The women’s hockey program at Union College has fallen on hard times in recent years. Through the turmoil of an old regime and the implementation of a new one, one thing has remained a constant over the past ten seasons.
Every year the Dutchwomen host their Pink at the Rink game, aimed at raising money in the fight against cancer. The money goes towards those within the community fighting the disease. This past Saturday, when Union faced off against Cornell, the Dutchwomen hosted their 10th annual Pink at the Rink.
In honor of the event, the Dutchwomen donned pink-striped jerseys, complete with the customary Union College patch in the center, white numbering with black outline and a pink cancer ribbon in place of the usual nameplate. Pink stick-tape was also heavily featured by many of the players. In addition to the vibrant uniforms, pink wristbands, tshirts and cookies were sold at the entrance.
The game itself was a let down for this year’s resurgent Dutchwomen. Cornell dominated from the get-go, outshooting Union 18-2 in the first period and 44-14 overall. Amelia Murray ’20, who made her collegiate debut on Saturday, did her best to keep the Dutchwomen in the game, making 41 saves, but it was to no avail.
Lenka Serda opened the game’s scoring in the first period as Cornell took a 1-0 lead. Jaime Bourbonnais and Pippy Gerace assisted Serda’s tally.
The Big Red held a 1-0 lead into the second period when, on a Dutchwomen powerplay, Kristin O’Neill took advantage of a turnover on the Union rush and buried the game’s second goal on a solo breakaway.
In the third period, O’Neill found Kaitlin Doering blitzing into the offensive zone who proceeded to fire a wrist shot by Murray to make it 3-0.
The Dutchwomen did get on the board when Alli Devins ’17 netted her first goal of the season, jamming home a rebound off of a Caitlyn McLaren ’18 point shot to cut the lead to 3-1.
The result was disappointment, but the event as a whole was still a major success. That the annual fundraiser game continues to be held year in and year out despite the lack of success for the program proves that the influence and importance of sport, even here at Union, goes well beyond the playing field.
The Dutchwomen also took on Colgate last weekend. The No. 7/6 Red Raiders entered the match undefeated with a record of 5-0-1, and are projected to be one of the best teams in the ECAC this year. They played like it on Friday, disposing of the Dutchwomen 2-0, outshooting Union 41-14 in the process.
Livi Altmann and Jesse Eldridge accounted for the Red Raider scoring. Dutchwomen netminder Kate Spooner ’20 stopped 39 of the 41 shots she faced. Union failed to convert on three different powerplay opportunities.
The Dutchwomen will return to the ice on November 4 when they take on Brown University in the first of a pair of weekend games on the road.
In other hockey news, the men’s team swept RPI this weekend and is now ranked No. 20 in the latest USCHO poll. It is their first national ranking since October 12, 2015. Mike Vecchione ’17 leads all of D1 in goals (10) and points (16). The Dutchmen will next host Yale on Friday at 7 p.m.