Caroline Ruth Thompson '02 Head Coach of Field Hockey.
As Middough was mobbed by her teammates after she scored, her look was more one of relief than of exuberance. Such is life when you're a goal scorer; she was likely thinking of the five other shots she took in the game that did not find paydirt. Middough even had a goal waved off 14 minutes into the game, and thus had yet to score this season when she lined up for that penalty corner in OT.
While having Middough hit was a fairly easy choice, the nature of the overtime personnel dictated that Yale use a relatively new inserter for the critical play. With fewer field players in the extra session, all of Yale's usual inserters were on the bench. So the Bulldogs called upon freshman forward/midfielder Bridget Condie to insert for the first time in her brief career. She delivered the ball perfectly to the stick stopper (junior back Kiwi Comizio, who had drawn the corner with a nice drive into the circle) and Middough did the rest by firing a shot just over Bryant goalkeeper Marissa Elizardo.
"We didn't execute corners well today, but that last one we had in OT we executed perfectly," said Stuper.
Yale (2-0, 0-0 Ivy League) had taken a 1-0 lead in the first half thanks to a goal from a new face. While the Bulldogs have a highly regarded freshman class, in this case it was a sophomore who came up with a critical first career goal. Forward Allie Carrigan -- who played only lacrosse for Yale as a freshman but joined the field hockey team earlier this year -- took a nice crossing pass from senior forward Danee Fitzgerald directly in front of Elizardo. Carrigan had her back to the keeper, but spun around and deposited a goal for a 1-0 lead at the 6:31 mark.
For Stuper, having Carrigan walk on to the team and make an immediate impact has been a pleasant surprise. Carrigan has teamed up with Fitzgerald and junior forward Catherine Kurtin to give the Bulldogs a very effective line coming off the bench.
"Allie's been doing great," said Stuper. "Her work rate is through the roof. She did a great job up front on the press, helping create havoc. That line, with Cat and Danee, is not afraid. Every time they get out on the field they make something good happen."
A goal by Bryant defender Floor van Dommelen from just inside the circle tied the game 1-1 at the 43:46 mark, but other than that senior goalkeeper Emilie Katz and the Yale defense stood tall. Katz' diving effort with 15 minutes to play denied forward Elena Borovskis and helped send the game to overtime. She finished with seven saves after not needing to make any in the season-opening 2-0 win vs. Sacred Heart Friday.
Bryant (0-4, 0-0 MAAC) has now lost three games by one goal this season. Yale returns home to host Lafayette next Saturday.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity