This weekend, the women’s hockey team proved the adage, “A two-goal lead is the worst lead in hockey.”

Scrambling for a win at Ohio State Saturday afternoon, the Elis (10-10, 8-3 ECAC) jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the second period, but almost immediately lost their composure, lost their lead and lost the game. The Buckeyes (12-9-1) tallied three goals within six minutes to finish out the second period with a 3-2 advantage, and the Bulldogs were unable to recover from the deficit. On Friday, OSU slipped by Yale 5-4 in overtime to get the weekend sweep.

Saturday’s matchup was the third time this year that Yale has blown a two-goal lead — the first was a 5-4 loss to Maine Jan. 1 and the second a 4-3 loss to St. Lawrence Jan. 8. The Elis attributed the inconsistency in play to mental mistakes and a lack of focus.

“I think that a combination of mental and physical mistakes have cost us leads in the last few games,” forward Nicole Symington ’05 said. “Everyone is going to make mistakes at certain points in the game and we haven’t done a good job of recovering to a position where those mistakes aren’t costing us goals.”

Forward Deena Caplette ’06 got the scoring started at 5:37 into the second period off assists from Symington and defender Helen Resor ’08. Defender Erin Duggan ’05 added Yale’s second goal just twenty seconds later. Forwards Kristin Savard ’07 and Ali Turney ’05 assisted Duggan on the play to put Yale ahead 2-0.

OSU forwards rallied to score three goals in the last ten minutes of the second period. Jaclyn Haines, Jeni Creary and Pamela Patterson each contributed a goal to the Buckeye’s 3-0 run.

“It was mental mistakes, definitely,” Duggan said of the lost lead and unanswered OSU surge. “People started getting lazy, weren’t backchecking, weren’t picking up their man, weren’t making the extra effort to get the puck in or out of the zones.”

The Elis seemed a bit more evenly matched with the Buckeyes in Friday’s game, largely thanks to a stellar performance by Duggan, who racked up three goals and an assist in the 5-4 overtime loss. OSU’s Jana Harrigan opened the scoring at 11:11 into the first period, but Duggan answered back early in the second to bring the score back to even. Forwards Kelsey Johnson ’07 and Jenna Spring ’07 assisted Duggan’s first goal. Harrigan collected another goal ten minutes into the second, and Duggan again retaliated, this time off assists from Spring and Helen Resor, to make the score 2-2. Harrigan and Crystal Sayther each added another goal to round out second period scoring with OSU ahead 4-2.

Duggan opened third period scoring at 5:00, knocking a goal past Buckeye goaltender Erika Vanderveer and grabbing her second hat trick of the season. Johnson and defender Christina Sharun ’07 assisted Duggan’s third goal. A goal by Savard brought the Elis even with OSU with less than 30 seconds in regulation to force overtime.

“The fourth goal of the first game to tie the game up was a great goal,” Turney said. “Everyone was back in the game.”

Overtime remained scoreless until OSU’s Katie Maroney slipped the puck past Eli goaltender Sarah Love ’06 at 4:21 to secure the win for the Buckeyes.

Love posted 59 saves on the weekend and Vanderveer totaled 53 saves over the two matches.

Duggan, the team captain, earned ECAC player of the week honors for her efforts this weekend. With four of Yale’s six goals this weekend, the game-tying assist to force overtime on Friday, and her second hat trick of the season, the defender has evolved into one of the most formidable offensive weapons the Elis possess. This weekend’s scoring vaults Duggan even higher in the Yale record books. She is seventh in program history for number of goals scored, with 36, and fourth all-time in points with 92. Helen Resor, who had three assists this weekend, was selected to the ECAC’s honor roll.

Duggan said the Elis will work hard in practice to cut back on the mental mistakes and the turnovers before they take the ice again for a league matchup at Brown Jan. 28.

“We will be working on our defensive zone to minimize mistakes [and] drills focused on backchecking for our forwards,” she said. “Making good passes will also be a focus this week in practice,” she said.