Women’s hockey looks to harness experience

Women’s ice hockey enters its third season under Head Coach Meghan Gillis this 2013-14 season. Having lost only two seniors, the team looks to build on the past season with many returners and seven new first-years.

Last season, the team finished with a record of 9-15-1 overall (5-10-1 in the NESCAC), losing 5-3 to Bowdoin in the NESCAC quarterfinals.

This year’s co-captains, Cristina Bravi ’14 and Gabby Vukasin ’14, look to lead the charge on the offensive end. Bravi and Vukasin led the team in points last season with 15 (six goals, nine assists) and 18 points (10 goals, eight assists), respectively. They are joined by junior assistant captain Nitsan Goldstein ’15.

The Ephs lost their two captains, Aimee Dennett ’13 and Samantha Weinstein ’13, at the end of the 2012-13 season. The loss of Dennett and Weinstein will be hard to fill, as the two captains were “a strong presence in our lineup,” according to Bravi. Dennett notched three goals and eight assists last year, while Weinstein had six goals and eight assists in her senior year. Weinstein was also selected Second Team All-NESCAC for two consecutive years.

“We have a talented group of returners coupled with seven incoming first-years,” said Gillis. “This will allow our team to have more depth in the line up then we have had in the past.”

The team will especially rely on its junior class, as it only rosters two seniors this year. Goldstein is joined by Andree Heller ’15, Perry McCarthy ’15, Gwen Schultz ’15 and Samantha Cutts ’15 on the offensive end. Caitlin Conlon ’15 holds down the fort with the defense, alongside Charlie Billadeau ’15 in net. With a save percentage of .902, Billadeau is a key returner. Margaret Draper ’17 will also fight for playing time.

After weeks of practice, the Ephs look forward to showing off their hard work. “I really feel like this is the most prepared team I’ve seen in my four years here,” Bravi said.

The women’s season opener against Wesleyan is at home in the Lansing Chapman Arena on Friday at 7 p.m. The Ephs play the Cardinals again on Saturday at 3 p.m., also at home.