November 28, 2012

Women's Journal: Saluting the unheralded sophomores

By Kat Hasenauer Cornetta

I always feel bad for sophomores.

Leagues give out Rookie of the Year honors, and seniors tend to dominate First Team All-League selections, but sophomores tend to fall by the wayside. That is unfortunate, considering the number of sophomores making giant impacts on their teams as we head into the mid-point of the women’s college hockey season. Boston College’s Alex Carpenter (Reading, Mass.) and Northeastern’s Kendall Coyne are the easy examples of most valuable sophomores, but there are several others who have been key contributors so far this season.

So while Hockey East and the ECAC may not add a “Sophomore of the Year” trophy to their cases anytime soon, here are three somewhat under-the-radar sophomores who would be making an argument for that award if one existed.

Emily Field – Boston College

Nicole Kosta is second in ECAC Hockey with 26 points. (Photo: Quinnipiac Athletics)

Maybe Field (Littleton, Mass.) isn’t so “under-the-radar” anymore. The sophomore left wing for the Eagles is Hockey East’s Player of the Week after a two goal, one assist performance against Yale in the Nutmeg Classic. The Lawrence Academy alumna plays wing on the second line with center Dara Trivigno and right wing Ashley Motherwell (Lawrence Academy), and while the line’s output has been inconsistent at times, when they click, it usually spells a multiple point game for Field.

Nicole Kosta – Quinnipiac

Kosta is the right wing on one of the most dangerous lines in all of women’s college hockey this season. Paired with left wing Erica Uden Johansson and Kelly Babstock, Kosta has only been held pointless in five of seventeen games. In two games this season, the Mississauga, Ontario native had three helpers, and she’s averaging 1.06 assists per game, good for thirteenth in the nation. She also is great at firing up Quinnipiac’s home crowd – 17 of her points this season have come at home.

Brittany Zuback – Vermont

Early on in the season, Catamount sophomore Klara Myren turned heads, leading a big win for her rebuilding team against the University of New Hampshire. But Zuback is challenging Myren for any Most Valuable Sophomore honors. Zuback has scored at least one goal in five of her last six contests, including a two goal performance in a loss against Robert Morris on November 3rd. She’s now tied for ninth in point scoring in Hockey East alongside Boston University’s Jenelle Kohanchuk. Vermont will need Zuback to keep the scoring prowess going as they face the most difficult part of their schedule after the new year.

Player of the Week

Emerance Maschmeyer, Goaltender, Harvard

The freshman goalie was named the ECAC Rookie and Goaltender of the Week after Harvard’s statement making 3-1 win over the nation’s number two team Cornell. She made 21 saves in that game. Starting against Northeastern Tuesday night, she made 15 saves, holding the Huskies to just one goal in the Crimson’s 3-1 win despite a lackluster defensive effort. “We didn't play as well in front of her as we had, and she made the saves,” head coach Katey Stone said in a post-game video. “She made the saves through traffic, which was great.”

D3 Note of the Week

St. Anselm has won three straight heading into a Friday night game against New England College. Those last three wins include a 4-3 overtime win against #3 Norwich. Junior Courtney Winters (Swampscott, Mass.) leads the team in scoring with four goals and seven assists in eight games, including two last week in a 4-2 win over Franklin Pierce.

Game of the Week

Northeastern vs. New Hampshire, Saturday and Sunday afternoon

Northeastern is coming off a disappointing loss against Harvard Tuesday night, and continues to see their national ranking continuing to slip. New Hampshire is right behind them in the Hockey East standings, sitting in fifth. The Wildcats are also looking for a confidence boost after hosting and losing to the nation’s number one team, Minnesota, in very disappointing fashion (10-2 and 4-0) last weekend. Both teams will be looking for key league wins this weekend. Look for Northeastern to take out some scoring frustration on UNH, exploiting the goaltender carousel that the Wildcats seem to have going on (four goaltenders with multiple starts between them.)

Power Rankings

1) Harvard (7-1-0 overall, 6-0-0 ECAC)

Senior Jillian Dempsey (Winthrop, Mass.) said two weeks ago that the Crimson wants to be the team “no one works harder than.” Spurred on by what Katey Stone’s displeasure with their effort in their 3-1 win Tuesday night over Northeastern and one of the nation’s best point scorers, I am interested to see what next levels of effort Harvard could reach moving forward.

2) Boston College (8-5-4 overall, 5-2-2 Hockey East)

Talking on Tuesday, Alex Carpenter mentioned that her team has just recently started to click. With Carpenter, Emily Field and Haley Skarupa coming off stellar multiple point Nutmeg Classic performances, look for all to continue that spark in a weekend series against Maine.

3) Boston University (9-3-1 overall, 4-2-1 Hockey East)

Boston University could easily make a case for the number one spot in the power rankings over BC or Harvard. They look to make up valuable Hockey East ground in a weekend series against league leading Providence. Keep an eye on a second line of freshmen Rebecca Russo, Jordan Juron and sophomore Sarah Bayersdorfer, who combined for 2 goals and 2 assists in Monday evening’s 6-1 exhibition win over Team Russia.

4) Providence (8-5-4 overall, 5-2-2 Hockey East)

The Friars have six forwards with over five goals each on the season, and four with 12 or more points on the season so far. A well balanced scoresheet is helping some of their defensive miscues and providing support to freshman goalie Sarah Bryant. To keep their league lead, they are going to need a big weekend against Boston University.

5) Northeastern (8-4-2 overall 4-3-1 Hockey East)

Northeastern is #9 in the national polls and plays a home and home series against New Hampshire this weekend. The Huskies have not won a (non-exhibition game) since a 3-1 win against Vermont on November 10th and Kendall Coyne has not scored a goal since she came back from representing the US at the Four Nations Cup. 

Twitter: @sportsgirlkat