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The Colgate Raiders Women’s Hockey 2023-24 season preview

Credit: Scott Kinville.

The Colgate Raiders Women’s Hockey Team enters the 2023-24 season as a top-five team with National Championship aspirations.

The Colgate Raiders Women’s Hockey Team has become a national powerhouse under Head Coach Greg Fargo.

Entering his twelfth season behind the Raiders bench, Fargo has compiled an overall record of 223-140-33. He is the all-time leader in program history in wins and has an overall winning percentage of .604. His teams have won the last three consecutive ECAC Tournament championships.

The one thing that has eluded Fargo thus far is the NCAA National Championship. Last season, the Raiders entered the 2023 NCAA Tournament ranked third in the country. Although they were considered one of the favorites to win the tournament, they were defeated in the quarterfinals by the eventual tournament champion the Wisconsin Badgers. Colgate finished the season with an overall record of 32-6-2 and ranked fifth in the final USCHO poll. Colgate enters the 2023-24 season as one of the favorites to win the national championship.

Kaitlyn O’Donohoe (#16) of the Colgate Raiders was pursued by a Wisconsin defender during their NCAA Tournament quarterfinal matchup last season. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

The Schedule

The ECAC has proven itself to be one of the premier conferences in all of NCAA Women’s Hockey, and 2023-24 should continue that trend. Colgate is the highest-ranked ECAC school in both national polls (#4), but there are others in the top fifteen. Following the Raiders are Yale (#6), Quinnipiac (#8), Clarkson (#9), Cornell (#10), and Princeton (#15). You can see the entire poll here: https://uscho.com.

An in-depth look at the Colgate Raiders Women’s Hockey 2023-24 schedule: A look at the Colgate Raiders Women’s Hockey 2023-24 schedule.

The Raiders have a tough conference schedule this season, but they will play an extremely tough non-conference slate as well. They open the regular season at home with a two-game slate against the Ohio State Buckeyes – a team that made it to the NCAA championship game in 2023. The competition remains stiff for Colgate the following weekend, as the CHA champion and eleventh-ranked Penn St. Nittany Lions visit the Class of 1965 Arena for two games. The day after Thanksgiving, the Raiders will be in the State of Hockey for two games against the seventh-ranked Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs.

The Roster

The Raiders will return a vast majority of last season’s roster for the 2023-24 campaign. This group includes Danielle Serdachny, who led the nation in scoring with seventy-one points in 2022-23. Joining Serdachny in exercising their fifth-year options are Allyson Simpson, Sydney Bard, and Kaitlyn O’Donohoe.

The Colgate Raiders earned several ECAC preseason honors: Colgate Raiders Women’s Hockey earns ECAC preseason honors.

Joining the Raiders veterans are a highly regarded group of first-year and transfer skaters. A total of four defenders and three forwards are entering the fold in 2023-24. Of the seven new Raiders, only one is a transfer. Defender Sydney Morrow joins the Colgate defense corps after spending her first season at Ohio State. You can find out more about the Raiders recruit class (plus some fun facts) here: Colgate Raiders Women’s Hockey Adds to its Roster.

The Forwards

The Colgate Raiders boast one of the best group of forwards in all of Division I. Led by all-world talent Danielle Serdachny, the Raiders forwards can match up with any team’s forwards in any given game. Serdachny returns to Colgate for a fifth season having already set the school record for most points in a single season (seventy-one in 2022-23), and points in a career with 178. She was named the ECAC Player of the Year for 2022-23 and was a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award – which is given annually to the best player in Women’s College Hockey.

Even without Serdachny, the Raiders boast a very formidable group of forwards. Kalty Kaltounková has established herself as one of the most prolific power play goal scorers in women’s hockey. She tied her own school record in 2022-23 for power-play goals in a season with nine. Kaltounková is also tied for third in Colgate history in career power-play goals with twenty and is five away from breaking the record.

Not only does the Raiders forwards group have the likes of Serdachny and Kaltounková, but it also boasts more skaters who would be the leading scorers on a lot of other teams. Kaitlyn O’Donohoe recorded nineteen goals and twenty-five assists for forty-four points in thirty-nine games played. Elyssa Biederman had thirty-eight points (seventeen goals and twenty-one assists) in forty games played as a first-year player. Dara Grieg was the third member of the Raiders twenty-plus goals club for 2022-23 as she had twenty goals and seventeen assists in thirty-seven games played.

The top five 2022-23 scorers for the Colgate Raiders

  • 1.) Danielle Serdachny: 40GP / 25G + 46A = 71Pts.
  • 2.) Kalty Kaltounková: 39GP / 24G + 33A = 57Pts.
  • 3.) Kaitlyn O’Donohoe: 39GP / 19G + 25A = 44Pts.
  • 4.) Elyssa Biederman: 40GP / 17G + 21A = 38Pts.
  • 5.) Dara Greig: 39GP / 20G + 17A = 37Pts.
Sara Stewart (#22) prepares for a faceoff. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

The Defense

The Raiders defense is anchored by standouts Sydney Bard and Allyson Simpson. Both are returning to Colgate for a fifth year.

Bard had an exceptional 2022-23, as she had three goals and thirty assists in forty games played. The New Hartford, NY native was named the ECAC Defender of the Week three times, and ECAC Defender of the Month twice for her efforts. She was also named to the ECAC Preseason All-League Team for 2023-24.

Like Bard, Simpson had an outstanding 2022-23. With five goals and twenty-seven assists for thirty-two points in forty games, Simpson was seventh on the Raiders in overall scoring. She was named the ECAC Defender of the Week twice and was named to the All-USCHO Second Team.

Simpson and Bard will need to continue their excellence this season, as the Raiders will have a reworked defense corps. Gwen Eichfeld and Ava Svejkovsky return, but regulars Maggie MacEachern, Tanner Gates, and Rachel Golnitz are no longer with the team. Transfer Sydney Morrow should take one of the vacated spots, and then the rookies will be counted on. Avery Pickering, Sydney Morrow, Ella Belfry, and Jaimee Spring will all be vying for time on the Colgate blue line.

The Goaltenders

The Colgate Raiders goaltending tandem of Hannah Murphy and Kayle Osborne was among the best in Division I last season. Murphy is entering her junior season, while Osborne is a senior.

Kayle Osborne (#31) makes a save against Clarkson. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

The Raiders goaltending duo had a nearly fifty-fifty split in games started last season. Murphy’s record was 18-2-1, with a 1.53 GAA, a 0.932 save percentage, and five shutouts. She ranked fourth in Division I in GAA and tied for eighth in save percentage. Murphy was named to the ECAC Hockey Second Team and the ECAC All-Tournament Team as well. She also set the program record for the best save percentage in a season in 2022-23.

Osborne started nineteen games and posted a record of 14-4-1 with four shutouts. Her 1.75 GAA was ninth in Division I, and her 0.926 save percentage was tied for fourteenth. She enters this season second in program history for wins with forty-one.

The third member of the Colgate goaltending group is Averill McCorkle. With Murphy and Osborne making all of the starts for the Raiders last season, McCrkle did not see much ice time. She did, however, make a young fan’s day as seen below.

The Raiders open their 2023-24 regular season on September 29 at the Class of 1965 Arena against the Ohio State Buckeyes. For more information about Colgate Raiders hockey, visit https://colgateathletics.com.

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