The Montclair State University women’s hockey team headed into winter break ranked No. 6 in American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) East with an 11-1 record.
The Red Hawks have scored at a swift pace so far in the 2017-2018 season, led by junior Britney Meneghin who has a team best of 28 goals.
Head coach David Solomon praised the work ethic of captain Amanda Peterson this year.
“One player that has been especially reliable is our captain, Amanda Peterson,” Solomon said. “Her leadership on the ice and her work ethic are amazing.”
The only new player on this year’s team is freshman defender Lexi Montez, who has scored one goal and 10 assists in her freshman campaign.
“Definitely I was not expecting to play much being that I am a freshman,” Montez said. “But when I was getting ice time and seeing how the girls play, I was beyond impressed at what the team was capable of.”
Sophomore Paula Bush has known coach Solomon for a long time.
“I [first coached Paula Bush] in club travel when she was 14,” Solomon said. “She’s like family.”
Bush described her relationship with coach Solomon.
“Coach Dave was my coach when I played in high school,” Bush said, “so it’s great to still be with the same coach who has taught me for so long.”
On Nov. 19, the women’s hockey team suffered its first loss of the season to Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference rivals University of Delaware by a 0-6 margin.
When the ACHA released new rankings on Dec. 7, Delaware moved up from second to first while the Red Hawks moved down from fourth to sixth, showing that Montclair State was directly affected by that game.
In February, the fourth and final rankings will be released and only the top six teams will be granted a spot in the national tournament.
Coach Solomon spoke about certain areas where the Red Hawks have improved.
“Our passing has been tremendous this season [because] we have improved our ability to see our options and make the smart decisions,” Solomon said. “Our goaltending has also improved this season.”
Along with goaltending, the team also stepped up their skills defending the puck.
“Our defense has been incredible, we pressure the puck and completely stifle our opponents’ offense,” Solomon said. “When we don’t have the puck, we like to take away all time and space from our opponents.”
After losing to University of Delaware, the Red Hawks will be looking to hold on to their ranking, which is their ticket to their first ever national tournament.
Bush spoke about how everyone on the team has matured.
“This year we all really understand how important the game really is,” Bush said. “When it’s game day, it’s not a joke to any of us.”
The Red Hawks’ next game is on home ice at Floyd Hall Arena against Bishop’s University on Jan. 20.