February 24, 2005

W. Goalies Remain Cool in Net

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The goalies on the women’s hockey team know the pressure of competing against some of the best players in the nation.

But they also know how to stay calm and focused in a variety of tough situations.

“I definitely think that it’s key to have a mixture of skill and talent, mental toughness and hard determination,” said junior goalie Flora Vineberg. “So much rests upon the goalie’s shoulders … that you have to be completely and totally focused and prepared, mentally and physically, one-hundred percent of the time. Or else, the most minor lapse in judgment, or focus, could cost the team the game.”

Cornell (3-20-3, 3-14-1 ECACHL) has three goalies on its roster — Vineberg, and sophomores Beth Baronick and Sarah McConnachie. Although the Red has had a disappointing year in the standings, the team has seen some strong play and hard work from its goalies.

This year, Vineberg has been on the ice 61.1 percent of the time — compiling a .893 save percentage, and a 3.41 goals against average.

The Toronto, Ont. native has kept the Red close in a number of hard-fought games against top opponents.

According to head coach Melody Davidson, Vineberg has become a more sound and consistent player in both her technique and mental game.

Meanwhile, Baronick has played in 11 games, earning a .895 save percentage, and a 4.06 goals against average.

“In part of the season, Beth has gotten less playing time, but anytime she steps in there, she’s done a tremendous job,” Davidson said.

Davidson noted Baronick’s strong play against No. 5 St. Lawrence earlier in the year. In that game, Baronick made 44 saves against one the nation’s best teams. Although Cornell could not get its offense going, Baronick helped the Red stay within a goal of the Saints, before leaving the ice with a late-game injury.

McConnachie has compiled an .842 save percentage this year in limited action. According to Davidson, McConnachie is a hard-worker — always ready for playing opportunities — and a key motivator of the team.

All three goaltenders started to play hockey at a young age. Vineberg had already played a number of years, when she made the transition to goalie at about 12-years-old.

“I used to play forward for seven or eight years until being thrown into net, in a house league game, because the regular goalie was missing.