The Yale women’s hockey team (2–2–0, 0–2–0 ECAC) returned to ECAC action this weekend with games against Princeton (2–0–0, 2–0–0) and Quinnipiac (8–0–2, 2–0–0). After beginning the season with two wins against Saint Anselm and Sacred Heart, the Bulldogs dropped to .500 overall. 

On Friday night, the Bulldogs were shut out in a 0–2 loss to the Princeton Tigers and then on Saturday, dropped the second game of the weekend 1–3 to the Quinnipiac Bobcats. The weekend’s lone goal came midway through the second period against Quinnipiac with Vita Poniatovskaia ’25 forcing in a rebound.

Yale outshot its opponents in both games, with 31 shots against Princeton and 32 against Quinnipiac.

“We had a lot of good opportunities, we just could not execute. I feel like they were more lucky today but in general I think we have a strong offense and as well, defensive play.” Poniatovskaia said. “I think it was a decent game, we just have to get better and execute.”

One player that provided standout performances this weekend was starting goalie Pia Dukaric ’25. Dukaric played all weekend, starting both games and making 43 saves.

Despite the loss against Princeton on Friday, Dukaric remained between the pipes for the conference game on Saturday. When asked about first-string goalie Gianna Meloni’s ’22 absence this weekend, head coach Mark Bolding expanded on the decision to sideline Meloni.

“[Meloni and Dukaric] split last weekend and [Gianna] wasn’t quite feeling well going into the weekend.” Bolding told the News. “She was almost ready today, and we just thought better to err on the side of caution.”

One of the highlights of the weekend came from Dukaric in the first period against Princeton. A two-on-one from Princeton saw her make a save at the right post, but the rebound went out to the goalie’s left. With a huge leg push from right to left, Dukaric robbed the Princeton forward in a full split.

“I’m always trying to be on top of the puck, I try to be fast. I honestly don’t think I did, like, I showed what I’m capable of, like, I think I’m capable of more. It was a good weekend, it was a good start, but yeah there’s still things we need to work on, things we can improve” said Dukaric. 

The Bulldogs will look to recover quickly, as they fell to .500 on the season. The team will get back to work with a week of practice before travelling to take on Cornell and Colgate on Friday and Saturday, respectively. 

After opening the season scoring eight and seven goals in their first two games, the Bulldogs will work to get back to finding the back of the net. Bolding acknowledged that the Bulldogs struggled to score in their matchups, but has faith his team will figure it out. 

“We’ll learn from it and just get back to the details of it. We all want to score goals, that’s an agenda for our team. We’ll be better and climb the ranks. We’ll score, but it’s gonna take work” said Bolding.

Dukaric has started three games for the Bulldogs and has a goals against average of 1.71.

Spencer King is an Editor for the Sports desk. He has covered the Yale football and women's ice hockey teams. He has also previously covered the Yale men's lacrosse team and most things Bulldogs sports. Spencer is a junior in Davenport College and is majoring in Political Science.