Saturday, January 7, 2012

Two From the Show

Taylor Gross was UConn's leading scorer last year.

Midseason transfers are a way of life in college hockey. And while the men's team was on the losing end of the trend in the form of Tim Carr, the women's team added two NCAA players: Jess Desorcie and Taylor Gross.

Gross, a sophomore forward, comes in from Division I Connecticut. She had a tremendous freshman year, leading the Huskies in scoring with 12 goals and 11 assists. As you might expect from a freshman who leads a Hockey East team in scoring, she received her share of accolades, including Hockey East rookie of the week honors on February 7, 2011 and the team's rookie of the year award. Other highlights of her debut college season included a hat trick against Sacred Heart on November 27th, and a game-winning goal against Clarkson on October 9th.

The Huskies were 13-19-3 last season, bowing out in the first round of the HEA tournament. This year though, the team bottomed out with a 1-9-3 record through November 5th, Gross' last game with the team (UConn is now 3-13-5).

She arrived at UConn from the Colorado Select program, a semifinalist at the 2009 19U nationals. Gross lit up that tournament with 13 points in five games, a run that only ended when eventual champion Shattuck-St. Mary's came calling. A repeat semifinal appearance in 2010 was again stopped by SSM. Gross has also won a Colorado state championship with her high school team.

Desorcie (left) wore an A at Taft, earning a spot in this picture with captain Kate Moreau.

Desorcie is a forward from Westford, VT. She comes to Penn State by way of Division III Connecticut College, where she scored six points in seven games as a freshman. Three of those were in her final game, as she scored twice and added an assist December 11th against Salve Regina.

Prior to that, Desorcie played at Taft School and for the Mid Fairfield Connecticut Stars (which joined Colorado at the 2009 nationals). It was at Taft where she skated alongside Taylor McGee, one of Josh Brandwene's first signing class who will be arriving at PSU in the fall. While the Rhinos were only 5-12-6 with Desorcie and McGee together in 2010-2011, that season still provided glimpses of what might be in store. Witness last year's opener, a 2-1 win over Lawrenceville School.
With 12:18 remaining in the period, center Jess “DeSCOREsi” controlled the puck deep in the offensive zone, circling by virtually the whole Lawrenceville team. As she neared the net, she took a quick wrist shot, the puck sliding right through the goalie’s five-hole, and putting Taft’s first goal on the board. Desorcie, along with linemates Alanna Fogarty and Lynndy Smith, led the attack throughout the game, commanding the play in the offensive zone...on the defensive side, Taylor McGee was very solid, making great regroups with partner Kate Moreau, joining the offensive rush multiple times, and commanding the power play from up top.
"Descoresi." I could get used to that.

She's already earned that nickname as a Lady Icer, sniping in her debut, PSU's 4-2 win over No. 5 Rhode Island Friday night. And don't forget Gross, she had a goal as well. Put that together with the usual production from Tess Weaver and Madison Smiddy (who scored the other two), and we may be seeing the beginnings of a team ready to make a run in the ACHA this year.

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