The women’s hockey team came out victorious on their senior day last weekend, beating both Union (4-1) and Rensselaer (4-2) to take the final playoff spot and head to the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Tournament. Princeton honored seven seniors: forward Audrey Potts, forward Molly Contini, forward Cassidy Tucker, forward Fiona McKenna, defenseman Molly Strabley, defenseman Kelsey Koelzer and forward Morgan Sly.
In their first weekend game, the Tigers came out strong, taking the lead against Union and preventing a shot on goal until nine minutes left in the first period. The goal scorer, freshman forward Carly Bullock, netted the first with an assist from sophomore forward Karlie Lund with around four minutes to go in the first period. Freshman defenseman Julia Edgar assisted with the second goal, as she passed the puck to Lund, who was waiting on the Union blue line. The leading goal scorer for the Tigers showed the calm and composure she has all season, taking the puck around the Union goalkeeper and doubling Princeton’s lead with one minute to play in the first half.
In the second period, Contini got her first goal of the game and tenth of the season from an assist from her classmate Strabley, but Union was not defeated just yet. They ended the shutout that junior goaltender Alysia DaSilva had been looking for with eight minutes left in the second period during a power play. However, DaSilva will be happy with her performance as she stopped the 19 or 20 shots she faced from Union.
As the third period ended with around five minutes to play, the Tigers sealed the game, and Contini got her second goal from a rebound shot originally attempted by fellow senior and captain Koelzer.
With the win Princeton had picked up against Union, a tie or win against RPI could see them clinch the final playoff position and allow the seniors to play again. The game could not have been a more memorable way to send off for the seniors as they wrapped up their last regular season campaign of their college careers.
Despite the game starting well, with Princeton outshooting RPI in the first period and taking a 1-0 lead from Potts with fellow seniors Koelzer and McKenna assisting, the match was not going to be easy.
In the second period, RPI took advantage of a more defensive Princeton team, scoring in the power play three minutes into the second period and eventually taking the lead at the end of the period.
The Tigers found themselves going into a stressful final third on Senior Day. But at the interval Princeton regrouped and started the final group period playing their game. They shot a total of 21 shots on the RPI goal in one period and 53 overall, and after sustained pressure on the Union goalkeeper, defender Strabley managed to get her third goal of the season. Continuing to fight hard for the playoff spot, Princeton’s Lund got the game winner and took her overall tally to 21 goals, pushing herself to second in goals scored in the ECAC conference.
In a last-ditch comeback attempt by Union, they pulled their goalkeeper, but disciplined defending by the Tigers saw Koelzer force a turnover and pass to Tucker, who scored into the empty net.
This weekend was an exciting one to be a Tiger supporting the women’s ice hockey team. They face a three-series test against Quinnipiac with a three-win streak behind them. Beginning on Friday and going through to Sunday, the test starts at 3 p.m. to kick off the ECAC Tournament.