by Meaghan Cahill ’20
Along with fall, hockey season has officially arrived in Friartown as the Providence College Women’s Hockey Team kicked off their season this past weekend. The team went into their first official game of the season with a solid preseason 3-2 win over Laurentian University.
Coming off of that win, the team traveled to Schenectady, New York, where they dominated Union College with a score of 7-3 which featured seven different goal scorers for the Friars.
Following the Union game, the Friars made a quick trip back to campus where they played their season home opener on Sunday against The University of Vermont. It was a game that was not to be missed as, even though there was a rocky start in the first period that resulted in them being down 2-1, the Friars pulled ahead on the scoreboard to conclude the game with a 6-2 victory. Once again, the team had six different goal scorers, including Hayley Lunny ’21, who scored her first goal as a Friar.
The weekend was a dominant start to the season for the team, as within two games, 10 different players have already notched a point in the goals scored box. 15 of the 18 Friars that dress for the games have already earned points.
The success of the weekend opening for the women’s hockey team is looking to continue throughout the season as they strive to win Hockey East. Last year, they ended their season with a heartbreaking loss to UVM that denied them from advancing further in the Hockey East Tournament.
However, while many players graduated, only two were considered a detrimental loss in terms of playing time. The team is fairly young, with seven players each from the freshman, sophomore, and junior classes. The team is led by four seniors. The experience needed to know how to navigate through Hockey East is definitely there for the team, as well as the relationship between the players in knowing who, how, and where different members like to play. As seen by their success in the first week of their season, the Friars know how to play with one another, which will help them make the push towards the post season.
Most of the team’s top players from last year will still be in the lineup. This includes defenseman Whitney Dove ’20, who had a remarkable breakout season her freshman year with the Friars. She was one of the many recipients of the Hockey East Rookie of the Week acknowledgement, and went on to finish third in all of Hockey East for defensive scoring. She also was awarded the Hockey East Rookie of the Year award—the first defenseman to ever win the award in the history of the league—and was unanimously selected to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team.
Dove scored a goal apiece against Union and UVM, and was named this week’s Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week. She is also joined by players Neve Van Pelt ’20, who finished her freshman year with the highest face-off win percentage in all of Hockey East, and Blair Parent ’18, who has twice been recognized as a Hockey East Top Performer.
Lunny, a native of Bedford, New York, is joined by local Rhode Island player Giana Savastano ’21. The rest of the freshman class includes Canadian players Chloe Gonsalves ’21, Ariane Julien ’21, and Camryn Tait ’21; Sandra Abstreiter ’21 from Germany; New Yorker Maureen Murphy ’21.
Kate Friesen ’19 and Madison Sansone ’18 will serve as captains and be assisted by Parent and Brooke Boquist ’18.
The team can look to their four seniors for guidance and leadership throughout the season. The fourth senior on the team is Alanna Serviss ’18.
The women’s hockey team plays next in Friartown on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. against Quinnipiac University.