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Yale Heads to Midwest for Pair of Games

Tess Thompson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Tess Thompson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)



NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale field hockey team makes a trip to the Midwest this weekend, playing at Central Michigan Friday (3:00 p.m., College Sports Live) and at Michigan State Sunday (12:00 p.m.). The Bulldogs have won two of their first three games, and a pair of wins this weekend would give them their best five-game start since 2010 (4-1).


The games this weekend mark a homecoming of sorts for senior back Tess Thompson (Ann Arbor, Mich.), whose hometown is roughly 60 miles away from Michigan State. The Bulldogs are scheduled to attend the Michigan-Air Force football game Saturday in Ann Arbor.

Thompson has missed just two games for her career, appearing in 52 and making 18 starts. In her first three seasons she managed to earn three different team awards: the Coaches' Award (twice), the Amanda Walton Award for overcoming challenges and the Senior Award as the first-year 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." Thompson is also a three-time NFHCA National Academic Squad honoree.


Yale (2-1, 0-0 Ivy League) split its first two road games of the year last weekend, falling 4-2 at Quinnipiac Friday but bouncing back with a 5-2 win at Hofstra Sunday. Seven different players scored goals for Yale in the two games, including the first career goals for a pair of first-years: midfielder Iliana Cabral (Camarillo, Calif.) and midfielder/forward Imogen Davies (Kilmacolm, Scotland).


Senior forward Carol Middough (Oceanport, N.J.) has led the team in goals and points (10-3-23) for the past two years, and appears poised to accomplish that feat again this year. She opened the 2017 season with three goals and an assist in the 6-2 win vs. Sacred Heart, earning Ivy League Player of the Week honors in the process. That was her first career hat trick. She added another goal Sunday at Hofstra, and enters this weekend second in the nation in goals per game (1.33) and points per game (3.00).

Middough was a second team All-Ivy League selection last season. She achieved career highs in all three scoring categories and factored in 37 percent (13 of 35) of the team's goals. One of the team's top options on attack penalty corners, Middough can play forward or midfield.


Senior sisters Katie Smith (Duxbury, Mass.) and Lily Smith (Duxbury, Mass.) are identical twins who play the same positions (midfielder/forward) and also play lacrosse for Yale. Katie started 15 games for the field hockey team last season and Lily started 11.


In addition to 17 Americans from nine states (California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia), the Yale roster includes student-athletes from four other countries: first-year midfielder/forward Imogen Davies (Kilmacolm, Scotland), sophomore midfielder/back Holly Jackson (Glastonbury, England), first-year midfielder/forward Olivia Levieux (Johannesburg, South Africa) and sophomore back Alex MacKay (North Vancouver, B.C.). Additionally, sophomore back/midfielder Tara Litjens (Brookside, N.J.) lived in China for 12 years and the Netherlands for 1.5 years.


Senior back Kiwi Comizio (New Vernon, N.J.), elected captain by her teammates, started all 51 games of her career prior to this year and was a second team All-Ivy pick last year. She earned Yale's Player of the Year Award, finishing second in the league and first on the team in assists with a career-high nine. She was also an NFHCA National Academic Squad for the third straight season.


Yale welcomes six freshmen to the roster for the 2017 season. The group comes from six different high schools and three different U.S. states, along with one from Scotland and one from South Africa.

Two freshmen, Anissa Abboud (Bethlehem, Pa.) and Sarah King (Davidsonville, Md.), could play forward or midfield. Abboud set the school records for goals in a season and a career at Liberty High School, where she also helped the team set the school record for wins in a season. King was named Player of the Year by both the Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post last year after captaining her team to a win in the Maryland Class 4A State Championship.

The freshmen class adds greatly to Yale's midfield depth -- and international flavor, with three different countries represented at that position. Iliana Cabral (Camarillo, Calif.) is a three-time National Futures Championship selection who served as captain of the Moorpark club team for three seasons. Imogen Davies (Kilmacolm, Scotland) has played for Scotland's U16 and U18 teams, while also captaining the team at St. Columba's School. Olivia Levieux (Johannesburg, South Africa), who could also play forward, was captain of the Gauteng (state) team in South Africa twice, and captain of her team at St. Stithians' Girls' College as well.

Freshman goalie Sydney Terroso (York, Pa.) brings impressive credentials to New Haven, having been a first team all-league selection for the last two years at Dallastown Area High School. She set her school's record for shutouts in a season and helped the team to league and county championships all four years of her career, including an undefeated record this past season.


Pam Stuper, a member of the USA Field Hockey Hall of Fame who has been a part of four NCAA championship teams, is in her 13th year as Yale's Caroline Ruth Thompson '02 Head Coach of Field Hockey. Yale's assistant coaches are Mary Beth Barham '13 and Jess Barnett.


Stuper led the Bulldogs to an Ivy League championship in 2011 -- the school's first since 1980. The championship came as part of a remarkable run of success for the Bulldogs in recent years under Stuper, the 2009 NFHCA Mideast Region Coach of the Year. They went 24-11 in the Ivy League in the five seasons from 2009 through 2013, the second-best record in the league in that span. Yale finished the 2011 season with a school-record 69 goals, marking the sixth straight season the Bulldogs increased their goal total over the previous year.



Alumnae Weekend will have an added dimension this year, as Yale celebrates the 45th anniversary of its first varsity field hockey team. In addition to annual events such as the Alumnae Game, this year's weekend (Sept. 22-24) also includes a dinner and reception in the Schley Room at Ingalls Rink Saturday that will feature a special screening of the video 45 Years of Field Hockey at Yale. Earlier that day, there will be a groundbreaking ceremony for Carol Roberts Field House -- the new home of Yale Field Hockey and Yale Softball -- prior to Yale's game vs. Harvard.


Further information on Alumnae Weekend is available at



The Yale Athletic Department broke ground on its newest facility, Carol Roberts Field House, in August. Carol Roberts Field House is the first building of its kind at Yale -- a comprehensive space that meets the needs of two women's teams. Situated between Johnson Field (home to the Yale field hockey team) and William O. DeWitt '63 Family Field (home to the Yale softball team), the 5,900-square-foot building will include spacious locker rooms, a training room, a satellite coaches' office, a team meeting space and a second-story observation roof deck featuring a glass-walled event space.

Carol Roberts '81 provided the lead gift for the field house. Roberts played field hockey and softball for the Bulldogs, winning a pair of Ivy League championships. Following graduation she joined International Paper, where she served as a senior vice president. She is active as a member of the Yale Field Hockey Association board, and in 2009, she received the Yale Athletics George H.W. Bush Lifetime of Leadership Award.


The 2016 season was marked by dramatic progress for the Yale field hockey team, as the Bulldogs more than doubled their win total from the previous season. They also increased their goal scoring by a whopping 75 percent while decreasing their goals allowed by 13 percent. With those positive trends in place, eight players who started 11 or more games for Yale in 2016 remain on the roster for 2017. Those players -- along with seven other returnees and six talented incoming freshmen -- give the Bulldogs reason to believe they can make more strides in 2017.




Central Michigan (0-6, 0-0 MAC) has had a tough start to the season, outshot 111-28 and outscored 21-3 in the first six games. Still, the Chippewas nearly pulled off wins at Lock Haven (3-2 overtime loss) and vs. Saint Louis (1-0 loss). Goalie Lily Amadio has a .682 save percentage, racking up 45 saves in six games. Molly Pelowski, who spent seven seasons as an assistant at Michigan State, is in her third season as the team's head coach.



Michigan State (3-4, 0-0 Big Ten), which plays at No. 8 Michigan on Friday, has three one-goal wins already this season. Three of the Spartans' four losses have come against ranked teams.

Midfielder Kendal Anderson leads the team in goals and points (4-0-8). She was one of three players tabbed by the conference as "Big Ten Players to Watch" for the 2017 season; the others were forward Sophie Macadre and back Simone Vagnoni.  Katie Miller has seen the majority of time in goal, posting a .667 save percentage and a 3.32 goals-against average.

There will be a pair of familiar Yale faces on the Michigan State sideline. Spartans assistant coach Georgia Holland '14 was a two-time first team All-Ivy League honoree for Yale, captaining the team in 2013 and helping the team to an Ivy League championship in 2011. MSU assistant Tamara Durante spent 10 seasons as an assistant at Yale before joining the Spartans staff prior to the 2015 season.




Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity Department