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The Scorriero

Athlete of the Week: Nicole Corriero

By Gabriel M. Velez, Contributing Writer

Once again, the Harvard women’s hockey team unleashed an arsenal of offense upon its opponents, and once again junior winger Nicole Corriero proved to be the biggest gun.

This past week, Corriero rose to the occasion against three ECAC opponents, scoring three goals and notching three assists against Providence, Cornell and Colgate.

Tuesday night, Corriero found sophomore Julie Chu from behind the net with a pretty pass for the first goal in a 2-1 victory over the Friars. Friday night against the Big Red, Corriero scored the game’s opening goal and then came up with two assists to secure the victory. On Saturday, Corriero put the “pow” in the power play, registering the game’s only two goals, both on the man-advantage.

According to co-captain Lauren McAuliffe, Corriero likes these sorts of weekends just as much as her record-breaking games—like when the team played Union Nov. 7-8, and Corriero broke the school record for goals in a game with six and totaled 16 points on the weekend.

“It’s great to break records like she did,” McAuliffe said. “But if you ask her if she’d rather score six goals in a blowout or assist on the sole goal in a one-to-nothing win, she would rather have the assist. That’s the type of team player that she is.”

Over this season’s first 10 games, Corriero has averaged 2.90 points per game—tops in the nation—with 17 goals and 12 assists.

More important, Corriero comes up in the clutch—five of her goals have been game-winners, helping the Crimson post an undefeated record. Harvard’s 10-0-0 start is the best in program history.

Last year, Corriero played a different role in the Crimson’s plans, focusing less on scoring herself and more on supporting the Crimson offense led by Jennifer Botterill ’02-’03. Now, Corriero’s role is similar to the one she played freshman year, when she led the team in scoring and was named an All-American.

“I did work a lot during the summer to improve my skating and shooting,” Corriero said. “I knew that with the graduation of Jen Botterill, Kalen Ingram and Tracy Catlin, we would need other players to step up and pick up where they left off, and I hoped to be one of the players who could do that.”

Neither she nor her teammates expect her to slow down on or off the ice anytime soon.

“Nicole is emerging as one of our team’s leaders,” McAuliffe said. “She is one of the strongest kids and works so hard on the ice and in the weight room.”

Harvard will need play like Corriero’s when it faces No. 8 New Hampshire tonight at home and travels northwest for a two-day doubleheader against No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth Friday and Saturday. The Crimson’s last game against the Bulldogs was a battle for the ages, in which Duluth shattered Harvard’s dreams of the national championship with a 3-2 double-overtime win.

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