The women’s hockey team will be seeing plenty of orange this weekend.
Yale (7-14-2, 3-8-0 ECAC) completes a five-game road trip at nationally ranked No. 8 Princeton (14-6-2, 7-3-0) tonight before returning home to host the Tigers at Ingalls Rink Saturday.
“We are very excited for the games this weekend,” Wallis Finger ’04 said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to pick up a big game.”
It is also an opportunity for the Elis to shed the underdog stigma that has lingered throughout the season.
“We’d like to surpass that,” Finger said. “Playing hard and coming up short isn’t doing it any more. We want to win some of those games.”
But if Yale wants to finally attain the elusive decisive win, it will have to stretch out its spurts of high-level hockey over 60 minutes of play. Defensive lapses have repeatedly hurt the Elis and last week was no exception. After an impressive 4-2 win over Colgate, Yale came out flat against Cornell and fell 3-1.
“We left Cornell knowing that we could have done better,” Deanna McDevitt ’03 said. “We just didn’t start out on top. We played well in the third period, but by then it was too late.”
The Elis look to rectify their loss this weekend.
“We would have liked to come away with two wins,” Finger said. “But we have learned and will play even harder.”
And Yale will have to play harder. Princeton will prove a more formidable opponent than the Raiders or the Big Red.
“Princeton is a really good team,” Finger said. “But we are expecting to play our best, and when we do play our best, we can compete with anyone.”
The Elis have shown they can compete with the upper echelon of women’s hockey, most recently taking nationally ranked No. 9 Providence into overtime for a 1-1 Jan. 19 tie.
“These are some pretty big games,” McDevitt said. “Anytime you play an Ivy League team, it is significant. Plus, there are conference tournament implications attached.”
This weekend’s game is a possible preview of a first round ECAC Tournament match-up. The Tigers are currently fourth in conference standings, and the Bulldogs are sixth.
“We could face them in the playoffs,” McDevitt said. “But right now we are taking one game at a time and are focusing on this weekend.”
Yale fell to Princeton 5-1, in an Oct. 26 scrimmage in their only previous meeting this season. The Bulldogs have won two of their last three games overall, including back-to-back victories over Vermont and Colgate.