November 15, 2013

WOMEN’S ICE HOCKEY | Cornell Readies for Harvard, Dartmouth

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After a weekend at Lynah where the No. 3 Red (7-0-1, 5-0-1 ECAC) collected four points, the women’s hockey team hits the road. The team will be taking on No. 6 Harvard (5-1-0) Friday at 7 pm and then Dartmouth (1-6-0, 1-5-0) Saturday at 4 pm.

“Were super excited to go play Harvard and Dartmouth,” senior co-captain Alyssa Gagliardi said. “It’s always a great series on the road, and it’s going to be a big test for us. Harvard is a top-10 team and Dartmouth is good, year in and year out. We are excited to see where we stand.”

Right now, the Red leads the ECAC, but the Crimson trails by only one point. Harvard suffered one loss at RPI, but has remained strong ever since. Cornell racked up a lot of points last weekend, and as the squad tries to continue that trend, it will have to look out for Crimson sophomore goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer, who boasts a .963 save percentage and 1.00 goals-against average.

“Harvard is always really strong, the games [against them are] always really good games,” Gagliardi said. “They beat us at their rink last year and we beat them twice at Lynah, but it’s a new year … It will be a good test. They always [put] pressure … Making us play at a fast pace.”

The Cambridge-Hanover road trip makes for a long weekend. The Red is eager to get more experience playing outside of Lynah, according to Gagliardi.

“[We] are looking to put together a full 60 of strong play on the road,” she said. “We’ve only had one trip on the road, so we are looking to establish ourselves in other arenas.”

Cornell has been off to a strong start this season and has yet to lose a game. The Red is the only team in the league that has yet to lose a game, and only No. 1 Minnesota joins the Red in this category at the Division level. This past weekend the Red defeated both RPI and Union, scoring 11 goals along the way.

“We are just looking to improve every game,” Gagliardi said. “That’s our big thing — get more confident as games pass … We are looking to challenge ourselves with playing some top-10 teams and hopefully that will instill confidence as we keep going.”

Despite its success so far, the Red is still looking to improve and fully establish itself as a force.

“We are always trying to develop chemistry, with our linemates and our teammates,” Gagliardi said. “That’s a big thing but I think just making sure we are ready to set the tone for each game and out-battle and outwork other teams. You can have all the skill in the world but if you are not going to outwork the other team, it’s not going to help you very much. I think it’s something the coaches are emphasizing, making sure we are outworking and taking pride and winning all the battles.”