NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Fittingly, in the final game of the season, it was a senior who led the Yale field hockey team to victory Saturday afternoon vs. Brown at Johnson Field. And it was no surprise which one it was. Forward/midfielder Carol Middough capped her career with a hat trick, finishing third on Yale's career goals list and points list in the process. She and her classmates -- back Kiwi Comizio, midfielder/forward Katie Smith, midfielder/forward Lily Smith and back Tess Thompson -- were honored before the game, then helped the Bulldogs to one last win and the team's best won-lost record since the Ivy League championship season of 2011.
Two players who figure to be a big part of the team next year also played key roles Saturday, as junior forward Brooke Reese scored the game-winning goal and first-year goalie Sydney Terroso made four saves for the shutout.
Yale (9-8, 2-5 Ivy League) wound up enjoying one of the best offensive seasons in school history this year, finishing with 48 goals -- sixth in school history. Still, for a good chunk of the day Saturday it appeared that Brown goalie Katie Hammaker might be able to keep the Bulldogs in check. The Ivy League leader in saves kept the game scoreless for more than 30 minutes, finally letting one in when Reese stuffed in a rebound after a pair of saves on back Annina Zelkin.
Middough extended the lead to 2-0 with a memorable goal, driving through the defense and then roofing one into the top of the net at 32:41. Sophomore midfielder/back Holly Jackson kept Brown off the scoreboard with a block on a Bears corner in the final minute of the half.
As the game wore on more attention shifted to Middough, who entered the day within striking distance of multiple milestones. She reached one of them -- her 40th career goal -- when Reese fed her behind Hammaker for a tally at 59:14. She then made it to the 90 career points mark off a Zelkin assist at 67:30, completing the hat trick and touching off a big celebration from her teammates.
A pair of saves by Terroso on a corner by Brown (1-16, 0-7 Ivy League) with time expired finished off the shutout, the rookie's fourth of the year.
Middough's season totals of 18 goals and 40 points place her tied for third in school history in those categories.
The seniors leave having seen the program improve its won-lost record from the previous season in each of the last two years, putting the Bulldogs on a clear upward trajectory. Yale returns 16 players for next season, including eight who started 12 or more games this year.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity