The red-hot women’s hockey team hopes to extend its four-game winning streak this weekend.
The Bulldogs (7-3, 5-2 ECAC), whose last six contests include three wins over nationally ranked teams, will face two conference rivals this weekend at Ingalls rink — Cornell (3-4-1, 3-3 ECAC) Friday night and Colgate (6-7, 1-3) Saturday afternoon.
The Elis’ recent victories have boosted Yale to third in the ECAC rankings, ahead of fifth-place Big Red and the ninth-place Raiders. After downing No. 9 Providence, 5-1, Monday, the Bulldogs hope to maintain their energy and momentum.
“The last couple wins have given this team an enormous amount of confidence which we will take into the weekend,” forward Nicole Symington ’05 said. “We all understand that we are playing two very good teams that are not to be taken lightly. In order to be successful we will need the same kind of effort and intensity we have put forward in recent weeks.”
The Elis’ matchup against Cornell will be a tough one. The Big Red present a balanced scoring attack as three players — Caroline Scott, Jen Munhofen and Halina Krystalyn — share the team-lead in points, with six each. Last winter, Yale downed Cornell in both their meetings, outscoring the Big Red 7-0 in the series.
Colgate will not be an easy team to beat either. The Raiders are led by their goaltenders, Rebecca Lahar and Brook Wheeler. The dynamic duo combine for a .909 save percentage and 2.23 goals against average. On offense, the Raiders will depend on forward Becky Irvine, who has eight goals and six assists on the season, to lead the Colgate attack.
“Both teams play with energy and will be tough because they play with a lot of discipline,” Yale head coach Hilary Witt said. “Colgate has strong goaltending. That will be a challenge. We need to get a lot of shots.”
The Bulldogs, however, have no reason to be intimidated by the stiff competition. The Elis have looked exceptionally strong in their recent wins, outscoring their last four opponents 19-2. Goaltender Sarah Love ’06 has been a brick wall for challengers, posting a .928 save percentage and 2.27 goals against average this season.
Eli captain Erin Duggan ’05 attributed the Bulldogs’ recent success to numerous improvements in various aspects of play.
“Our special teams have been great,” Eli captain Erin Duggan said. “We have everyone contributing to scoring goals and that is also important in continuing our success. Our defensive zone is improving, and Sarah has been playing great for us.”
One of Yale’s biggest assets this season is their balanced scoring attack. Duggan leads the team with seven goals and five assists. Just behind Duggan is a three-way tie between forwards Symington, Sheila Zingler ’07, and Deena Caplette ’06, who all have nine points on the season. After struggling through the beginning of the season, Yale’s dynamic offense emerged as a threat during Yale’s second victory over Union, when five different Elis racked up goals in the 5-0 win.
“I think the most important thing we do is play together,” Witt said. “We get contributions from everybody and it seems like somebody new steps up in every game. That is what a team is supposed to do. We need to continue doing that.”