Women's hockey begins season with fervor
As the cold weather starts to set in and the air becomes chilly, ice hockey begins to take over the minds of many avid sports fans, and with the NHL on strike, more time is available to support the Dartmouth women who start their schedule this Saturday.
In a home exhibition match, the Big Green will take on the talented Concordia University team from Montreal, Que. Saturday at 2 p.m.
Concordia, which has several Canadian and U.S. National Team members, is one of the best women's ice hockey teams in North America.
"I think it's a good game to start out with," Coach George Crowe said. "It's a good test, and since it is an exhibition match we'll try to use everyone and see how it works out."
The Big Green are excited to have an opportunity to play such a tough team and look to go out on the ice pressure free.
"We have to go in with a positive outlook," said Sarah Howald '96. "I think if we play real well, we can beat them, and, if we don't, I know we'll learn something about ourselves."
No matter the outcome, Dartmouth will have to suit up again Sunday at 4:15 p.m. to battle another Canadian team, St. Lawrence of Quebec. This too will be an exhibition match which will prepare the Big Green for Ivy competition that begins Nov. 19 at Harvard.
"I think right now it looks pretty good," Howald said. "I think we'll surprise a lot of people. We have a deep team with a lot of talent and hard workers."
After losing three top scorers (Gretchen Ulion '94, Kim Cohen '94 and Kim Reid '94) who were not only tri-captains of last year's team but also received All-Ivy honors, Dartmouth's 1994-'95 season is going to be a challenging year.
"We really lost a lot of our scorers from last year," Crowe said. "But I think this year we are pretty well balanced. We have more depth in the goal and more depth through the whole team. The scoring should be spread out more."
To adjust to the loss, the Big Green will look to assert a new tempo when they enter the ice.
"We have to play with a little more of a different style," Howald said. "This year we have to work defensively more and change our style to a more defensive one. Then we need to look for scoring off our opportunities created through good defense."
With six freshman coming in and only one senior, captain Rachel Rochat '95, youth will definitely be prominent on the Big Green's squad.
"I think we have a good freshman class coming in and what I've noticed this year is a tremendous amount of improvement with the upperclassmen," Crowe said. "They are just playing better, and a lot of them have moved up a whole level."
The Big Green will be at a slight disadvantage at the beginning of this season due to their late start and three of the players have not been able to practice regularly at all.
Sara Vogler '96, Dartmouth's top women's golfer only ended that season one week ago, while Michelyn Pinard '98 is still involved in playing soccer. Vogler and Pinard will be playing at the games this weekend, but last year's honorable mention All-Ivy player, Sarah Devens '96, will still be absent because she will be playing in the field hockey ECAC tournament.
"It will be nice to have Devens back next week," Crowe said. "We're just starting to get those people back and we're trying to get our lines in order."
Depth will be a strength for Dartmouth this year as the players foresee three solid lines to form the squad which has been particularly close-knit so far this season.
"We all have a good work ethic," Howald said. "It's real positive on the ice all the time, and we're getting along real well."