When successful college athletics programs are analyzed by reporters and fans alike, there is almost always one constant – significant production from older, more experienced players. While thus far the women’s hockey team has compiled a less than stellar record of 5-13, the team’s scoring leaders are mostly sophomores – a sign of wins to come.
The squad’s leader in points is sophomore Caeleigh Beerworth with 15. The Vermont native has recorded five goals and 10 assists while playing in all 18 of the Red’s games. Described by senior captain Jen Munhofen as “the most physical player on the team,” Beerworth has exploded offensively after spending last season adjusting to the speed of college hockey. She has already surpassed last seasons total of four goals, and has emerged as one of the Red’s most potent scorers.
Following Beerworth’s lead is fellow sophomore Brianne Schmidt. The 5-9 forward has tallied two goals and 11 assists in 18 games for a total of 13 points. In her freshman year Schmidt led the team in scoring with 16 points on nine goals and seven assists, and was one of the few bright spots in what was otherwise a dismal season for Cornell. Schmidt also scored a team high six power-play goals, more than half the team total of 11 in 2004-05. She is known in the locker room as one of the smartest players, having an excellent eye for the entire ice.
“[Schmidt] has a chance to be a superstar [in college hockey],” Munhofen said. “She has so much enthusiasm and she loves the game. The best players are the ones who come to the rink every day prepared to work their tails off and love it.”
In the number four slot, right behind junior forward Halina Kristalyn with 11 points, is sophomore Brittany Forgues. Forgues is the team leader in goals, having found the back of the net nine times, and has also recorded one assist, totaling 10 points on the season. Forgues has been on a tear as of late, scoring six goals in five games over the winter break, including the game winner at the 15:18 mark of the third period in the Red’s New Year’s Eve contest against Bemidji State. Forgues is a speedster with a lightning quick wrist shot who often finds herself in the right place at the right time – a true hallmark of any great hockey player.
The trio of talented sophomores is crucial to the Red’s rebuilding and recruiting efforts. Coming off a year that saw the Red pick up only four wins, the 2005-06 season has been a tremendous step forward for the squad. The core of Beerworth, Schmidt, and Forgues has provided the Red with talent around which a championship can be built, and can allow the coaches to figure out what role players are necessary to fill the gaps.
“As a senior it’s great to see that our team has depth and that our talent is not completely allocated to the upperclassmen,” Munhofen said. “That’s how our team is going to build in the future.
With their stock rising as quickly as their win totals, by the time Beerworth, Schmidt, and Forgues graduate they most likely will have left a lasting impression on the history of Cornell women’s hockey.
“I think the sophomores are in a much better place mentally this year than they were last year, when everything was new and exciting, and just not what they were used to,” Munhofen said. “Now they are forming who they are both as athletes and students. They are going to take our team places.”
Archived article by Jacob Lieberman
Sun Staff Writer