On Friday night, freshmen forward Nicole Corriero's four goals led Harvard (2-1-1, 2-1-1 ECAC) over the Vermont Catamounts (0-8-0, 0-3-0 ECAC) in a lopsided victory.
The Catamounts, who made the jump from Division III to Division I this season, simply could not keep up with Crimson's relentless pressure. The puck seldom left the Vermont zone, as the Crimson outshot the Catamounts 57-4. Senior Alison Kuusisto recorded the shutout.
The Crimson displayed crisp passing, totally in control when on the attack. It picked up every loose puck and swarmed around the Vermont net, creating numerous opportunities.
Vermont junior goaltender Tiffany Hayes made 52 saves.
"We had plenty of chances and we moved the puck very well," said Harvard Coach Katie Stone. "Their goaltender is as good as they get, one of the best in the league."
Despite Harvard's dominance, it took nearly 14 minutes and a Crimson powerplay to open the scoring. With Vermont's sophomore forward Katie McBride in the box for cross checking, Crimson junior center Kalen Ingram sent the puck back to junior defenseman Pamela Van Reesema at the point. Van Reesema's shot deflected off a Catamount defender and slipped past a sprawling Hayes for her second goal of the season.
The Crimson added to its lead with only 10 seconds remaining in the period. Corriero picked up a pass from Ingram at center ice and in a burst of speed, broke away from a defender, came up on Hayes' right, faked a backhand, deked right and found the back of the net.
It was Corriero's second goal of the season and foreshadowed things to come.
Corriero's second goal of the game came midway through the second period. The feisty freshmen stole the puck at her own blue line and was off to the races for another breakaway opportunity. She made the most of it again, scoring unassisted.
The second period concluded much the same way the first did, with a Corriero goal. Ingram darted into the zone and got in the way of a Vermont defenseman while leaving a beautiful backhand drop pass for the incoming Corriero. The Toronto native swept in from the goalie's right and beat her glove side, completing the hat trick. It was the second time that evening the Ontario linemates combined on a goal.
Corriero's final goal came near the close of the third period. Freshman walk-on defenseman Emily Haigh found Corriero open in the slot. The left-winger lifted a backhand from just inside the hash marks into the top left corner.
Corriero seemed most surprised by her breakthrough performance.
"I can't explain it," the forward said. "Sometimes you're always at the right spot at the right time. Sometimes the bounces go your way and sometimes they don't. This was one of the nights when they didI'm in shock right now."
Corriero was quick to credit her coach and teammates.
"Coach has given me a lot of confidence. Having her place confidence in me allowed me to be confident myself," Corriero said. "Kalen [Ingram] in just amazing. Being able to play with great players makes you a better player."