It was another tough week for the women's hockey team, as it suffered decisive 4-0 defeats to Harvard and Yale and a lopsided 6-0 defeat to Dartmouth. Although competitive for two of three periods in each game, crucial defensive lapses in one period proved catastrophic for a team still seeking its first win in 2011.
Harvard 4, Brown 0
A rampant Harvard (12-7-2, 11-3-2 Ivy) offense was initially blunted by Brown's defense, led by goaltender Katie Jamieson '13, last Friday. But Harvard forward Liza Ryabinka found the net 10 minutes into the first period, making full use of a power play. Though the Bears (2-17-3, 1-11-3) created several opportunities, they were unable to convert on any of their ten shots in the first period.
Harvard surged out in the second period, doubling its lead just over a minute into the frame, when defender Josephine Pucci received a beautiful pass from Jillian Dempsey in the Brown half. With a clear one-on-one opportunity a few feet away from the net, Pucci made no mistake and doubled Harvard's lead. Critical lapses in defense with five minutes remaining in the middle period resulted in two goals within a minute. Crimson defender Marissa Gedman managed to thread a shot past a crush of skaters to beat a screened Jamieson. Harvard then took full advantage of another power play, scoring its third goal of the period and effectively putting the game out of reach for the Bears.
Though Brown picked up its intensity and threatened in the final period, tallying eight shots, Harvard goalie Laura Bellamy kept the puck out of the net. Despite conceding the four goals, Jamieson recorded a massive 50 saves on the game.
Dartmouth 6, Brown 0
Brown was playing from behind from the outset of the following night's game. Dartmouth (14-8-0, 10-6-0) forward Camille Dumais scored in the first minute of play to give her team an early advantage before Bruno and its fans could blink. Strong defensive play from both teams ensured no change to the score for the next 35 minutes, despite steady pressure exerted by both offenses. With five minutes left in the second period, Dartmouth added to its total, as forward Amanda Trunzo converted an opportunity created by a fine Dumais pass.
Dartmouth exploded in the final period, scoring four goals. Dumais and Trunzo continued to dominate, with Dumais completing her hat trick with two goals, assisted on both by Trunzo. Trunzo scored the final goal of the game to cap a dominating victory for the Big Green.
Yale 4, Brown 0
For the second consecutive game, the Bears' opposition grabbed the lead early in the first period. A combination of brilliant positional play, fine passing and more than a few fortuitous bounces saw Yale (6-14-2, 5-9-1) surge to a 3-0 lead within the first fifteen minutes of last Tuesday's game, a decisive advantage they never relinquished despite enterprising offensive play from Brown. Brown's best opportunity to score came in the first period, when forward Laurie Jolin '13 surged ahead to create a breakaway situation, only to be tripped from behind as she readied her shot. Although Jolin drew a penalty on the play, Bruno was unable to capitalize on the power play.
Brown outshot Yale in the game, 32-28, but some spectacular saves by Yale goalie Jackee Snikeris kept Brown scoreless, despite a relentless offensive effort. Yale forward Jackie Raines scored her team's fourth goal in the final period. She deked around both a defender and Jamieson before slapping the puck into the open goal at point-blank range.
"We know we're in a little bit of a slump at the moment," said tri-captain Samantha Stortini '11 after the game. "We have to stay positive and remember that we're still a young team trying to pull together."
Stortini said the team's uneven performances contributed to the disappointing results.
"It's consistency," she said. "There are a couple of mental breakdowns here and there, and offensively, it's finishing. It's obviously frustrating when we are creating a bunch of chances and don't score. We need to be getting goals — we're working on challenging the other team and make them react to what we're doing."
"But our team is really a lot better than it seems on paper," Stortini added. "It's a little frustrating, but we can't get down on ourselves, and we gotta keep pushing hard."