In a strong second weekend of play, the women’s hockey team matched its win total from last season and put a scare in the second-best team in the country. The Elis’ 3–0 win over Colgate on Friday gave the team its first win of the season and the next night the Bulldogs narrowly lost 3–2 at No. 2 Cornell.
“This weekend, we proved to the league and to ourselves that we can compete with anyone,” captain Alyssa Zupon ’13 said. “Losing was disappointing but there were many positives to take away, and both games were great team efforts.”
The Bulldogs started conference play with a 3–0 shutout win on Friday afternoon, paced by goals from Zupon and forwards Jamie Haddad ’16 and Janelle Ferrera ’16. Defenseman Kate Martini ’16 assisted all three goals. Jaimie Leonoff ’15 had 31 saves en route to her first career shutout. Yale’s stellar penalty killing effort, stopping all four of the Raiders’ power plays, was a huge part of the victory.
Saturday’s game was a much more challenging matchup as the Elis went on the road against the No. 2 team in the nation, Cornell. Yale took an early lead in the first period on a power play goal by Haddad, but two quick Cornell goals in the second period neutralized its lead. Despite Martini’s game-tying power play goal halfway through the second period, a late goal by Cornell forward Jillian Saulnier 4:36 into the third period proved to be the difference in a 3–2 loss. Leonoff recorded 39 saves against Cornell, but a 42–10 shot disparity between the Big Red and the Bulldogs proved too large of a gap to overcome.
Despite the loss, which dropped the team’s record to 1–3–0 (1–1–0 ECAC), the Bulldogs remained optimistic about parts of the game.
“We just need to stay crisp and keep our work ethic up, and the rest will come,” Haddad said.
That first victory also matched Yale’s win total from a season ago when the Bulldogs ended the season on a 22-game winless streak.
Martini recognized the importance of the win.
“[The victory] gives us a winning mentality and will give us more motivation for the future, knowing that we’re capable [of winning],” Martini said.
The Eli freshmen played important roles in the team’s success this weekend. Before the season, when asked about the impact of the freshmen, head coach Joakim Flygh said he expected them to make their presence known.
“They can all play and they’ll all contribute,” Flygh said. “They’ll get lots of opportunities to play in games this year to prove themselves.”
Four games into the season, four of the Bulldogs’ five goals have been scored by freshmen.
Martini said she was glad to be able to meet her coach’s expectations and help the team win.
“There was a lot of pressure to perform, especially as a rookie,” Haddad added. “People are scoping you out and trying to get a feel for who you’re going to be. I was just pumped that I could contribute to my team’s success.”
Yale kicks off its home schedule this weekend at Ingalls Rink, playing Dartmouth on Friday and No. 9 Harvard on Saturday.