The women’s hockey team has three weeks of season play under its belt, but head coach Hilary Witt and the Elis are still looking for that first win.
After dropping a pair of games to Princeton and Quinnipiac at Ingalls Rink last weekend, the Bulldogs (0–4–1, 0–4 ECAC Hockey) will try to turn things around when they hit the road to face off against Rensselaer tonight and Union on Saturday in upstate New York.
The Elis came close to tallying a victory last Saturday against Quinnipiac, but the Bobcats scored twice in the second period and a lone goal by forward Bray Ketchum ’11 early in the third still left the Elis one short.
Witt said the team has at times struggled to string together 60 minutes of hard work this season, which partly accounts for the current 0–4–1 record.
“I would say we have had lapses in our work ethic and lapses in discipline, and we can’t have that many lapses in those two areas,” Witt said. “We need to take advantage of every opportunity we have on the ice. Right now we’re taking some shifts off the ice and we can’t do that.”
The Bulldogs will need to work out those issues before the puck drops for tonight’s game against RPI (3–6–3, 1–2–1), who is currently tied with Colgate and Dartmouth for seventh place in the conference.
The Engineers have two of the best ECAC attackers in Taylor Horton and Sydney O’Keefe. Both have notched five goals in 12 games played.
“RPI, they are a tough team to play and they move the puck pretty well,” Witt said. “They are dangerous in the offensive zone.”
The Bulldogs will look to revive some of last year’s success against Union — who they swept with identical 4–0 wins in the 2008-’09 season — on Saturday. The Dutchwomen are 0–14 all-time against Yale.
But Union (2–8, 0-4) will still pose a challenge, Witt said, noting that the Dutchwomen are a hard-working squad who make it difficult to attack the net.
“They’ll cause a lot of chaos in front of the net,” Witt said. “We just have to make sure we get shots to the net and crash the net for some rebounds.”
So far, the Yale offense has largely come from Ketchum, who has recorded two of the Elis’ three goals this season. Witt called Ketchum, along with defenders Samantha MacLean ’11 and Alyssa Clarke ’10, her “go-to kids.”
But Witt said the team is young this year — with eight freshmen and five sophomores on the 21-person squad — and she hopes those younger players will continue to improve and contribute as the season progresses.
“I just think that we have a good team, a team that’s working real hard, and that’s all I can ask out of our kids,” Witt said.
The RPI game will begin at 7 p.m. The Union contest is slated to start at 4 p.m. the following afternoon Schenectady, N.Y.