The Crimson (5-1, 4-0 ECAC) downed Colgate 10-0 and Cornell 8-0. Coming off road games against the other three of the top four teams in the nation, Harvard showed its dominance against the softer part of its schedule.
Captain Jennifer Botterill led the way with seven goals and two assists while junior defenseman Angela Ruggiero added two goals and five assists for the weekend. The two rank first and second in the nation, respectively, in scoring based on points per game.
The results were a far cry from a year ago when Colgate (5-7, 2-4) took a point from Harvard and Cornell (0-5-1, 0-5-1) actually beat the Crimson.
Harvard completes a three-game homestand against another unranked opponent, Connecticut, on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Harvard 8, Cornell 0
Against Cornell, the Crimson started rolling from the moment it took the ice but only asserted its dominance in the second period.
Harvard took the lead just 16 seconds into the game when Botterill took a pass off the right-side boards from senior defenseman Pamela Van Reesema and tapped the puck past the pads of Cornell senior goalie Sanya Sandahl.
Sandahl’s superb goaltending prevented the Crimson from finding the back of the net again until the second period.
“She was terrific,” said Harvard coach Katey Stone. “We made her look better by shooting right at her, but it was just solid goaltending.”
Though the Crimson dominated each period of play, the scoreboard did not start reflecting the team’s intensity until the second period.
“We took a ton of shots. The goalie made some big saves diving on the puck,” Botterill said.
Once again, Botterill ignited the Crimson attack with two goals to start the second period.
On the first of the goals, freshman Julie Chu claimed possession in the Harvard zone, sped down the ice and passed the puck across to Botterill, who cut in and beat Sandahl glove-side.
Junior winger Mina Pell, in her first weekend of action since the end of a stellar field hockey campaign, scored twice in the period as well.
“We definitely picked up our play in the second,” Pell said. “We try to take it shift by shift. Our specific focus is on small goals, like finding the open cutter. The small things lead to big plays.”