The women’s hockey team concludes the 2002 portion of its schedule this weekend, looking to close out the year with a couple quality wins.

“We’re going to win both of our games,” Natalie Babony ’06 said. “These are the last games before break, and we are going to give it all we got.”

The Elis have dropped six of eight games.

Yale (2-8-1, 1-3 ECAC, 1-0 Ivy) faces Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Friday, in Albany, N.Y., for its first away game of the season.

“Everyone is excited to go on the road,” Babony said. “Everyone at practice has been in high spirits. We’ve been in a routine and now, it’s a new atmosphere, and I think it will do wonders for us.”

Yale blanked RPI (5-2-0, 4-0) last year, 8-0, and expects to do the same this weekend.

“RPI is a pretty weak team, and we are just going to go in there, play our systems, and win,” Ali Turney ’05 said.

On Saturday, the Bulldogs return to Ingalls Rink for another non-conference match-up against Mercyhurst. The Lady Lakers (10-5-1) are winless in their last four contests, and the Bulldogs look to extend the losing streak to five.

“We have to play with more intensity than in the past,” Turney said, “If we do, we’ll be fine.”

Yale has yet to reproduce the play it exhibited in its win against Cornell earlier in the season, which was the first Yale victory over the Big Red in over a decade. But this weekend has all the makings of a coming-out party: a pair of lower-caliber teams and a fierce Bulldog confidence.

“This is going to be the turnaround,” Babony said. “Things are going to change.”

The Elis come off a solid performance against the University of Maine last Sunday, the only redemption of a week that fell far short of expectations. Yale lost to Quinnipiac University, Boston College and Northeastern University in a span of nine days.

Missed scoring opportunities hurt the Bulldogs, and for a team that relies on team defense, scoring comes at a premium.

“We just have to relax,” Turney said. “There’s a lot of pressure to score.

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