The Who once sang, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” The women’s hockey team dropped two games to the bosses of the ECACHL this weekend, losing road games to Dartmouth and Harvard, who were both picked as the No. 1 team in the conference in preseason polls.
On Friday night, Dartmouth outscored the Red, 7-1, in Hanover, N.H., while Harvard (5-1-0, 5-1-0 ECACHL) handed Cornell (1-6-1, 1-3-0) a 5-2 defeat on Saturday afternoon in Cambridge, Mass.
In Friday night’s game, Dartmouth (5-3-0, 5-1-0) jumped out to a quick lead when forward Katie Weatherston scored four minutes into the first period past Cornell freshman goalie Jenny Niesluchowski. It was Weatherton’s first goal of the year after missing four games due to injury.
The Green scored two more times in the first period on goals by senior Caroline Ethier and sophomore Maggie Kennedy. Weatherston scored her second goal of the night five minutes into the second period to put Dartmouth up four goals. The Green struck quickly again in the third period, notching goals by sophomore Marley McMillan and freshman Jenna Cunningham. Cornell answered with its first goal of the night when senior forward Halina Kristalyn scored past Dartmouth goalie Carli Clemis with assists going to sophomore Steph Ulrich and junior Caeleigh Beerworth. Kennedy then scored her second goal of the game to give the Green a 7-1 lead for a comfortable win.
“I was quite disappointed the first night [against Dartmouth] in particular,” said head coach Doug Derraugh ’91. “I did not think that we were ready. [Darmouth] skated and battled a lot harder than we did. We got behind and tried to press which made matters worse.”
The loss to Harvard on Saturday was a much closer battle. After a scoreless first period in which Cornell outshot the Crimson, 10-4, Harvard got the early lead in the second on the first career goal from freshman forward Randi Griffin. There was no other scoring in the period.
The Red tied the game two minutes into the third, however, when sophomore Emma Chipman took a pass from Kristalyn and scored past Harvard goalie Brittany Martin. The score remained tied at one until there was only six minutes left in the game. At that time, senior forward Liza Solley scored a power play goal off a rebound to put the Crimson up by one goal.
Less than a minute later, senior forward Katie Johnston scored past Niesluchowski to give Harvard a 3-1 lead. Merely nine seconds later, Solley scored again, putting the Crimson up by three goals. A minute later Ulrich scored for the Red, decreasing Harvard’s lead to two goals. After Cornell pulled Niesluchowski to gain an extra attacker, the Crimson scored its final goal of the night, an empty-netter by sophomore forward Sarah Wilson.
“We had a couple mental breakdowns [against Harvard] that cost us,” said senior captain Caroline Scott. “We are going to refocus on playing like a team and playing confidently.”
Niesluchowski started both games for the Red in her first career ECACHL starts. Senior goalie Beth Baronick is still sidelined with a head injury that she sustained earlier in the season against Wayne State.
“[Baronick] is still suffering from a concussion symptoms,” Derraugh said. “She is day-to-day. It really depends on when the symptoms go away and then we will go from there.”
Cornell continued its struggles on special teams. Over the weekend, the Red had seven power play chances, but was unable to score a single power play goal. On the other hand, Dartmouth converted 4-of-6 power play opportunities and Harvard scored on 2-of-5 chances.
“I didn’t think that our penalty killing was very effective this weekend,” Derraugh said. “That is something we will have to address and get better at.”