Freshmen lead women's hockey team in win over Harvard

by Erika Tower | 11/25/97 6:00am

The typical freshman athlete is often considered inexperienced compared to upperclassmen counterparts. Not the case on the women's ice hockey team.

This weekend proved that fact as the freshmen took control, putting in more than half of the weekend's seven goals.

"The freshman played great and they have stepped up to the college level with no problem," Captain Emilie Schnitman '98 said. "They are all a force for us and add great depth to our team."

Dartmouth split its two games this weekend in Boston, coming out on top of Harvard, 5-4, and falling to Northeastern, 5-2.

"We're still giving away goals because of our mistakes," Dartmouth Head Coach George Crowe said. "You make mistakes when you play freshmen. We're still winning, though, and we can be growing."

While Sunday's loss does effect Dartmouth's ECAC record (3-1-0), the team maintained its unblemished Ivy record (2-0).

"If we had to lose one of these four games [Brown, Providence, Harvard and Northeastern], this would be the one I'd pick even though it effects us in the ECAC standings," Captain Sarah Hood '98 said. "All the pressure is on them. As for [Saturday], we couldn't lose that one."

Especially important were the freshman contributions toward Dartmouth's 5-4 overtime victory to Ivy rival Harvard.

Freshman Carrie Sekela, in her first collegiate game after missing the season's first two games due to a broken arm, came up with a huge goal at 13:16 in the third period, with help from classmates Lauren Trottier and Jen Wiehn, to tie up the game at 4-4 and push it into overtime.

Wiehn took less than four minutes to capitalize on this extra time. Refs gave Harvard forward Courtney Smith a two-minute break for hooking at 1:47 into the overtime. Hood and Kathleen O'Keefe '99 set up the opportunity on the power play for Wiehn to sink the game-winner at 3:45, giving Dartmouth the 5-4 win.

Seeing the first three minutes of the game would have suggested a different outcome. At 1:59, Harvard's Kirsten Suurkask slipped the first goal past Dartmouth goalie Meaghan Cahill '01. Less than a minute later, Harvard was back in Cahill's face during a Dartmouth power play. Claudia Asano knocked in the short-handed goal, leaving the Big Green at a 2-0 disadvantage.

"I don't think we played extremely well," Crowe said. "We gave them two goals early on. We were fighting our way back all the way."

Harvard goalie Crystal Springer denied Dartmouth's shots until late in the first. With 6:43 remaining in the first, Hood took a feed from Schnitman to put her team on the board.

The two teams battled throughout the second period, neither letting its opponent score. O'Keefe found the back of the net off a Hood pass with 23 seconds left in the period to tie up the game at two going into the final period.

Dartmouth came back in the third on a mission. Just 21 seconds into the period, Trottier set up Wiehn's first collegiate goal for a 3-2 lead over the Crimson.

Not for long, though. Before the 10 minute mark, Harvard's Angie Francisco and Suurkask had added two more goals. With half a period left, Dartmouth was down by one. That's when Sekela and Wiehn entered the equation.

"The easy thing to do would be to quit and we didn't. We decided as a team to win," Hood said.

Northeastern forward Hilary Witt's hat-trick proved too much for Dartmouth on Sunday afternoon. The 5-2 loss was Dartmouth's first of the season.

The already-familiar combination of freshmen Trottier and Wiehn, with the added support of Christine Szarek '00, contributed Dartmouth's first goal.

Witt's first goal late in the first period tied the game at the close of the period. Witt added her second three minutes into the second period.

As Sara Nelson '99 and Schnitman tied up the Huskies' defenders, Hood answered Witt's goal with one of her own, swinging around from behind the net to even the score once again.

Northeastern was back for two more goals before the end of the period, however. Dartmouth never had the chance to close the gap.

The score remained locked at 4-2 until the last seconds of the game when Witt put away her third -- a shorthanded goal with :27 left on the clock.

Dartmouth will have another chance to beat Northeastern later in the season.

"[Losing this weekend] definitely will make the next game against them very intense because we will be out for revenge," Schnitman said.

The greatest loss on Sunday, however, was forward Jess Clark '98, who left the game with a broken wrist after colliding with a Northeastern player during a forecheck. How long she will be out has yet to be determined.

The team travels to BC tomorrow for one last game before Thanksgiving break.