The women’s hockey team fell four “W”s short of captain Kaitlin Porcaro’s ’03 expectations last week.
Yale (2-8-1, 1-3 ECAC) had five games over the past nine days and Porcaro predicted none of the contests would fall in the loss column.
Last Saturday’s 11-0 rout over Union College (3-4-1, 2-1-1), which included a pair of hat tricks by Suzanna McGoey ’06 and Natalie Babony ’06, upheld Porcaro’s premonition. The win stopped a three-game losing skid and seemingly ended the Bulldogs’ scoring struggles.
“We were able to capitalize on all our chances,” Erin Duggan ’05 said. “They were a far weaker team, which speaks for the score. Our defense was solid and shut them out.”
But then, Yale proceeded to drop the next three games, tallying only three goals, and nullifying Porcaro’s claim.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs returned to the ice on one day’s rest and faced Boston College (6-4-1). Yale held Boston College scoreless in the first period before the Eagles skated out to a two-goal lead in the second and went on to win, 3-1. Duggan scored Yale’s lone goal.
“[Boston College] came out strong,” Duggan said. “They played a very in-your-face game, and it was difficult to adjust. We were definitely disappointed. We figured it would be a win.”
Yale’s offensive woes continued in Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to in-state rival Quinnipiac University (3-8-0). The Bobcats grabbed an early lead, scoring at 8:32 into the first, and never looked back. Deena Caplette ’06 ruined Quinnipiac goaltender Mel Courtemanche’s shutout bid midway through the third period with her third goal of the season.
The Bulldogs met a similar fate Saturday, falling 4-1 to Northeastern University (5-7-1).
Head coach Hilary Witt never deemed her team an offensive powerhouse. Her personal philosophy relies on a renewed commitment to team defense; though the Bulldogs will not score many goals, neither will their opponents. But Yale has been outscored by its opponents 34-24, including the 11-goal aberration against Union.
Though the Bulldogs have only been shutout twice this year, they have managed only to score one goal in seven of their contests.
The five-game series finale against the University of Maine (3-5-2) Sunday was a back-and-forth battle that featured three lead changes. At the end of regulation, the score was tied, 3-3. Maine controlled play in overtime, outshooting Yale 4-0, but neither team could not produce a goal; the game ended in a tie.
“It’s very disappointing,” Duggan said. “We held the lead for most of the game, but our forecheck was strong and we did well on our power play, which we’ve been struggling with.”
Despite the less than desired results over the Thanksgiving vacation, the Bulldogs gained experience that was invaluable given the squad’s youth.
“We are learning from our losses,” Duggan said. “During the week, we have been practicing and cleaning up our mistakes. We know we can’t dwell on the past and have to focus on the future.”