Women's hockey sweeps through Union and Rennselaer
Harvard squeaked away last Tuesday with a 2-1 victory over the Big Green at home. Before the game, the Crimson was ranked second in the ECAC and Dartmouth was eighth. Harvard preserved its unbeaten season, improving to 7-0-0 with the win.
Dartmouth struck first with an early goal by Amanda Trunzo '11. Her sixth goal of the season was assisted by Jenna Cunningham '10 and Maggie Kennedy '09 and came seven minutes into the first period. The lead would not last long as Harvard scored just 22 seconds later to tie it up.
Just before the end of the second period, Harvard was finally able to get a shot past Carli Clemis '09, taking the lead that would last them the rest of the game. Dartmouth had two near misses at the end of the third period on power plays but struggled to convert the opportunities.
"It was a very well-played game by both teams," Coach Mark Hudak said. "We had a little letdown in the last five minutes of the second period and Harvard was able to capitalize on that. We had some great chances at the end but just couldn't find the back of the net."
The loss was Dartmouth's second of the season; both have come against top-10 ranked teams in the ECAC.
"Tuesday's game shows that we can play with any team," Marley McMillan '09 said. "Any team can win on any given night, and I think that we are one of the best teams in the country. If we believe in ourselves and keep working hard I can see us doing better than anyone else has anticipated."
The women in Green then went on the road to face Union on Friday night, resulting in a 2-0 shutout victory. Dartmouth mounted a vicious offensive effort, hardly allowing Union a chance to even take a shot as the Big Green took a season-high 56 shots.
Dartmouth struck first with three minutes left in the first period on a goal by Nicole Ruta '08 that was assisted by Sarah Parsons '10 and Sarah Toupal '10. Larissa Roche '11 was assisted by Ruta early in third period for the game's final score.
After two consecutive low-scoring affairs, the Big Green was due for a major offensive showing. Saturday's thrilling 6-4 defeat of RPI at Troy, N.Y., was a demonstration of what Dartmouth's young offense can do when under pressure.
The score was knotted at 4-4 early in the final period when Carrie Thompson '08 hammered in a deflected shot to give Dartmouth the lead. The Big Green then put the game on ice with a goal with six minutes left. Big Green goal scorers included Thompson, Cunningham (who also had four assists), Shannon Bowman '09 and Parsons, the latter two coming up with two goals apiece.
"We realized this week that we can play with anyone no matter what their rank is," Kennedy said. "We just need to stick to that mentality and really make sure we play the whole 60 minutes without letting up for a second."
Dartmouth now has a two-week break before facing nationally-ranked Mercyhurst in back-to-back games Dec. 15 and 16. The Lakers boast an impressive record of 11-2-2 but have yet to defeat a top-ranked team. Against Clarkson (whom the Big Green beat 3-1), Mercyhurst lost 3-2 and tied 2-2.
"We love training over the interim period during Christmas break," McMillan said. "We are some of the only ones on campus and don't have any work so we are able to focus on just spending time together as a team and playing hockey. After exams we will be on the ice for a week straight to prepare for the two huge games against Mercyhurst."