After a dominating 5-1 victory over Quinnipiac on Tuesday, the Yale women’s hockey team will suit up for back-to-back match-ups at Ingalls Rink against Union (3-16-1, 0-4-0 ECAC) tonight and Saturday afternoon. A weekend sweep would not only allow the Elis (5-7-3, 2-3-0) to finally end up on the right side of the .500 mark, but would also prime the Bulldogs for games against Harvard and Brown next weekend.

According to assistant coach Harry Rosenholtz, Tuesday’s game against Quinnipiac and this weekend’s contests against Union are perfect opportunities for the Bulldogs to bring their game up to the next level.

“We should be very successful against Union on Friday and Saturday,” Rosenholtz said. “If we play very aggressively and pay attention to our systems, it will do a lot to build our confidence going into next weekend.”

In Tuesday’s game against Quinnipiac, Yale finally showed their scoring capabilities, as four different Bulldogs lit up the scoreboard. Center Nicole Symington ’05 was responsible for two of Yale’s five goals.

“We were finally able to score some goals, and it would be really nice to keep that momentum going into the rest of the season,” Symington said. “The most important thing for us to focus on this weekend is playing our systems correctly so we can dictate the play.”

Union, who only joined the ECAC this season, has been forced to make the transition from Division III hockey to Division I quickly. They have failed to win an ECAC contest to date. Nevertheless, players agree that they still cannot take the Dutchmen lightly.

“The thing that we have realized this year is that there is no easy team to beat,” Yale forward Suzanne McGoey ’06 said. “Our coach likes to say ‘it doesn’t matter who’s better on paper — it’s who plays the game better.'”

The Elis agree that their main focus, like in the Quinnipiac game, will be to keep up their intensity against the Dutchmen and not play down to their level.

On defense, the Bulldogs will again find themselves feeding off of their breakout stopper this year, goalie Sarah Love ’06. Love had 29 saves Tuesday night, and Yale will need an equally impressive performance from their net-minder if the Elis want to continue their move to the next tier of women’s ice hockey.

“Sarah [Love] is always incredibly strong in net,” McGoey said. “But we also need to make sure to help her out if we want to beat the tougher teams.”

Strong performances will also be expected from forward Deena Caplette ’06, who leads Yale with seven goals, and forward Sheila Zingler ’07, who has accumulated ten points this season, the most of anyone on the team. If the offense can continue what they started at Quinnipiac, the Bulldogs will be ready for their big weekend against Harvard and Brown.

“We are definitely taking this one game at a time,” McGoey said. “But yes, we want to keep a steady pace of improvement as we are now getting into the core of league games.”

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