Over the course of the 2005-06 season, the women’s hockey team has gone through a tremendous maturation process. With eight games still to play, the team has already surpassed last year’s win total. However, at 6-14-0, the team’s overall record belies the effort and dedication to improvement that has gone into this season.
“We keep trying to raise the bar each time we go out there,” said assistant coach Robert Burke. “We don’t want any games where we look back and say we didn’t play 60 minutes.”
Despite a positive outlook, the Red finds itself starving for victories. Heading into this weekend’s series versus Union, Cornell sits in 10th place in the conference. Cornell trails Yale by five points and Quinnipiac by four, needing to jump both squads in the standings to secure the final conference playoff spot.
With six conference games remaining on its schedule, time is running out for the Red to make its move.
“We need to come with the same energy and passion that we’ve been showing and continue to believe in the total team effort,” said head coach Doug Derraugh ’91. “However, we also need to do a better job of protecting our defensive zone, particularly late in games.”
“There are no secrets. We must continue our hard work, breaking down previous performances and fine tuning things each week,” Burke said. “We must also continue to do the things we’ve been doing well and capitalize on the opportunities we are given.”
This past weekend, the Red created an opportunity and capitalized on it by defeating conference-leading Brown, 3-1, snapping a 17-game losing streak to the Bears.
“Anytime we get a victory over one of the top teams, it means a lot,” Derraugh said. “We’ve been in lots of close games this season and it was good to get a lead and hold onto it.”
Cornell got a stellar performance in goal by junior goaltender Beth Baronick, who made 26 saves. Baronick continued her strong play the following day against Yale, and ended the weekend having stopped 51-of-54 shots on goal.
For her performance, Baronick was named the ECACHL Goalie of the Week.
“Beth played extremely well and made clutch saves when needed,” said assistant coach Diane Dillon. “She made quite a few point blank saves that can change the tide of a game and really spur on and motivate a team.”
Down the stretch, the Red has remaining conference games against Union (two games), No. 9 Clarkson, No. 3 St. Lawrence, No. 7 Harvard and Dartmouth, before finishing up the season with a two game non-conference homestand against No. 6 Mercyhurst.
“The coaches have known all along how capable this team is,” Dillon said. “When we can put all of our pieces together for a 60 minute contest, we can compete with anyone.”
Dillon hopes the Red can continue to strive towards consistent play, as it marches its way towards the playoffs.
Archived article by Jon Hausner
Sun Staff Writer