Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 50
 
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
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NICE SETUP: Princeton University women’s hockey star Christine Foster looks for a teammate in Princeton’s 6-0 win over Union last Friday. Foster notched three assists in the win. The senior alternate captain from Burlington, Ont. Now had eight assists on the season, third best on the Tigers.

With Foster Emerging as Key Playmaker, Tiger Women’s Hockey Making Progress

Bill Alden

In her role as alternate captain of the Princeton University women’s hockey team, Christine Foster looks out for her teammates.

“The responsibility is that you can’t just think about yourself; you have to think about everyone else on the team,” said the senior forward from Burlington, Ont.

“You have to make sure that everyone is feeling good and has a lot of confidence. You need to get the team going for big games; that kind of stuff. You have to think more outside of yourself.”

Foster has been getting the Tigers going by finding her teammates around the net, having piled up five assists in Princeton’s last three games.

Despite her recent surge, the 5’7 Foster doesn’t look at herself as a big-time offensive player.

“I don’t have that great a scoring touch so when I play with people who can put the puck into the net, I can rack up some assists,” said Foster, who notched three assists last Friday in Princeton’s 6-0 win over visiting Union. “I am definitely more of a two-way player.”

Foster has enjoyed getting the chance to play on the same line with classmate Annie Greenwood, who is back on the ice after missing Princeton’s first 10 games and notched two goals in the win over Union.

“Annie has really great offensive talent,” said Foster, who has 11 points on the season with three goals and eight assists. “When you play on the same line with her, your point totals are going to go up.”

Princeton wasted no time putting up scores in the win over Union, scoring two goals in the first 1:14 and building a 3-0 lead by the end of the first period.

“Last year when we played them I don’t think we scored until the second period,” said Foster. “The goalie just shut us down for the first period so it was good. The first five minutes kind of gets the bench into the game. The first shift was really aggressive and that really helps.”

Princeton head coach Jeff Kampersal likes the way Foster has been helping his team’s production.

“Christine has been carrying her line, doing a good job,” said Kampersal, whose team fell 3-2 to Rensselaer last Saturday to move to 6-7-1 overall and 4-5 in ECAC Hockey play.

“She is definitely a playmaker; she’s got a lot of smarts and a lot of vision. She’s always been a great defensive player; now she is stepping it up this year and bringing the offense.”

Kampersal liked the way his team brought the offense early and often in the victory over Union.

“Union has gotten a lot more feistier and they are well coached so we were fortunate in those first two shifts to really attack them,” said Kampersal.

“That’s our plan every game, to make a significant difference in the first five minutes. We played well; we didn’t get caught in making bad habit mistakes. We possessed the puck well and got it to the net. The defensive players did a good job of jumping up when they should; they did a good job of moving their feet overall.”

Sophomore defenseman Laura Martindale was moving her stick pretty well against Union, tallying two goals and an assist, thereby scoring twice as many goals in one game as she had accumulated in the first 42 games of her career.

“Marty as a d-man is as solid as they come,” added Kampersal, whose team plays a two-game set at Minnesota-Duluth on December 13-14 before going on holiday break.

“She’s smart, really tough and rarely makes mistakes. She’s a stalwart back there and it was nice for her to get some offense.”

With Princeton having gone 4-2-1 in its last seven games, Kampersal sees some nice things on the horizon for his team.

“The overall is getting better; we are getting healthier,” said Kampersal.

“We are not quite there yet with the health. We are getting to the point where we are getting everybody back and contributing. We have a tough road to go because we are on the road for the majority of our games.”

Foster believes the Tigers can be tough in the second half of the season. “We knew at the beginning of the season that there was going to be a learning curve,” said Foster.

“I feel right now that we are on the upswing and we have a lot of confidence in the team so it’s good. In the beginning, it was a little rough but now that we are going, it’s better for sure. The offense hasn’t been a problem and we have one of the best goalies in the league. We’ve got all the tools to do some damage later on.”

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