|Yale Hockey shocked sports enthusiasts in 2013 (John Hassett/Yale Athletics photo)|
On a cold April night in downtown Pittsburgh and before the eyes of a national television audience, a buzzer sounded in the big hockey arena. It proclaimed a turning point in Yale athletics. Yale hockey, as alumni should know unless they have ignored all communications from New Haven, turned some heads. It surprised all who follow the college version of the sport. By defeating its Nutmeg neighbor Quinnipiac, it won a national championship, a rare event at Yale, where sports successes are usually measured by football victories over Harvard.
|Yale will host Harvard in Nov., 2013 (YWAA photo)|
Yale hockey squeezed itself into the tournament, pummeled teams to earn a spot in the Frozen Four and seized the NCAA trophy. Until then, Yale sports in recent years had been more widely known for the failed fourth-down gamble late in the 2009 game against Harvard, when Yale could've punted and coasted to a win over the Cantabs (but didn't).
|Townsend, Basketball, Chappaqua|
Moreover, are Westchester athletes contributing to what could be an actual about-face at the Yale Bowl, in Payne Whitney or on the spacious, updated fields along Derby Avenue?
|Sanders, Fencing, Rye|
|Cohen, Fencing, Irvington|
Westchester performers appear in just about any arena or turf Yale maintains. The list is broad and reflects the breadth of sports offerings in Westchester high schools. And of course, don't dismiss academic prowess. It shouldn't be a surprise that at least three Westchester athletes were valedictorians at their Westchester high schools.
|Virtue, Lacrosse, Rye|
Matt Townsend '15 was one of those valedictorians (in 2011 at Horace Greeley). In high school, he averaged 28.8 pts./game for his basketball team and likely filled his room in Chappaqua with shelves of trophies and local awards. At Yale, he received a basketball academic award as a freshman, while pursuing a major in molecular, cellular and developmental biology. Townsend, now a starter on the team, averaged 7.7 pts./game last year and hit 19 points in a game against Cornell as a 6-7 forward.
|Gogel, Field Hockey, Bronxville|
Katie Underwood '14, a four-year member of the Yale women's soccer team, is another high-school valedictorian. At Briarcliff Manor High School, on the field, she helped her team win three state championships. Like Townsend, Underwood juggles sports with her major in molecular, cellular and developmental biology.
|O'Driscoll, X-Country, Rye|
Stephen Shoemaker '15 decided to flee the grasps of Harvard and play football at Yale. His father and sister are Harvard graduates. He is now a junior offensive lineman for the Elis with well-beefed, lineman's size (285 lbs.). At Bronxville, he anchored the line on a team that won a New York State championship and dominated southern Westchester football during his time there.
|Byrd, Crew, Bedford Hills|
Rye High School's Garnets appear on a few rosters at Yale. Tori Virtue '16 from Rye High School was selected the most improved player on the women's lacrosse team last spring. She led her high-school team to the state semifinals. Cornelius Sanders '14, a senior and Rye High School graduate, will captain the Yale fencing team for the second year in a row after helping the team to its 11th-place national finish last season.
And Clara Robertson '17, a freshman from Rye High School, has joined Yale's co-ed sailing team, which achieved a No. 1 national ranking in mid-September.
|Hogan, Swimming, Scarsdale|
Men's crew includes two from Westchester. Henry Byrd '16, a sophomore, is from Bedford Hills. Kamil Sadik '16, also a sophomore, followed Townsend's footsteps by being named valedictorian, too, at Horace Greeley in Chappaqua.
|At least one Westchester athlete could appear in this year's Harvard-Yale game|
|Shoemaker, Football, Bronxville|
And now, if only Shoemaker in football gets a chance to scoop up a fumble and ramble 40 yards for a late score to win The Game this November against Harvard in the Bowl.
(Yale Athletics photos)
|Sadik, Crew, Chappaqua|
|Underwood, Soccer, Briarcliff|
|Osborn-Jones, Basketball, Valhalla|