November 9, 2007

Women's Hockey Hopes to Ride Early Success With Strong Freshman

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At 3-3-0, the women’s ice hockey squad needs only one more victory to tie last season’s win total. Thanks to a strong recruiting class and another year’s experience for the returning players, the team is skating under the radar.
Cornell is led this year by senior co-captains Caeleigh Beerworth and Brittany Forgues. However, the Red will look to all four of its seniors to help improve from a disappointing season last year, in which it went 4-23-2 overall and 4-17-1 in the ECAC.
“I think we’re off to a pretty good start,” said senior forward Brianne Schmidt. “We’re .500, but there were two one-goal games that could have gone either way, so we think it’s going to be a promising year. With the talent that we brought in and the girls who were already there and the dedication of the coaching staff, there’s no doubt that it’s going to be a successful year.”
The Red has enjoyed an added boost from a crop of heavily recruited and highly talented freshmen this season.
“We’ve had a chance to mesh really well,” Schmidt said. “Our chemistry is really there. Our freshmen have really brought a lot of talent. We’re like a very tight-knit group. The freshmen are obviously really new to everything. They feel comfortable to come to any one of the upperclassmen even if it’s just for advice.”
In fact, it is the freshman duo of Karlee Overguard and Rebecca Johnston who lead the team in points with nine each.
Overguard, who lit the lamp three times and registered six assists, is joined by her twin sister, Amber at the forward position.
The Overguards are not the only siblings skating for the Red as Johnston, the ECAC Hockey’s Rookie of the Week, is the younger sister of senior forward Sarah Johnston. The younger Johnston netted six goals and tallied three helpers in the early season.
Unfortunately for Cornell, Johnston will be absent from the Red this weekend as she will leave the team to join the under-22 Canadian national team to compete in the 4 Nations Cup held in Leksand, Sweden, from Nov. 7-11.
“She’s already a world champion,” said head coach Doug Derraugh ’91. “She won the gold medal with the Canadian team last summer. They just picked her up again to go to a tournament this weekend in Sweden, so bad for us, but good for her.”
The Red has remained unfazed by a pair of heartbreaking overtime losses so far this season and has kept an even demeanor throughout the season.
“We stress that our week starts on Monday and that carries out through the week into the games on Friday and Saturday,” Schmidt said. “We’re also stressing living in the moment. Friday night we had a tough loss, but put it behind us and came out strong on Saturday. That was evidenced by how that game ended up. We just want to take it one weekend and one game at a time.”