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Yale University student body and alumni take pride in Bulldogs' Top 10 national ranking

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

By Rick Menning

NEW HAVEN, CT -- It might be true that the only polls that matter are those with the final season tally, but hard work and a commitment to success should always be rewarded and, for the Yale University women's hockey team, that came at noon on Monday, Nov. 15.

That's when the news came down from the USCHO that the Bulldogs have joined the Top 10 in the national rankings, but for the student body and alumni the Yale skaters have been a continuing success story for quite some time.

With huge crowds in attendance this past weekend inside the Whale, and awesome shoutouts from alumni including two members of the Premier Hockey Federation's Connecticut Whale, the Bulldogs are bigtime news on so many levels.

After back-to-back wins over top Top 10 teams -- Colgate (Nov. 6) and Harvard (Nov. 12) -- and this past Saturday's convincing victory over Dartmouth, the Bulldogs now find themselves right up there with the nation's best.

In the latest USCHO poll, the Yale skaters are ranked ninth after receiving 32 points. Last week, after a few days earlier soundly defeating the then No. 4-ranked Raiders in New York, the Bulldogs landed six points toward inclusion in the Top 10 category.

Bulldogs junior Emma Seitz has been named ECAC Hockey's Player of the Week for her performances against Harvard and Dartmouth last weekend at Ingalls Rink. (File photo credit: Lukas Flippo/Yale University)

And while it's only a number, the No. 9 stature provides incentive among each and every player to strive to keep the positives going as the Elis travel back to New York for games this weekend at St. Lawrence (Canton) and Clarkson (Potsdam).

Yale certainly took a major step toward Monday's Top 10 placement in the USCHO poll with a thrilling 3-1 triumph over then 10th-ranked Harvard before a large crowd at Ingalls Rink.

Eight Bulldogs, led by Charlotte Welch with the first goal and also an assist, recorded points in the electrifying win in front of a crowd of 1,124 spectators at the Whale.

Emma Seitz also scored, and Kaitlyn Rippon knocked home her first goal this season. Greta Skarzynski, Elle Hartje, Emma DeCorby, Olivia Muhn and Kristi Della Rovere added helpers against the Crimson.

Seitz, a junior who as a member of the U18 age group women's team for the USA squad had a point in each game of the series against Canada, was named ECAC Hockey's Player of the Week.

The junior from New York City scored three goals and handed out an assist as the Bulldogs edged the Crimson, 3-1, on Friday and then exploded for an 8-3 victory against the Big Green on Saturday to extend their win streak to four games.

Seitz, a second-team all-conference pick in 2019-20, found the back of the net once against Harvard and twice the next day for three weekend tallies on a combined seven shots.

The Bulldogs, who with the outcome against Harvard recorded consecutive victories wins over ranked teams for the first time in program history, skate at St. Lawrence and Clarkson this weekend.

Former Bulldogs ecstatic

For former Yale University standouts Emma Vlasic and Taylor Marchin, the history making Top 10 ranking is super special.

"It's so exciting; it's great," said Vlasic, who enjoyed a memorable weekend herself scoring the game-winner in the Connecticut Whale's huge victory on Sunday in Danbury over the defending Isobel Cup champion Boston Pride. "They're such a good team and a great group of girls."

Vlasic, who along with Marchin saw firsthand what the Bulldogs are capable of when they played an exhibition game last month at Ingalls Rink, sees so many positives for the Yale squad as it continues along in its 2021-22 season.

"It's been coming all season and now to see Yale up there and ranked in the Top 10 is pretty cool," Vlasic said. "I'm really looking forward to seeing what they are going to be able to do the rest of the season. I keep up with their games every weekend."

Marchin, another member of the Connecticut Whale squad, fondly remembers her four years playing at Yale and, like Vlasic, quickly heard and was thrilled as word spread midday Monday over the national ranking.

"It makes me feel awesome," Marchin said. "When I was there we were like in that transition phase where women's hockey was really starting to pick up and from there they have continued to get better and better."

Marchin said the Bulldogs gave her and her Whale teammates all they could handle in the exhibition game, and likened Yale's style to that of their pro group.

"As an alum, I am super proud of how they are playing," she continued. "You could see how great they were back in October when we played them and it made me really excited for them."

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