Women’s hockey defeats Harvard for the first time since 2015

The Big Green women’s hockey team secures a 4-2 victory over Harvard in an intense match characterized by impressive offensive pressure and penalties.

by Joanie Wood | 10/20/23 1:05am

by Nigel Jeon / The Dartmouth

This article is featured in the 2023 Homecoming special issue. 

Women’s ice hockey played their ECAC Hockey and Ivy League opener at Thompson Arena on the evening of Friday, Oct. 13 — beating Harvard University for the first time since 2015. They defeated the Crimson in a decisive 4-2 matchup after three intense periods of play and defending more than 20 shots on goal. 

Margaret Burden ’26 — who is currently on injury reserve — watched the dynamic game from the stands and stressed the importance of this win.

“The Harvard games are always a big deal,” Burden said. “There are alumni that come out to support since it’s a big game, so it was nice to get that win under our belts.”

Both teams showcased their versatile skill sets in an intense first period. There were numerous possession changes between the Big Green and the Crimson. A little over three minutes in, Harvard had a try at the net — one of eight attempts goalkeeper Eleanor Rogers ’27 stopped in the first period. 

Play continued to be fairly even in both shot attempts and turnovers throughout the first period, but Dartmouth maintained consistency in terms of offensive pressure. About 16 minutes into the game, there was a loose puck in front of the Harvard net that the Big Green unfortunately couldn’t finish. Soon enough, however, the Big Green had strong performances in the face-offs and made a quick recovery. 

Mia Buonarosa ’27 assisted forward Hamilton Doster ’27 for the first goal of the game, giving Dartmouth a 1-0 lead with a little over three minutes left in the period. At the end of the first period, Harvard led shot attempts 8-7.

“We had to ground ourselves and realize we only played one period and need[ed] to keep this consistent level of hockey throughout,” Rogers said. “We had to keep our poise, our grit and keep going.”

Dartmouth started out strong in the second period and controlled the puck for most of the first half. With nine minutes and 27 seconds left in the period, Harvard’s Gabi Davidson Adams made a shot right through Rogers’s right hand, tying the game 1-1. 

Tensions ran high as both teams were looking to pull ahead on the scoreboard, and with less than two minutes left in the period, Harvard defender Kate Kasica received a holding call. The Big Green took advantage of the power play and — with less than one second left on the clock — Cally Dixon ’26 threw a slapshot into the back of the net, bringing Dartmouth ahead with a 2-1 lead. 

“One thing we work on a lot is our communication, especially when we’re tired,” Doster said. “We have a lot of grit as a team and we work super hard … I think that’s one of our biggest strengths.”

Just minutes into the third period, there was some confusion about whether or not the puck crossed Harvard’s goal line when one of the Crimson players attempted to recover it in the crease. Dartmouth contested the play, drawing upon the rules about covering the puck in the goal crease and received a penalty shot as a result. Jenna Donohue ’24 made the shot, bringing the Big Green into a 3-1 lead over Harvard.

With 10 minutes and five seconds left to go in the third period, Harvard’s Kayley Crawford put the puck in the net and brought the score to 3-2. Dartmouth answered just over five minutes later as Lauren Messier ’25 scored, bringing the tally to 4-2. Kenzie Bachelor ’25 and Shae Messner ’26 had the assists. 

Dartmouth spent some time in the penalty box during the dwindling minutes of the game. Although Harvard pulled their goalie to increase offensive pressure during the power play, it was not enough for the Crimson to overcome the Big Green’s momentum. Dartmouth secured the victory, ensuring a strong start to Ivy League competition. 

Doster — who scored the opening goal for Dartmouth — stressed the importance of maintaining a good mentality throughout the game. 

“No one doubted for a minute that we could beat them, but we focused on the little things, put our heads down and went to work,” Doster said. 

Burden also commended her team’s level-headedness throughout the intense match and credited it as essential to their victory.

“I think it’s important to treat every game the same, and not let who your opponent is get into your head,” Burden said. 

Rogers mentioned that the team used the momentum from their season-opening win against Assumption University to power through three intense periods against Harvard. 

“We learned a lot from our game versus Assumption, and I think today we played a lot more as a team, ate a lot more pucks and played for each other, which helped our outcome,” Rogers said. 

Hopefully, the momentum Rogers emphasized will carry on throughout Dartmouth’s upcoming games. The Big Green — with a current 2-0 standing — will face off against the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers this Friday, Oct. 20 at Thompson Arena. The match is scheduled for 6 p.m.