Bulldogs split against ECACHL foes

The women’s hockey team got a jolt of momentum from a rout of a local rival Saturday, but the energy sputtered out midway through the first period during a showdown against Princeton the next afternoon.

The Bulldogs had mixed results this weekend, as the squad won 3-1 against Quinnipiac on Saturday but was unable to surpass No. 8 Princeton at Ingalls Rink on Sunday, losing 3-1 to the Tigers.

Forward Denise Soesilo ’10 forces her way past a Princeton defender on Sunday. Soesilo scored the Bulldogs’ only goal in the Tigers’ 3-1 ECACHL win.
RYAN GALISEWSKI
Forward Denise Soesilo ’10 forces her way past a Princeton defender on Sunday. Soesilo scored the Bulldogs’ only goal in the Tigers’ 3-1 ECACHL win.

The Quinnipiac game was marked by stellar goaltending from Shivon Zilis ’08, who made 34 saves during the game. Mandi Schwartz ’10 and Sheila Zingler ’07 both scored to give the Elis a 2-1 edge, and Denise Soesilo ’10 cleaned up with an empty-netter with a minute to go in the game.

On Sunday, the Elis came out hard in the first period, outshooting Princeton, 11-5.

“We dominated the first ten minutes of the game,” head coach Hilary Witt said. “We had lots of speed.”

But Princeton capitalized on a Yale penalty late into the period as Marykate Oakley scored the first goal of the game with only two minutes left before the first intermission.

“The penalties put us back on our heels,” Witt said.

Princeton kept up its intensity early in the second period, when a quick shot across the ice from Brittany Salmon flew past Zilis’ shoulder, putting the Tigers on top for good. But Yale did not sit back, responding to the goal two minutes later with one of its own from Soesilo, assisted by Helen Resor ’09 and Danielle Kozlowski ’09.

Princeton dominated the rest of the period, ending with a goal from U.S. Olympic Team member Liz Keady directly following a Yale penalty.

“During the game, I had trouble seeing the puck,” Zilis said. “Princeton did a lot of dumping and chasing and took time to set up plays, whereas we had a hard time moving bodies.”

Rookie goaltender Ansley La Hue ’10 replaced Zilis for the scoreless third period. In an attempt to help her team claw its way back on the scoreboard, Witt pulled LaHue for the last three minutes of the game, but the Bulldogs were unable to capitalize on the 6-5 advantage.

Although disappointed with her own performance, Zilis remained upbeat about the game.

“We were great in the offensive zone,” she said. “We have to have confidence that if we keep playing with that intensity, we will see better results.”

Forward Sheila Zingler ’07 felt that although the team lost, in the end they played better than they had against Quinnipiac.

“We did a lot of things well, but we didn’t capitalize on scoring opportunities against a more disciplined opponent,” she said.

Witt agreed that looking down the road, the Princeton game was still a step in the right direction.

“We played better today,” she said. “We didn’t get all the bounces and we need to bury some more pucks, but a lot of things were OK. We had our chances.”

Sunday’s game was Yale’s first with a full roster, since sophomores Crysti Howser ’09 and Maggie Westfal ’09 wrapped up their season with the women’s soccer team on Saturday. Next up, the Bulldogs will face Providence at home on Wednesday night and then travel to Brown on Saturday. The team will be playing without Helen Resor ’09 and Witt, who will be reuniting with the U.S. National Team at the Four Nations Cup in Kitchener, Ontario.

“We have two tough games coming up,” Witt said. “But we are perfectly capable of winning those games.”

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