Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- A fall this season from the NCAA national rankings for the first time ever may have been the wake-up call needed for the UMD women.
"Looking back, I think we have learned a lot of lessons from that," UMD senior captain Haley Irwin said, "and I think we have moved on and are a better team because of it."
"We have spent some extra time preparing mentally for the games," Bulldogs senior goaltender Jennifer Harss said, "and I think that was key."
Also key has been the play of Harss, who also serves as one of the team's assistant captains.
"She's obviously our rock behind us," Irwin said. "When she's making those key saves for us, it definitely gives our team confidence. She's been there when we needed her."
While Harss provides the saves, someone else has to score the goals, and she says everyone has stepped up late this season.
"It's great to know that there are some people out there who can score goals, and it was really good to see out third line score the game-winning goal [against Ohio State,]" Harss sadi. "It's a good feeling for the goalie."
Irwin is one of those goal scorers, having collected her 200th career point earlier this season.
"It's a great honor to be up there with some of the names that were here before me," Irwin said.