Wildcats Defeat Princeton Day; Remain Undefeated in League

Whoever said, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog” must have had the Rye Country Day girls’ hockey team in mind.

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Published January 31, 2012 2:58 PM
3 min read

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ic-thumbWhoever said, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog” must have had the Rye Country Day girls’ hockey team in mind.

 

By Kevin LaManna

 

Whoever said, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog” must have had the Rye Country Day girls’ hockey team in mind.

 

ic-4Marred by injuries and playing shorthanded all season, the Wildcats have somehow managed to retain their status as the team to beat in the Women’s Ice Hockey League Metropolitan Association. They are in first in WIHLMA play with a record of 5-0, and are 8-3 overall.

 

Rye Country Day’s record would be impressive under any circumstances, but with junior left wing Lauren Totonis and sophomore right wing Natasha Wit both out for the season, it’s even more so. Additionally, the Wildcats were down a pair of seniors – right winger Kelsey Konopka and left winger Christina Chartouni – for their home game with rival Princeton Day January 20. In the end, it didn’t matter. The Wildcats pounded the Panthers 6-1.

 

Princeton opened scoring with an early goal from forward Zeeza Cole, but were quickly answered by the Wildcats’ left wing freshman phenom Ciara Clare. At the start of the second period, Clare scored her second goal to break the tie and the Wildcats never looked back. Forty seconds later junior captain Rosie Rather scored her first goal, and added two more in the third for the hat trick.

 

ic-3Freshman defender Charlotte Fleischman scored the last goal of the game in the waning moments of the third period. Junior goalie Rebecca Mendelsohn had 17 saves, owning the third period with 12 in the final 15 minutes. Assists were spread across the squad in the commanding performance: three by Georgia Kleiner, two each from Jamie Simensky, Clare, and Rather, and one from freshman Charlotte Fleischman.

 

Kleiner, a captain, had nothing but praise for her team: “It’s awesome how everyone stepped up … not everyone plays year-round hockey, but they all play through the full 45 minutes despite injuries and questionable calls.”  

 

This sentiment was echoed by Rather, the team’s leading scorer.

 

ic-goalie“We’ve had a rough year with two girls who quit and four injuries – it’s mainly about heart and everybody working 110%. That’s how we’ve been able to win.”   

 

Head coach Gil Castagna stressed the fitness of his team and challenged anyone to match the level of conditioning they exhibit on the ice. He summed up the team and their performance perfectly, “When you’ve got the right seven players, there’s nothing you can’t do.”
Mendelsohn is just looking forward to the rest of the season.

 

“Morristown Beard is the top dog in this league and we play them in February. We can beat them. Last year we were the fourth seed in the tournament, lost in the first round to Morristown Beard, and then won in the consolation game to place third overall. We want to win it all this year.”

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