Sean Kucharski ‘19
The Women’s Hockey team have started this year with a stellar record of 4-1-2, which is the best start in the program’s history. This women’s team this year has something very special going for them: they seem faster, stronger and on the same page almost every second of the game.
“Above all else, we simply have great team chemistry, everybody is committed to reaching the same goals and we trust and respect each person individually while appreciating what they contribute to the team as a whole,” said senior captain Paige Sorensen. “With a team like this and this type of mentality there is no telling what their limitations could be going forward in the sason.”
The Warriors have taken on some very tough teams so far this season, such as Boston University, and have been successful. Last year the Warriors beat BU in their season opener 2-1. They also beat Penn State on Oct. 6, 2-1, which is huge accomplishment for the team.
“We’re just really focusing on our team this year instead of worrying about BU or any other team we face. We’re repeatedly going over our strong suits, getting better and more efficient in those areas, and we fix areas we can improve on from our previous games this year,” said senior forward Jess Bonfe. “We also have goals set for every game and period that will help us defeat BU if we can achieve them.”
Bonfe scored her first goal of the season in the 2-1 win over Penn State.
“Something about getting the first goal of the year is always the hardest goal to score. Once you get it though, it’s a confidence booster and it gets the ball rolling for the year,” said Bonfe.
None of these wins are possible without the anchor of the team, and in hockey, many claim that to be the goaltender. Senior goalie, Samantha Ridgewell, has posted a fantastic save percentage of .972 so far this season. Ridgewell put in a lot of work over this past summer and it is beginning to pay off.
“My off season program is definitely a huge contributing factor to how successful I have been so far as well as the entire team. We all trained very hard this summer and you can tell that it prepared us very well for our first couple of games and will carry us a long way.”
After tying BU on Oct. 12, the team beat the UConn on Oct. 20. In the UConn game, Bonfe recorded another goal as they won 3-1. Ridgewell once again had a stellar game while Sorensen recorded a +1 on the night and added two more blocked shots to her toal.
During homecoming weekend, the team is home Friday against the University of Vermont at 3:00 p.m., and away Saturday at Holy Cross at 7:00 p.m.
This Merrimack team is a force to be reckoned with.