Women’s hockey set for new year, difficult foes

The talent of RPI’s women’s hockey team hasn’t gone unnoticed in the past few seasons as the squad’s schedule for the 2010-11 season has been ramped up for this year. The Engineers will face a slew of new foes throughout the 33-game regular season, including six games that will feature teams that participated in the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

Last year, under the tutelage of Head Coach John Burke, the Engineers finished 16-15-6 overall and 11-7-4 in the ECAC. RPI took down Quinnipiac University in the ECAC quarterfinals, and advanced to the team’s second-straight ECAC semifinal appearance, where Cornell University prevailed.

Rensselaer opens the season against three-time national champion the University of Wisconsin with a pair of games at Madison, Wisc., on October 1 and 2. The Engineers will then return home for five-straight games against Hockey East opponents, starting with the University of Vermont Catamounts on October 8 and 9 at home. Also heading to the Houston Field House will also be the University of New Hampshire Wildcats on October 15, which also marks Reunion & Homecoming weekend. RPI closes out non-conference play with games at Providence College on October 22 and Northeastern University on October 24 before heading into the 24-game ECAC schedule, beginning with a trip to the North Country to face St. Lawrence University on October 29 and Clarkson University on October 30.

RPI returns home for the ECAC home opener against Princeton University on November 5 followed by Quinnipiac University on November 6, the team the Engineers played a three-overtime deadlock with during the ECAC Tournament. Rensselaer ultimately prevailed in a match that was hailed as the longest women’s hockey game ever played.

The Engineers head to Yale University on November 12 and Brown University the following day before hosting Niagara University for a two-game series on November 19 and 20. Rensselaer then heads out to budding Syracuse University for another pair of non-conference games on November 26 and 27. Rensselaer closes out the fall semester with a home-and-home series with local rival Union College the following weekend. The Engineers head to Schenectady on December 3 before hosting the Dutchwomen on the 4th.

After a month-long hiatus, Rensselaer remains home for two-straight weekends to take on Dartmouth College on January 7 and Harvard University on January 8, followed by games against national runner-up Cornell University on January 14 and Colgate University on January 15. The Engineers then hit the road playing a reverse of the two previous weeks, heading to Harvard and Dartmouth on January 21 and 22, before heading west to Colgate and Cornell on the 28th and 29th.
RPI hosts Brown and Yale on February 4 and 5 before hitting the road to Quinnipiac and Princeton on the 10th and 11th. The Engineers will then close out the regular season at home with matches against the Clarkson Golden Knights on February 18 and St. Lawrence Saints on February 19.

Four set to lead team

Rising senior Kendra Dunlop has been selected by her teammates and coaches to be captain of the 2010–11 Engineers. Joining her as assistants will be classmate Sydney O’Keefe, along with rising juniors Alisa Harrison and Amanda Castignetti.
Dunlop has only missed one game of her three-year career, and has continually been one of RPI’s leading scorer the past three seasons.

Five freshmen join Engineer squad

In addition to the 16 returning upperclassmen, which include nine forwards, four defensemen, and three goaltenders, five skaters are expected to join Rensselaer for the upcoming season. On defense will be Nona Letuligasenoa and Madison Marzario, while Missy Mankey, Toni Sanders, and Jordan Smelker will be up front as forwards.