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Road Trip Takes Yale to Cornell, Bucknell

Katie Smith. (photo by Steve Musco)
Katie Smith. (photo by Steve Musco)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale field hockey team starts a stretch of four straight road games this weekend, playing a pair of away contests. The Bulldogs travel to Cornell for an Ivy League game Saturday (12:00 p.m., Ivy League Digital Network) before continuing on to Bucknell for a non-league game Sunday (2:00 p.m., Patriot League Network).


Yale (4-5, 0-2 Ivy League) is coming off a 3-0 loss at home to No. 12 Princeton, the defending Ivy League champions. The Tigers scored all three of their goals on penalty corners, overcoming a 10-save effort by Yale senior goalkeeper Emilie Katz (Newton, Mass.). Junior forward/midfielder Carol Middough (Oceanport, N.J.) generated the bulk of Yale's offense with a team-high five shots and three shots on goal. Junior back Kiwi Comizio (New Vernon, N.J.) held Tigers forward Ryan McCarthy without a goal. McCarthy, a second team All-Ivy League honoree last year, led the league in goals and points (6-4-16) entering the day.


Junior forward/midfielder Carol Middough (Oceanport, N.J.) enters the weekend leading Yale in goals and points (5-1-11). That includes game-winning goals in Yale's 2-1 overtime win at Bryant and the 4-2 win vs. Georgetown this past Sunday.

Last year Middough was a second team All-Ivy League honoree. She led the team in goals and points (9-1-19), and had all three of the team's game-winning goals.


Junior back Kiwi Comizio (New Vernon, N.J.) enters the weekend leading Yale in assists with four, a career high. Comizio, one of Yale's top stick-stoppers on attack penalty corners, had three assists in 34 career games entering this season. She also plays lacrosse for Yale.


Senior goalkeeper Emilie Katz (Newton, Mass.) enters the weekend in a three-way tie for second in the league in save percentage (.750) and second in saves (54). Her 1.99 goals-against average places her fifth. Katz earned second team All-Mideast Region and unanimous first team All-Ivy League honors last season after finishing second in the nation in saves per game (182 in 17 games, 10.71 per game) and fourth in the nation in save percentage (.791) last year. She also received Yale's Player of the Year Award. Her goals-against average was 2.73, and she tied for seventh on Yale's single-season save list.


Senior forward Danee Fitzgerald (Rockville, Md.) quickly established a career high in goals this season with three -- scored in three straight games Sept. 11-18. Two of those goals came on penalty strokes. Fitzgerald had scored three goals in 45 career games entering this season.


Yale welcomes six freshmen for the 2016 season. The group comes from six different high schools and four different U.S. states, along with one from Canada and one from England. It includes one back, two forward/midfielders, two midfielder/backs and one midfielder.

Many of the incoming freshmen have earned the attention of national programs -- including four who have been a part of USA Field Hockey's Futures program and one, Bridget Condie (St. Louis, Mo.), who played on the Under-17 National Team. Holly Jackson (Glastonbury, England) was part of England Hockey's U18 Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) program in 2015. Alex MacKay (North Vancouver, B.C.) was part of the Canadian National Team ID Camp this past November.

The incoming freshmen also bring plenty of leadership experience, as all have been captains at some point in their careers. Annina Zelkin (Lorton, Va.) was a two-sport captain in high school, as she also captained the track & field team. They have been active in their communities as well. Tara Litjens (Brookside, N.J.) set up and coached weekly field hockey clinics for middle schoolers while also volunteering at a soup kitchen and serving as secretary of the Service Club, a tutor and a Sunday School aide. The group also has multiple off-field interests and experiences -- for example, Camille Scheyer (Glencoe, Ill.) plays the violin and interned at the Chicago UNICEF office.


The Bulldogs have two sets of sisters on the roster, and both are from Massachusetts. Senior goalkeeper Emilie Katz (Newton, Mass.) and senior midfielder/back Steffi Katz (Newton, Mass.) feature prominently on the team -- Emilie is the starting goalie and Steffi is the team captain. The junior sisters Katie Smith (Duxbury, Mass.) and Lily Smith (Duxbury, Mass.) are identical twins who play the same positions (midfielder/forward) and also started playing lacrosse for Yale last spring. Both Smiths started every game for the field hockey team last season, and Katie was second on the team in assists with four.

In addition to the Katzes and the Smiths, two Yale players have sisters who play for other teams. Sophomore back Jackie Kisa (Virginia Beach, Va.) has a twin sister (Kristin) playing for Davidson and senior back Tess Thompson (Ann Arbor, Mich.) has a sister (Molly) playing for Georgetown.


Four members of the field hockey team also play lacrosse for Yale: sophomore forward Allie Carrigan (Lansdale, Pa.), junior back Kiwi Comizio (New Vernon, N.J.) and junior twin midfielders/forwards Katie Smith (Duxbury, Mass.) and Lily Smith (Duxbury, Mass.). Comizio appeared in 14 games, starting 13, for the lacrosse team last season as an attacker. She tied with Lily Smith, a midfielder, for fourth on the team in points with 14. Katie Smith, also a midfielder, appeared in eight games, scoring six goals on seven shots. Carrigan made one appearance as backup goalie.


Cornell (5-5, 0-2 Ivy League) has dropped five of its last seven games, including league losses to Penn (1-0) and Columbia (3-2). The Big Red features one of the top goalies in the league in Kelly Johnson, who is second in the Ivies with a 1.20 goals-against average and part of a three-way tie for second in the league with a .750 save percentage. Forward Katie Carlson is tied for third in the league with six goals. As a team, Cornell ranks second in the Ivies with 2.6 goals per game. 


Bucknell (4-6, 1-1 Patriot League), which hosts BU Saturday, nearly knocked off defending National Champion No. 4 Syracuse this past Sunday in Lewisburg, Pa.  The Bison led 2-1 at halftime before falling 4-3. Forward Nicole Rupnik, who leads Bucknell in goals with five, scored a pair against the Orange. The Bison are 23-13 at home over the past five seasons, including a 3-2 overtime win against then-No. 12 Albany earlier this year. Goalie Emily Finn has a .710 save percentage and a 3.00 goals-against average.

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Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity