Women's hockey opens season
After six weeks of practice, the women's hockey team hit the ice last weekend for its first game of the season in an exhibition game against Concordia College.
While the team was unable to pull off a win, the 5-1 loss did not reflect what the team did or can do during the upcoming season.
"Concordia is one of the best women's in North America," Coach George Crowe said. "I didn't think it was a 5-1 game. The shots were pretty even. We did a nice job."
Dartmouth had 27 shots to Concordia's 40.
Wing Malaika Little '97 set up freshman Kathleen O'Keefe, also a wing, who put in Dartmouth's only goal with 2:18 left in the second period.
The game previewed what could be another very successful season for the Big Green, who went 16-8-4 overall and 7-1-2 in the Ivy League last season, earning the title of co-Ivy League Champions with Princeton University.
The team boasts strength from offense to goal this season and looks to use that strength to propel it through both the Ivy League and the ECAC.
"Things are starting to come together," co-Captain Sarah Howald '96 said. "We're not where we're going to be at our peak, but we're getting there. All the positions are covered really well. Depthwise, we have four lines, five defenders, and two goalies. We're strong everywhere."
The team adds five new skaters to its roster this season, four freshmen and a sophomore transfer. Senior Melissa Siegfried returns to the team after taking two seasons off.
"The freshmen class are great people and the dynamic among the whole team is there for us to go really far," co-Captain Michelle Erickson '96 said.
Losing two integral players from the 94-95 squad could be one pitfall for the Big Green. Rochel Rochat '95 and Sarah Devens '96 topped the 94-95 stats, just behind Howald, scoring 42 and 35 points, respectively. These two leaders, in both scoring and team support, will most definitely be missed.
The team will play with four lines of forwards this season. Howald, who tallied 48 points last season, including 25 goals and 23 assists, will remain at the center of the top line. She proved her versatility on the ice during the Concordia game, switching to defense for part of the game.
One returner and one rookie flank Howald on the first line. Little and O'Keefe should give strong and consistent support to Howald.
Sarah Hood '98 returns with 25 points under her belt, the second most points from last season, and she will be centering the second line. Erickson and Phoebe Manchester '96 play on either side of Hood.
Dartmouth returns four other forwards in Andrea Paradis '97, Jessica Clark '98, Erin Rath '98 and Emilie Schnitman '98. Two newcomers, Sarah Halsell '99 and transfer Ginger Kreitler '98, will add their skills to the front line.
Michelyne Pinard '98, who led the defense last season in scoring 20 points, moved up the ice for the Concordia game, playing offense. According to Crowe, Pinard could see much time in offense this season.
All of these players should provide consistency to the forward line.
"We probably have more depth than we've ever had, considering right now we are skating four lines," Erickson said.
The team shows much promise with the defense as well. Three returners, Amy Coelho '97, Sara Vogler '96, and Jen Lane '98, will lead the defense this year. Coehlo, while playing defense last season, also managed to score 20 points. Two freshmen, Sara Nelson and Wendy Soutsos, both skilled defenders, should lend their talents to the back line.
Sarah Tueting '98 returns to the goal after an outstanding rookie season last year. Tueting posted a .911 save percentage last season, assisting her team to an Ivy League co-Championship title. She also received Ivy League rookie of the year honors.
Both Tueting and Siegfried, who returns to play between the posts, should give strong performances, each having experience playing goal for a championship team. Siegfried played in goal for the 92-93 season, when the team placed first in the Ivy League.
"We'll be fine," Crowe said. "We are very stable in goal. We have good depth in both defense and offense. All of the lines can score. We have very balanced lines."
Erickson agreed. "I think overall we look really good. We have a good combination of experience and skill and if we can put it all together, we'll be very successful."
The team begins its regular season this weekend with the All-America Tournament in Minnesota. November 18 will see Dartmouth in Leede Arena for its first home game of the season.