For the Princeton University women’s hockey team, its annual Senior Day regular season home finale got off to a good start as the Tigers hosted Yale last Saturday.
After the team’s six seniors were introduced one by one, the Tigers proceeded to jump out to a 2-0 lead as freshmen Hilary Lloyd and Fiona McKenna both found the back of the net.
Responding to a Yale goal late in the opening period, Princeton got its lead back up to two as McKenna scored again to put the Tigers ahead 3-1 with 12:37 left in the second period.
But things went downhill from there as Yale scored four unanswered goals to win 5-3 and rain on the seniors’ parade.
Princeton head coach Jeff Kampersal made no effort to hide his disappointment as he assessed his team’s performance.
“It is frustrating all the way around, we had two 2-goal leads and then we crapped out,” said Kampersal, whose team dropped to 13-10-4 overall and 9-8-3 ECAC Hockey.
“We let them score 10 seconds after each time we scored which is absolutely ridiculous. We outshoot them 25-5 in the first period but we probably should have gotten a couple of more. We had a wide open net that we missed and then after that it was a weird game. I thought it was one of the worst losses I have been involved with in a long time.”
The defeat was especially stinging since it came on the send-off for the team’s seniors, Denna Laing, Sally Butler, Gabie Figueroa, Rose Alleva, Olivia Mucha, and Katie Jones.
“They are a great group, no question,” said Kampersal. “They have set the standard for us this year. I just wish today went better for them.”
Kampersal is hoping things go better next weekend when Princeton ends regular season action by playing at Colgate on February 21 and at Cornell the next day.
“We just have to forget it and compete next weekend,” said Kampersal, whose club stands sixth in the EACH standings and has clinched a spot in the league quarterfinals which will see the top four teams getting home ice in best-of-three series during the weekend of February 28-March 2.
“Now it is time to get ready for the playoffs and try to improve our seeding and play our best hockey the week after.”