While most Yalies are supporting the Bulldogs at the Yale Bowl this weekend, the women’s hockey team will be in Erie, Penn., challenging Mercyhurst College in back-to-back nonconference games.
Hoping to propel themselves off of last Friday’s victory over Union, the Bulldogs (1–9–0, 1–5–0 ECAC) will take on the Lakers (5–5–0, 4–1–0 Atlantic Hockey) on Friday and Saturday afternoons.
“It was a big win for us last weekend and we really needed that confidence boost,” forward Stephanie Mock ’15 said. “Hopefully we get another win this weekend.”
Mock added that the team should have responded better to last Friday’s first win of the season, but on Saturday the Bulldogs lost a disappointing match against RPI 5–0.
Mercyhurst is tied for second place in its conference, Atlantic Hockey, and is ranked eighth in the country. Head coach Joakim Flygh said the team will have to put up a strong fight to be successful.
“The Lakers have had a very strong season and they will be a big challenge for us this weekend,” he said.
Goalie Genny Ladiges ’12 added that Mercyhurst is a fast team that makes many attacks on its opposition’s net.
“We tried to up the intensity and speed of our practices to prepare as best as possible,” Ladiges said. Flygh added that the team needs to play a solid defensive game in order to win this weekend.
It is unusual for Yale to play the same opponent twice in one weekend, but the schedule was organized that way due to the distance of Mercyhurst from New Haven.
However, Flygh did not think back-to-back matches would be a detriment to the team, adding that it is actually easier to prepare for one opponent.
Mock agreed that the single competition will be helpful, as the Bulldogs can expect the same sort of play from the Lakers in both games.
Mercyhurst’s top ranking within the conference means the team can expect competitive play this weekend.
But Ladiges said if the Elis are mentally and physically prepared and give their best effort, they should be evenly matched against Mercyurst. She added that breaking the seven-game losing streak last weekend has made the team optimistic about the future.
“We proved that we could come back when down and score goals in clutch situations which gave us a boost of confidence,” Ladiges said of last Friday’s game, which saw the Bulldogs make a comeback to win the game in overtime.
“But we can’t be satisfied and complacent, because one win in nine games is not where we want to be.”
The results of the games will not count towards Yale’s Eastern College Athletic Conference standing.