In their second and third games back since the pandemic, the Big Green women’s hockey team took on top-10 ranked Colgate University and Cornell University at Thompson Arena this past weekend.
On Friday afternoon, the women faced off against Colgate, who were ranked No. 4 in the country coming into the match. An early goal from the Raiders put the Big Green on their heels, but they continued to come up big defensively on the penalty kill, denying Colgate prime scoring opportunities. Minutes later, Colgate was penalized for interference, giving the Big Green their first advantage on the power play. In the final seconds of the penalty, Laura Fuoco ’25 scored her first career goal with a wrap-around, tying the game at 1-1.
“We have a strong team here,” Fuoco said. “[Scoring the goal] was exciting because it was a team effort, and I just finished it off.”
Entering the second period, the score remained tied at one apiece. Just seven minutes into the frame, Dartmouth went on the power play after Colgate was tacked with an interference penalty. While the Raiders scored a shorthanded goal, the Big Green responded quickly with a goal of their own just 33 seconds later from CC Bowlby ’23. The period closed with a last minute goal from Colgate, pulling them ahead by one going into the final 20 minutes.
The final period was a battle, but unfortunately Dartmouth was unable to capitalize. After another Colgate goal in the final minutes, the Big Green fell 4-2. Goaltender Maggie Emerson ’25 had a huge performance and kept the team in the game with multiple key saves.
“I think we played a good, strong game,” team captain Gabby Billing ’22 said. “We went toe-to-toe with them for a while, and I think we had them on their toes — especially for a team that's not used to playing in their own D [defensive] zone. We capitalized on a couple opportunities. And we saw a lot of good and we saw some things that we need to work on.”
Head coach Liz Keady Norton echoed Billing’s thoughts, noting that players fought hard.
“There's a lot of positives, and the kids showed a lot of grit,” Keady Norton said. “We were in the D zone for quite a bit of that game. I thought at different times people really, really stepped up, they were blocking shots. We have a lot of people in roles that they've never been in before. Overall, [it was] a really positive learning experience.”
On Saturday, the women took on another top-ranked team, this time facing off against No. 9 Cornell. While the Big Red struck first just minutes into the first period, Dartmouth responded quickly with Fuoco scoring her second goal of the weekend on a breakaway, assisted by Celine Pietraszek ’23. From there, Dartmouth would not trail for the remainder of the game.
Currie Putrah ’23 brought the team their first lead five minutes into the second period, but Cornell responded with a goal of their own just 43 seconds later, bringing the game again to a tie, this time at 2-2. The Big Green and Big Red continued to clash throughout the second period in their search for a lead, and in the final two minutes, Dartmouth once again broke the stalemate going into the final period. Kenzie Bachelor ’25 scored her first career goal, assisted by both Fuoco and Jenna Donohue ’24, to bring the score to 3-2.
The third period was just as close, with both teams battling to stay in the game and Cornell refusing to go down without a fight. After the Big Green were penalized for cross-checking, they managed to overcome Dartmouth’s strong presence on the penalty kill, scoring on the power play with just 16 minutes remaining and knotting the game once again at 3-3. Six minutes later, however, Dartmouth was back on the power play thanks to a roughing call on Cornell. A mad scramble in front of the net led to a goal that was initially waved off, but after review the referees overturned their initial call and awarded the score to Billing. This was the game-winner, as the score would hold for the remainder of the period and Dartmouth would come out with a 4-3 win.
“[Cornell] was a huge win for us. I’m really proud of the way our team battled the whole 60 minutes. This is the first time we’ve beaten Cornell in quite a few years, so it’s exciting to see where that puts our trajectory for the rest of the year,” Billing said. “We have a really tight-knit group this year, and we’ve already built a lot of chemistry which is showing on the ice. This is hopefully the first of many big wins that we’ll be able to celebrate this year. ”
Next weekend, ECAC competition continues and the team hits the road to play opponents Clarkson University and St. Lawrence University.