In hockey, forwards must keep constant pressure on an opposing goaltender in order to win. The women’s hockey team will be relying on its deep group of forwards to do just that this year.
“I think all our forwards are key,” said head coach Melody Davidson. “We worked hard to build some depth. We expect four lines to be rolling.”
The Red’s offensive attack includes the experienced line of sophomore center Halina Kristalyn, senior left-winger Pearle Nerenberg, and sophomore right-winger Caroline Scott. The three have played in a combined 153 games.
“Halina’s line brings experience. I expect them to lead all the time on the ice, whether the puck is going in the net or not,” Davidson said.
Senior center Maryann Nowak’s line includes freshman left-winger Sarah Johnston and freshman right-winger Brianne Schmidt. Schmidt has scored three goals in the Red’s four games.
“Maryann’s line [has] two freshmen on either wing … all three of them have talent. The main thing is that they learn the college game, so they’ve not a liability defensively,” Davidson said.
The all-junior line of center Jen Munhofen, left-winger Andrea Skinner, and right-winger Vicki Hodgkinson has played in a combined 150 games. Munhofen leads Cornell with 36 career points, including 13 goals. Hodgkinson has 10 career goals, and Skinner has seven.
“Jen’s line has played together almost since freshman year. I expect them to contribute offensively,” Davidson said.
The all-freshman line of center Miranda Callaghan, left-winger Brittany Forgues, and right-winger Caeleigh Beerworth features three of Red’s new recruits. The line has already generated four goals, including three from Beerworth.
“Mira’s is a great energy line with a lot of talent. They’ll be getting a significant amount of ice time,” Davidson said.
Cornell’s offensive effort will be of prime importance this year, as the team looks to improve in the tough ECACHL. Although the team has been talented in past years, Davidson noted that the Red has had difficulty scoring.
“Our main pitfall the last few years has been putting the puck in the net,” Davidson said. Davidson — who coached the Canadian national team to victory last week at the Four Nations Cup — also noted that Cornell has been working almost exclusively on offense of late. She added that she would be “disappointed” if the Red’s efforts did not materialize into goals. Cornell opened its season with losses against national powers Harvard and Brown. However, the Red dominated Union last weekend at Lynah Rink, taking both ends of the two-game set.
A total of 15 icers have earned points in the first four games, and 10 have scored goals. “The whole team is definitely coming together,” Beerworth said. “Not just the freshman, not just the upperclassman. It’s definitely a team effort.”
With so many freshmen expected to see significant ice time, it would seem that the first-year players will be key to the Red’s success.
Archived article by Ted Nyman
Sun Staff Writer