Icewomen Take the Offensive

Well, here they go again.

For those of you who have not heard, the Harvard women's hockey team is about to begin its 1991-92 campaign at Bright Center. And like its male counterpart, the team should challenge for the Ivy title come February.

The Crimson returns its front two offensive lines, led by explosive Co-Captain Sandra Whyte, a member of Team USA, which will compete in this spring's World Cup.

Harvard also features a solid defensive unit, anchored by Co-Captain Bev Stickles.

"This is one strongest teams to have ever laced 'em up for the Crimson," said Coach John Dooley, who is assuming his 11th year at the helm.

Whyte, last year's winner of the National and Ivy Player of the Year Awards, centers the team's first line and is flanked by sophomore sensation Joey Alissi and senior standout Ginny Simonds.

"The first line is playing at a completely different level after Sandra's experience on the National Team," Stickles said.

Seniors Jen Minkus--the team's second leading scorer last year--and Lauren Messmore, along with junior wing Kim Landry, comprise the second line.

"The key to our success will be the goal production of the second line," Whyte said.

The third line, at this juncture, consists of sophomore Emily Buxton, and seniors Laurie White and Courtney Hurley.

"Emily will play a key role on this team," Dooley said. "She will play every position on the forward line for us."

Sophomore Sharon Johnston, and freshmen Kelly Flynn, Alison Lozner, and Sara Simmons round out the offensive corps and will see limited time.

The squad will rotate five defenders, buoyed by three-time All-Ivy blue-liner Stickles. She will most likely be matched with freshman Winkie Mleczko. Sophomores Francie Walton and Beth Messmore, both a year stronger, will be paired. Freshman Diana Clark, who played her high school hockey at St. Paul's, rounds out the unit.

Freshman goaltender Erin Villiotte, who captained the boys team at Shrewsbury High, will get the call between the pipes. Lexi Shear, who posted a 1.88 goals-against average while playing behind last year's senior starter Gillian D'Souza, will also see some action.

"Erin is a real blue-chip goal-tender," Dooley said. "And if you have a goalie, you can play this game."