Colgate Women’s Hockey Captures First ECAC Crown

The Colgate Women’s Ice Hockey Team has won the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) championship for the first time in the program’s history. After ending their regular season in first place and entering the tournament as the front runners, the Colgate women’s team prevailed with a 3-2 victory over St. Lawrence. With that win, the women’s team caps off the season at 15-6-1 and earns an automatic bid to the NCAA championship. 

The Raiders were given a four seed in the bracket and will have a game against fifth seeded Minnesota Duluth on March 15. If the Raiders win that game they will continue onto the Semifinals against the winner of Northeastern and Robert Morris. If they move on from that game, they would have an opportunity to play for a National Championship, taking place on March 20. Needless to say the season could be far from over for the women, and a deep playoff run could make this season even more special.

The road to the ECAC championship began long before the conference tournament in March. Junior forward Nemo Neubauerova spoke about how the team began preparing for the upcoming season well before their first game. They also had to deal with additional complications because of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as wearing masks during practices and complying with additional pandemic precautions specific to athletes. Neubauerova said that through all the hardship the team pulled through.

“Mentally it was really tough, but we all handled it really well. We just focused on practice each and every day,” she said.  

That hard work and dedication through the off-season continued into the regular season and helped Colgate remain at the top of their conference, giving them a certain degree of confidence heading into the ECAC tournament. It seems that the women’s team will be able to carry that momentum and confidence into the NCAA playoffs.

“We have a great team, great individual players. We’re all excited to be here, very confident and ready to play tomorrow,” Neubauerova said. 

In a Zoom call with alumni and family members, Head Coach Greg Fargo noted that he shared his players’ confidence, noting that they have been steadily improving all year and only now are playing their best hockey.

“We’re going into this weekend very grateful having fought through adversity together. I think coming out of the ECAC playing against three other good teams all year long we’re really battle tested and we’re ready for what’s ahead of us,” Neubauerova said. “Coming off last weekend’s ECAC championship I don’t think our team has ever played any better.”

The women’s team has already left for Erie, Pennsylvania where the entire NCAA Tournament will be held over the next week. Assuming they, as well as the rest of the teams in Erie, have no problems during quarantine, they may get to cap off this exciting season with a playoff run. Whatever the results of the tournament, the women’s team has plenty to be proud of already, as highlighted by Neybauerova: “[Winning the tournament] was so exciting. It was a great feeling with a lot of emotions. It was just great in every way.”