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Although the 1992 Harvard women's hockey season ended with a forgettable 7-1 drubbing by Dartmouth, the curtain had already closed on Harvard (10-10 overall) when the ECAC neglected to invite the Crimson to its post-season tournament.
Harvard came on like gangbusters during the final two weeks of the season, finishing sixth in the ECAC standings, but the team did not manage shake itself out of the fourth place in the Ivy League.
Both players and coach John Dooley lamented losses earlier in the season, which kept the team out of the ECAC Tournament.
"We had a great year, but I'm afraid a couple of bounces came back to haunt us," Dooley said.
Although the Crimson did not get a chance to strut its stuff in post-season play, several players received their just rewards when the Ivy League announced its annual all-star teams.
Senior Co-Captain Sandra Whyte was selected Player of the Year for the second straight season. She followed on the heels of former teammate Char Joslin who repeated as top Ivy player in 1990 after winning in 1989.
Whyte chalked up 12 goals and 9 assists in Ivy League play this season, adding to her career totals (84-55-139).
Whyte finished well behind Gretchen Ulion (21-14-35) of Dartmouth in the scoring race, but Whyte notched game winning goals against Princeton and Cornell and key goals in several other tight contests.
Defensive stalwart and Co-Captain Bev Stickles (3-11-14 overall, 2-7-9 Ivy) joined Whyte on the All-Ivy-team first-team. All season long, her coaches and opponents credited Stickles for anchoring Harvard's blue-line, while breaking in a young fleet of defenders. Stickles received the all-star berth for the third time in her career. [See Related Story.]
Following up an outstanding rookie season, Joey Alissi (11-8-19 overall, 4-6-10 Ivy) continued to shine in her sophomore year. The Ivy League named her a second team allstar.
Goalie Erin Villiotte finished third in Rookie of the Year voting.
In the Future
The Crimson can look forward to next year with a solid defense and goaltender returning but it will sorely miss the services of Stickles on the blueline.
Harvard's offense, on the other hand, will be decimated as seniors Jen Minkus, Ginny Simonds, Lauren Messmore, Courtney Hurley and Laurie White and Whyte depart. Junior Kim Landry and Alissi will be left to pick up the slack.
Right now, Dooley isn't concerned about the future. Instead, he wants to talk about the Ivy League's improvement in relation to the rest of the ECAC along with discussing his team's ability to challenge the best teams in the nation.
"The Ivy League is now a very competitive league, and we'll just have to savor the taste of the Beanpot," Dooley said, in light of Harvard's fourth place Ivy finish.
For the award-winners and the entire Crimson squad, that's not such a bad taste to savor.
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