Though the Yale women’s ice hockey team lost two hard-fought matchups against No. 7 Cornell and No. 10 Colgate this weekend, multiple Bulldogs found individual success — getting on the scoresheet for the first time this season.
Yale (0–4–0, 0–4–0 ECAC Hockey) lost to fellow Ivy Cornell (4–1–0, 3–1–0) in a 4–3 thriller that went back and forth through three turbulent periods. Yale was on the hunt for their first win of the season, while Cornell was coming in red-hot on the back of two straight Ivy wins. The Elis then grappled with Colgate (6–4–0, 3–1–0) on Saturday afternoon and ultimately fell to the Raiders 5–2.
“If you lose a game like you did today, it’s very disappointing,” said coach Joakim Flygh. “I think Cornell took it to us a little bit in the first period, but the kids responded. The third line was outstanding. A lot of things went well, but we just need to clean up defensively.”
Cornell came out with confidence and put pressure on Yale early on. The Big Red outshot the Elis six to two, but goalkeeper Tera Hofmann ’20 was on her game. The team rewarded her stalwart effort in the 12th minute, when defender Julia Yetman ’19 fired in her first goal of the season after an intelligent cross from forward Lucy Burton ’21 — her first assist of the season.
Towards the end of the second period, the teams began trading goals. With six minutes left in the period, Burton slapped the puck to her fellow forward Rebecca Foggia ’21, who scored her first collegiate goal with poise. Cornell refused to quit, and just three minutes later, Maddie Mills pounced on a loose puck in front of the Yale net and halved the deficit for the Big Red. At the end of the second period, Cornell led the Bulldogs in shots 27 to 11.
The goal late in the second period gave Cornell momentum, which they rode into the final 20 minutes of play. Forward Kristin O’Neill picked up the puck off of an errant pass and fired it home to level the score. Lasering a shot into the top left corner, captain and forward Emma Vlasic ’19 put a much-needed halt to the momentum swing four minutes later. Yale looked to be hanging on, but a deflected, looping shot from Sam Burke somehow floated into the back of the net to level the game once again. But, just 47 seconds later, a zigzagging run and calm finish by O’Neill put the Big Red in front for the first time. Despite Yale’s best efforts, Cornell held on to this advantage and pulled out a 4–3 win.
Following Friday night’s heartbreaking loss, Yale looked to redeem itself on Saturday afternoon against Colgate.
An early trip to the sin-bin for Colgate defender Caroline Ross led to prime scoring chances for Yale on the power play, but stern defending from the Raiders limited the Elis to two shots. The offense continued to press after the power play’s end. In the 11th minute, first-year defender Emma Seitz ’22 flicked the puck home after a beautiful assist from forward Kirsten Nergaard ’20.
The Elis won possession again and defender Saroya Tinker ’20 ripped a blue line clapper that was just barely saved by Raider goalie Julia Vandyk to continue the Bulldogs’ onslaught. Following this sequence, Yale and Colgate entered a defensive deadlock until the 17th minute. A series of three Raider shots culminated in a bouncy, distance goal for Colgate center Malia Schneider, which evened the score at one-all. At the end of the first period, Yale goalie Gianna Meloni ’21 had ten saves.
“They’re definitely a big, physical team,” said Seitz. “That was definitely an adjustment for us, coming off of [the Cornell] game.”
Colgate began the second period with a bombardment. Raider right-winger Eleri MacKay sniped through a cluster of sticks two minutes into the period to give her squad a 2–1 lead. Then, despite three consecutive Colgate penalties towards the middle of the period, the Elis were unable to capitalize on power play opportunities. Consequently, the Raiders converted their own power play opportunity moments, as MacKay unleashed yet another a vicious wrist shot which left the Bulldogs with a two goal deficit.
An early third period penalty led to Yale puck possession, as Seitz and right winger Greta Skarzynski ’21 nearly cut the goal differential in half. The Elis established early dominance, but the period soon gave way to a nonstop series of breakaways. While the Bulldogs focused on negating the scoring gap, the Raiders were able to repel most of Yale’s efforts. Fast play led to physicality, as tempers flared and play roughened.
Foggia scored her second goal of the weekend halfway through the 15th minute off of a pinpoint pass from right-winger Claire Dalton ’22 in the midst of a congested crowd around the Colgate keeper. With a Colgate lead of 3–2, Yale launched a final charge on the Raider goal by pulling goalie Meloni. Schneider took advantage of the open net to score her second goal of the day. The Elis then mounted another rush on the Colgate goal, but after winning the puck, Colgate center Shae Labbe put the Raiders up 5–2 as the final buzzer sounded.
“We definitely didn’t get the result we wanted,” said defender Lauren Moriyama ’21. “But I think overall on the weekend we made great strides on improving our game.”
The Bulldogs battle ECAC Hockey opponent Union College this Friday night, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m. in Schenectady, New York.
Bentley Long | firstname.lastname@example.org
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