Winless, but still improving

The women’s hockey team had a rough go during winter break, losing all four of their matches, but the young Catamount team continued to make steady progress over the four-game stand.In their first game back from an extended holiday layoff, UVM dropped the first of a two-game set at Bemidji State. The Cats lost 4-1, a deceiving final score given that all four of the Beavers’ goals came in the first quarter. UVM’s sopho?more goalie Kristen Olychuck finished the game with 31 saves.The second game was tight the whole way. After a late goal from freshman Peggy Wakeham, UVM could not find the equalizer and lost a second to the Beavers, 3-2.The Cats returned home to Gutterson Fieldhouse on Jan. 5 to be defeated by a strong Clarkson team, 5-1.Once again, the young Catamounts shook off the loss and made great strides in the second game of their homestand. Though they would fall, 3-1, Olychuck had another strong game, netting 34 saves. Junior forward Sarah Smiddy chipped in the Catamount’s lone goal, her third of the year.Despite the losses, UVM’s youngsters have continued to improve as the season progresses, something that is vital to the team given the pivotal conference matches ahead in January and February. With the exception of their leading point-getter, senior forward Kate Lesniak, four of the top five point leaders are freshmen.UVM heads in to the heart of its schedule and makes a second trip to Minnesota for a two-game bout with St. Cloud State. UVM will look to lean on the strong freshman class in hopes of halting the current losing streak.