The Red suffered some key losses due to graduation. Tri-captain forward Jenel Bode ’02 graduated after leading the team with 24 points last season. In addition, another tri-captain, Sarah Olivier ’02, was also lost to graduation. Olivier was fourth on the team in scoring in 2001-2002 with 14 points in 26 games.
Despite these losses, the Red has a number of strong forwards returning to the squad this year. Senior Lindsay Murao has already had a major impact, demonstrating her speed and stickhandling ability in games against Vermont and Dartmouth two weekends ago. Murao was the Red’s second leading scorer last season, and has an assist so far in the first four games.
“Lindsay has battled hard,” explained Cornell head coach Melody Davidson. “She’s a small player, so she’s got to play big, [and] she’s got to be able to move through people and use her speed to her advantage.”
Junior Anita Khar will also be expected to step up this season. Khar is the Red’s second-leading scorer thus far, recording a goal and an assist through the first six games of the season. She is expected to be a leader as well as a goal scorer after the loss of some key seniors from the team. Khar had 12 points in 28 games last season, leading all sophomores in scoring.
Cornell fans should expect to see top play from some who did not see as much ice time last year. Sophomore Pearle Nerenberg has already shown quite a bit of speed this season, and will earn her shifts on the ice. Nerenberg was the leading freshman scorer last year, with seven points in 28 games.
In addition, senior Erin Ellis and junior Briana Jentner should be strong presences. These two have both been top defensive forwards in the past and will have big impacts this season. Jentner led all sophomores in goals last season with six. She was also second on the team in game winning goals and shorthanded goals. Each has scored a goal already this season.
The freshmen should also be able to make a difference on offense. One of the most pleasant surprises of the season so far has been the play of freshman Jen Munhofen, who leads the Red with two assists on the season and is tied with Khar for second in points behind senior captain Brooke Bestwick.
Andrea Skinner, another freshman forward, has also earned her ice time in these first few games of the season. Skinner has played in every match so far and picked up an assist in the first four games.
Becky Fisher, Viki Hodgkinson, and Catlin Warren round out the deep freshman class. Fisher, like Jentner and sophomore Jamie Ramenofsky, will also spend significant minutes at defense.
In addition to the Red’s five freshmen, sophomores Pam Hannah, Maryann Nowak, Nerenberg and Ramenofsky give Cornell’s offensive corps a infusion of youth which should pay huge dividends as they gain experience down the road.
On a whole, Cornell does not expect to win with offensive outbursts. Forwards have a much greater task at hand than simply trying to put the puck in the net. Last year, opponents outscored the Red 72-56. If the forwards can cover the whole ice and get back on defense, the Red will find itself winning much more than it did in previous years.
“I expect the forwards to work together, be positive, [and] to create scoring chances,” said Davidson. “[But also] I expect them to protect the ice on defense.”
Archived article by Michael Pandolfini