Season Ends for Women’s Hockey in Loss to Cornell: Raiders Finish With Overall Record of 22-11-3


Sophomore defender Oliva Zafuto was the only Raider to score in the two-game ECAC series against Cornell; although both games were fought hard, the Raiders’ season is officially over.

This weekend, the Colgate women’s hockey team took on long-time rival Cornell University for games one and two of the ECAC Quarterfinals. Although they put up a tough fight, the Raiders were unable to emerge victorious over Cornell’s Big Red. The team lost both Saturday and Sunday’s games to end the best-of-three playoff series, resulting in a final season record of 22-11-3.

On Friday, Colgate ventured to Ithaca to play the first game of the quarterfinal series at Lynah Rink. The first period was fast-paced for both teams, but senior Cornell goalie Paula Voorheis and sophomore Raiders goalie Julia Vandyk responded exceedingly well to the pressure, keeping the score at 0-0. The Raiders outshot Cornell 9-6, but were unable to find the back of the net. Just three minutes into the second period, sophomore defender Olivia Zafuto was able to break Voorheis. Assisted by junior attacker Breanne Wilson-Bennet and sophomore forward Bailey Larson, Zafuto took a hard shot from the point. The puck sailed over the goalie’s left shoulder and into the net, giving Colgate the lead over Cornell.

Six minutes later, Cornell came back strong to tie the score 1-1, with a sharp goal by sophomore forward Diana Buckley. The remainder of the second period was quiet, but both teams emerged in the third period thirsty for the win. With only 4:24 left in the final period of the first quarterfinal game, Cornell took the lead on a penalty shot, bringing the score to 2-1. The Raiders pushed hard for the last few minutes of the game, but were unable to get the puck past Voorheis, solidifying a Cornell victory. Although the Raiders were unable to capture the win, the women outshot Cornell 32-24.

On Saturday, February 25 the Raiders took on the Big Red again for the second game of the quarterfinal series. The first period was quiet, with Colgate outshooting Cornell 6-5, but both goalies ensured that nothing got through and the score stayed at an even 0-0. Nine minutes into the second period, Cornell’s first-year attacker Amy Curlew scored on a power play to bring the score to 1-0. As the third period came around, the Raiders fought back with all their heart. Although they saw some promising chances, they were unable to get on the board. With less than one minute remaining in what looked to be the last game of the three-game series, Colgate pulled goalie Vandyk for an extra attacker in hopes to put enough pressure on the Cornell defense to tie the score. Their efforts were not enough to overcome the Big Red defenders, who were able to hold on and secure the 1-0 Cornell victory.

Despite the quarterfinal loss, the Raiders ended their season with 22 wins for the second season in a row, a program record. This season was also the first time the Raiders have qualified for the ECAC Hockey playoffs two years in a row since 2008-09 and 2009-10.

“These two playoffs games were some of the most exciting back and forth hockey I’ve ever been a part of. Unfortunately, we ended up on the wrong side of both games that could have gone either way. It was a good season for our program overall; I feel very fortunate to coach such a quality group of people,” head coach Greg Fargo said.