There’s a new coach this year for a storied Cornell hockey program, and the fans and alumni are as excited as ever. Mike Schafer ’86 didn’t leave when you weren’t paying attention. This is women’s hockey, and Melody Davidson, an assistant coach for the 2002 Canadian women’s hockey team, will be coaching the Red after signing a three-year contract over the summer.
As the seventh women’s hockey head coach at the University, Davidson replaces Carol Mullins, whose contract was not renewed. Davidson, who arrives on the Hill with substantial experience, is excited about the opportunity to coach the Red.
“I knew the tradition of the school,” she said, “I’m really excited to be here.”
Looking to the ice, the Red will try to improve on a disappointing 9-18-1 record. Without extensive first-hand knowledge of the team and players, Davidson could not comment on contributions expected from individual players.
However, after meeting with the team, the new coach had general statements about her new club.
“I think [the players] are all very excited,” she said. “The Ivy League is going to be very competitive. Our home openers against Vermont and Dartmouth are going to be very important because it gives us a chance to measure ourselves very early against good competition. Our first four games should be very exciting.”
With the recent celebration of 30 years of women’s hockey at Cornell, there has been a lot of focus on the alumni who have helped the program, one of the oldest in collegiate hockey, get to where it is today.
Speaking about the program, Davidson remarked, “Thirty years of tradition is incredible. And
of the things we can focus on is getting the alumni more involved with the program. Most of the alumni are excited about the personal communication with the team, to try to connect with where the team is, and how we’re doing.”
When asked if playing in Lynah Rink would be anything special, Davidson noted the craze for men’s hockey.
“Well,” she said, “I’ve heard from a number of NHL scouts that the men’s games are out of control.”
Although the collegiate level is quite different from the international playing field, Davidson views the path towards success as being similar.
“I think that regardless of the level you play at, you strive for excellence at your own level,” she said. “It’s not very different.”
The Red opens the season on Nov. 8th in Princeton. Its home opener is Nov. 15th against Dartmouth at 7:00 pm.
Archived article by Matt Nassr