Women’s hockey can’t find identity

The Castleton Women’s Hockey team is averaging just over one goal per game amidst a 3-15-1 season. The Spartans are currently in an eight-game skid with their most recent loss being a heart breaker coming at the hands of Salve Regina on January 30 in Rhode Island. The 12-4-3 Seahawks opened up scoring late in the first period on a Samantha Zitzer rip from the faceoff circle. Salve added to their lead when Castleton’s Jessica Herrera went to the penalty box for cross-checking 6:35 into the second period. Salve’s Shannon Ellis scored a powerplay goal just eighteen seconds into the Herrera penalty to knock the Spartans down by two.

4:31 into the third period Castleton finally got on the board with Laura Szwed’s team-leading, sixth goal of the season with assists from Jade Werger and Maryanne Diehm.

“Szwed’s having a great season,” said Castleton’s Head Coach, Bethany Torrice, now in her second season with the team. “She’s a smart player and really listens to feedback well and does what we ask on the ice.”

Co-Captain, Amy Costa, tied the game for the Spartans mid-way through the contest when she took the feed from fellow co-captain Diehm and Hanna Martini. The two captains combined for three points against Salve.

“Diehm’s been struggling a little bit but she has a lot of speed and tenacity on the ice,” said Torrice. “Costa’s always solid on face-offs.”

The Seahawks took the lead once and for all with just 3.9 seconds remaining on Zitzer’s second goal of the game. The Spartans were outshot 45-17 in the contest giving goalie, Katharyn Dembowski, “second star” honors with her 42 saves. Castleton visited the sin bin eight times during the game and managed to kill off seven penalties in their great effort.

The young Spartans squad has had many setbacks this season but Coach Torrice believes there are some positives to shed light on such as the eight freshmen playing on the 18 player roster. Torrice says that it’s nice to see the young players contributing and making an impact on the team.

The Spartans have just a half-dozen games remaining in their regular season including the “Pink the Rink” night on February 10 against Norwich University at the Spartan Arena. The Spartans will dawn pink jerseys that will be auctioned off before the game with the proceeds going to breast cancer research and awareness.

Torrice says she hopes for the team to win more games than they lose for the rest of the season.

“It’s going to take a lot of drive and commitment out of the girls,” said Torrice. “But we need to keep a positive attitude.

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