This weekend could have been a disappointing one for the women’s hockey team, as it squandered an early lead in both of its games.
But the Bulldogs (1-0-1, 0-0 Ivy) found a way to come from behind both times, finishing with a 4-4 overtime draw Saturday and a 4-3 victory Sunday against Wayne State University (2-5-1) in Detroit, Mich.
Forward Sara Wood ’02 recorded two goals for Yale in its first win of the season, and Nicole Symington ’05 scored the game winner as the Bulldogs overcame a one-goal deficit with 10 minutes remaining in the game.
“It was an emotional roller coaster — back and forth and back and forth,” head coach John Marchetti said. “If we learned anything from this weekend, it was that a game can change quickly.”
After the Warriors dominated the first period Sunday, Wood managed to score the first goal during a scramble in front of the Wayne State goal.
But the Bulldogs watched their lead vanish as Wayne State capitalized on two power plays to take a 2-1 lead after two periods.
Going into the third period, the Bulldogs found themselves trailing as they had the day before. Karin Tilly ’03 scored to tie the game at 2-2, but the Warriors answered once again, and the Elis trailed 3-2 with 10 minutes left in the game.
Wood, one of two seniors on a young Yale team, notched her second goal of the game off a transition play by defender Erika Hockinson ’04 and Symington.
Hockinson blocked a Warrior shot, and Symington broke out of the Yale zone with the puck. Symington found Wood, who beat Wayne goalie Anna VanderMarliere one-on-one to tie the game at 3-3.
With five minutes remaining in the game, Symington one-timed a pass from Deanna McDevitt ’03 just outside the crease past VanderMarliere for the game winner.
Goalie Nicolette Franck ’04 recorded 29 saves for the Bulldogs.
“After Saturday’s game, we knew Sunday was going to be a 60-minute grind, and we played a lot better against them,” Wood said.
With the win, Yale is already halfway to matching their win total from last year, when they recorded two victories. McDevitt noted that this year’s team has a much better attitude toward playing.
“Our team showed character this weekend because we had to come from behind in both games,” she said. “In my past two years at Yale, there have been many games where we would give up if we were losing. But this weekend, we didn’t put our heads down — we just kept playing.
Saturday’s game also featured a lead that was constantly changing hands. Wallis Finger ’04 and Symington led off the game with two quick goals in the first three minutes, but the Bulldogs became somewhat complacent with their lead.
“We came out really well on Saturday but then sat back on our heels and let them back in the game,” Wood said.
The Warriors capitalized on the Bulldogs’ lapses, scoring four unanswered goals to lead 4-2 after two periods.
But the Bulldogs mounted a third period comeback, with Hockinson and Tilly each scoring a goal. After a scoreless overtime, the game ended in a 4-4 tie.
“We just didn’t like the idea of being behind, and we tied the game,” Marchetti said. “This was exciting because they’re a good team who had already played six games.”
The Elis, however, were disappointed with not winning both games.
“We were dominating the game, and we weren’t satisfied with a tie,” McDevitt said. “We left the rink knowing we could do better.”
This weekend, the Bulldogs will play two more non-league games at home, facing Union College at 4:00 p.m. Saturday and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at 2:00 p.m. Sunday.
Marchetti noted that the Elis need to improve their special teams and that he is still trying to determine the appropriate line configurations in order to establish good team chemistry, but added that this past weekend provided a good start for the team.
“We hope to build on the successes we had this past weekend in Detroit,” he said. “We saw that if you keep your emotions in check and keep working hard, you can get back into any game.”
Although it is early in the season, many players are enthused with the team’s start.
“This is one of the reasons why I think this year’s team has a lot of potential,” McDevitt said. “We have a locker room of skilled hockey players who all want to be out there and all want to contribute and get the job done.”