November 11, 2016 by Peter Sandilos
On Nov. 4 the Drexel University hockey team took to the field in the Colonial Athletic Association semifinals game against the University of Delaware.
The Dragons certainly wanted to show up and try to fight their way to the CAA Championship.
Delaware came out of the gates ready to strike as they normally do. The Blue Hens attempted a few shots on goal early but the Drexel defense was able to stop them from scoring. However, almost nine minutes into the first half, the Blue Hens scored their first goal.
With the score 1-0, the Dragons needed to make sure they stayed on top of Delaware. The Blue Hens are too good to keep up with if they are allowed to gain momentum. Drexel played hard-nosed defense after allowing the score. The Dragons kept Delaware from scoring for a good portion of the first half, until the 20:36 mark when the Blue Hens found the back of the net again to make the score 2-0.
Drexel continued to fight hard, but Delaware was on their game. The Blue Hens scored one last time in the first half at the 30:46 mark to put themselves ahead by three goals. Drexel could only muster up two shots, so the offense’s struggles were likely a point of discussion for halftime.
The second half rolled around and the Blue Hens made sure Drexel did not come out of the gates firing, as they have been prone to do.
Delaware quickly established themselves by scoring their fourth goal just three minutes into the half. The Blue Hens then turned around and scored again two minutes later, putting the score at 5-0.
Delaware scored one last time in the half, essentially closing the game out. The Dragons did muster up one goal with just about seven minutes left in regulation as senior Jessica McCarthy scored an emotional last goal of her great college career. Her score put the overall total to 6-1, the eventual final score.
It is certainly sad that the Dragons could not move on to the CAA Championship game, but they had a great season. This is a young team that has a lot of potential.
“They worked hard to improve their decision making and savvy, but as with any young team we took some risks in our individual matchups. Coming into next year, we will have a large group of players that have had time to develop together in high-level situations. The goal is to take what we have learned and continue to build continuity with our strong and now experienced squad,” head coach Denise Zelenak said.
It will certainly be exciting to watch this team next season, and see how they use what they have learned this year in their future games.
This was the final game for seniors Idrienne Walker and Jessica McCarthy.
“Two different people off the field but they are unified in their passion for hockey and desire to win. We will miss their confidence and field presence which directly impacted our success this season, earning us a highly sought after spot in the CAA Championship for the third time in their careers,” Zelenak said.
To add on to her career accolades, McCarthy was awarded a spot on the All-CAA Team, along with sophomore teammate Katie Bagdon.