Standing with a record of 0-4 (0-2 Ivy League), the Red is looking to get on the right track and to start putting the puck in the net. According to head coach Carol Mullins, Cornell has the forwards to do it.
“We need to work on individual skills, especially shooting,” Mullins said, believing that the key to scoring is a matter of finding the right combination of forwards. In order to do just that, she expects to shift the lines up after being swept by Maine last weekend.
Senior captain Janel Bode leads the forwards this year. The Saskatchewan native is the team leader in career goals, points and assists.
“She is always an inspiration for the rest of the team,” Mullins said about Bode.
Senior alternate captain Erinn Perushek agreed: “Bode is the complete energy nucleus of the team. She is always up and always moving.”
Bode is backed up by her two senior alternate captains, Perushek and Sarah Oliver, who combined last year for 10 goals and 16 assists.
Junior Lindsey Murao is one of the Red’s fastest skaters. She blew by the competition leading the Red last year in points with nine goals and 14 assists.
A new comer to the team this year is junior transfer Kelly Pike. Pike transferred from Wayne State and will join her classmates Erin Ellis and Jennifer Reed to round out the top fleet of upperclassmen forwards.
This year was one of the largest recruiting classes ever for Mullins, with only 15 returning players from last year.
“The freshmen will make a significant impact this year. They add depth and will help us figure out the right line combinations,” Mullins said.
“It’s tough getting used to this level of play. The overall class is remarkable, but it takes time,” Perushek said.
One of the top freshman forwards this year is Pearle Nerenburg. Out of Lachute, Quebec, Nerenburg is one of the fastest skaters on the team and according to Perushek should “be one of our biggest threats.”
In the first four games of the season, the Red has remained scoreless, but Perushek remains confident that all is not lost — the Red has plenty of time and over 25 remaining games to make this a winning season.
“We need to reassure the freshman that we can do this and not get discouraged,” Perushek said.
The key to the offense may lie at the other end of the ice though. Coach Mullins has been using a tandem of goalies, alternating juniors Sanya Sandahl and Liz Connelly ever other weekend.
“With two fantastic goalies, we can play a more offensive minded game, and not worry about break-outs as much,” Perushek added.
The goalie tandem has been an important aspect of Mullins’s retooled offensive game plan. For the first four games, Mullins tried to restructure the offense by playing a defenseman up, almost as a forward. This allowed the Red to put more pressure on the opposing netminder.
“We need to play with confidence. It’s a new system and it takes getting used to. We need to have the confidence to rush the net,” Murao said.
Mullins must build up the confidence within the team so that the Red can match its 2.59 goals per game from last year. The team hopes that it’s a matter of time and practice before develops chemistry.
The Red is home this weekend and looks to notch its first win of the season against Findlay. The next ECAC North contest for the Red won’t be until after Thanksgiving, when it hosts Yale Nov. 30.
Archived article by Josh Vlasto