Cornell women’s hockey secured the Ivy League title over the weekend with a tie against Yale and a win over Brown. Following the weekend, the Red extends its undefeated streak to six.
The Ivy League title proved particularly special for Cornell’s upperclassmen, as the team has come close to winning the title over the past few seasons.
“I’m very happy for our team,” said head coach Doug Derraugh ’91. ”It’s definitely something that has eluded us and we missed [the title] by a goal one way or the other over the past couple years.”
Cornell (17-6-4, 13-3-4 ECAC) will now focus its attention on the final two games of the season as the team jockeys for playoff positioning in the highly competitive ECAC. Even though the team secured a first place finish in the Ivy League over the weekend, Derraugh still sees room for improvement.
“I thought we did not execute very well in the first game of the weekend [against Yale],” Derraugh said.
In the match against Yale (10-12-4, 8-9-2), freshman forward Paige Lewis gave Cornell the lead with an early goal. However, the Red would lose its early momentum after a series of penalties. Yale eventually tied the game on a power play goal in the second period before taking the lead midway through the third period.
“I thought our passing was off and we just didn’t look in sync,” Derraugh said.
Although the Red ended the match outshooting Yale 38-27, Cornell struggled to convert on scoring chances. The team made several costly errors on the defensive end, allowing Yale to come back into the game and eventually take the lead.
Luckily for Cornell, freshman forward Amy Curlew came back up the ice and tied the game at two. The goal demonstrated the Red’s ability to fight back this season, managing to salvage points even when trailing on the road.
The team hit the reset button in Providence on Saturday, as the Red cruised to a 5-1 victory over Brown (5-22-0, 3-17-0).
“The second game of the weekend was much better,” Derraugh said. “We were executing our passes and playing our game.”
Five different Cornell skaters scored for the Red on Saturday — an encouraging sign for Derraugh, who has insisted that the team needs to find scoring from up and down the lines. On top of that, 11 total players recorded a point.
While the team has a pair of dangerous goal scorers in senior forward Hanna Bunton and freshman forward Kristin O’Neill, Cornell does not rely on any one player to carry the team.
“We’re getting scoring from a lot of different people now,” Derraugh said. “It has to be a total team effort for us to have success here in the final weekend and into the playoffs.”
Cornell will square off against two of the premier teams in the ECAC this weekend when the team takes on two top-five ranked squads in St. Lawrence and Clarkson at home. The two teams are all that separate Cornell from third and first place in the division, and Cornell is the only team in the ECAC that has been able to defeat Clarkson this season.
“The ECAC championship is more than likely going to go through one of those two teams, so we want to have a good performance against the top two teams,” Derraugh said.