Vol. LXI, No. 42
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)
FULL COVERAGE: Princeton University star forward Lizzie Keady gets defensive in action last winter. Keady, who has played with the U.S. National Team, figures to provide plenty of leadership and offense this season for Princeton. The Tigers get their 2007-08 season underway this weekend when they host No. 8 Boston College on October 19 and league foe Quinnipiac two days later.
Things ended in a frustrating manner last winter for the Princeton University womens ice hockey team.
The Tigers dropped two one-goal games to Colgate to get eliminated in the first round of the ECAC Hockey League playoffs and dropped a series to the Raiders for the first time in program history.
In the view of Princeton head coach Jeff Kampersal, however, the loss in the Colgate series was not necessarily an accurate reflection of the quality of hockey his team produced down the stretch.
We finished strong last year; things just didnt go our way in the Colgate series, said Kampersal, whose team went 5-1-1 in its last seven regular season games. It wasnt for lack of effort.
But the bitter taste of not making it out of the first round of the playoffs has fueled the Tigers as they look ahead to the upcoming season.
I think all of our players had a good summer and they are in good shape, said Kampersal, whose team opens its 2007-08 campaign by hosting national power Boston College on October 19 and ECACHL foe Quinnipiac two days later.
We still need to get into hockey shape. Weve had five or six practices so far and everyone seems excited. Everyone is ticking down the days to the opener. We need to have 20 leaders and 20 followers doing the right thing and making the right decisions and I think they are doing that.
Kampersal is depending on his core of seniors to lead the way, particularly on offense. With Kim Pearce gone, we are losing a lot of our offense, said Kampersal referring to the graduated Pearce, an All-Ivy League performer who led the Tigers in scoring last season with 34 points.
I think [Lizzie] Keady, MK [Marykate] Oakley, and Brittany [Salmon] are all good players; I think they can do that. They all have cleverness, vision, and a good work ethic. We need to make the goalies move around and we have to work on getting the second and third shots.
Oakley is Princetons leading returning scorer with 29 points last season while Keady tallied 16 and Salmon added 12.
Princeton will be looking to Keady, who was away from Princeton in 2005-06 to play with the U.S. National Team, to be a catalyst.
Lizzie is a great leader and is probably our hardest worker, asserted Kampersal, who is entering his 11th season guiding Princeton and has a 156-121-25 record.
Every time she goes on the ice, she gives total effort. The younger players see that and learn from that.
Princeton could use a big year from junior Annie Greenwood who slipped to 10 points last season after scoring 34 as a freshman when she was the ECAC Hockey League and Ivy League Rookie of the Year.
Im confident shell rebound, said Kampersal, who is hoping the sophomore Melanie Wallace will stay away from a sophomore slump after scoring 17 points last winter in her debut campaign.
Shes worked very hard in the offseason and I hope she continues that during the season. She can make 25 percent of her shots and we need her to do that.
Kampersal knows he will get hard work from his star junior defenseman Katherine Dineen.
Shes an awesome kid, said Kampersal of the St. Paul Minn. native who will be paired much of the time with sophomore Stephanie Denino.
She is a great skater; shes feisty and aggressive. She has been in a lot of big situations for us and will see a lot of ice time.
Sophomore Maddie Endicott figures to see a lot more ice time this winter after a productive offseason.
Maddie may have had the best summer of any of our players, said Kampersal. Shes a lot quicker and has a lot of strength. Im expecting her to have a big year.
Princeton boasts good depth along the blue line in juniors Monica Brennan and Mariesa Mason together with promising freshmen Laura Martindale and Sasha Sherry.
Losing [Laura] Watt and [Kate] Hession will be tough; they had a lot of savvy, added Kampersal.
Getting that good will take some time but I feel the players can step into their shoes. We are young but a good young with strength and enthusiasm.
Junior goaltender Kristen Young will need to bring a lot of enthusiasm to the rink on a daily basis as she will be the Tigers main option in the net with backup Brittany Parisi having to give up the sport due to back problems.
She will be carrying the whole loaf of bread this year, said Kampersal of Young who posted a goals against average of 2.06 in 21 appearances last winter.
She had a great second half last year and we need her to be in the right mindset to compete everyday. She is outgoing and has a lot of passion; the kids feel her energy. She is tall and covers a lot of the net but she is athletic enough to make that first save.
Young figures to get a lot of action in Princetons opening weekend as the Tigers face No. 8 Boston College, who made the NCAA Frozen Four last season, and league rival Quinnipiac.
They have become awesome in a hurry, they have some young players who now have a lot of experience, maintained Kampersal, referring to Boston College.
They have a lot of firepower up front and one of the best goalies in the country in Molly Schaus. Its going to be a big challenge. Quinnipiac has new facilities and a good coaching staff. They are starting to draw some good players.
Kampersal, for his part, believes his players can produce some good things this season. Im definitely excited about this group, said Kampersal. We dont have a long preseason so Im not sure what to expect early on. If we get good goaltending and are on good on special teams, I think we should have a fair amount of success.
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