MEQUON, Wis. - The 2011-12 season was a tale of two halves for the Concordia University Wisconsin women's hockey team, who went 7-5-1 (5-3-0 NCHA) through the season's first half, before going 0-10-2 (0-10-2 NCHA) in the second half.
The Falcons' struggles down the stretch caused them to miss the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs for the first time since the 2007-08 season, as they finished the year with just 12 points in conference play.
Head coach Jim Ingman says there wasn't just one thing that directly contributed to CUW's disappointing second half, but rather a combination of injuries to key players, a back-loaded schedule, and a young roster that featured 14 freshmen.
"Injuries were big, and the schedule got much tougher in the second half of the season," Ingman said. "But we also had trouble scoring goals, and that was mainly because of how young we were."
On January 14, CUW defeated Adrian College on the road for the first time in program history. That victory would prove to be the final win of the season for the Falcons, who couldn't find the net when they had to, dropping several closely-contested, low-scoring affairs.
Ingman said it was a combination of offensive and defensive mistakes that led to some of the losses.
"As a coach, that's something I'll have to evaluate in the offseason," Ingman said. "We played a more aggressive style of hockey these last couple weekends and would lose 2-1, but before that we'd play a defensive style and lose 5-3. It's something we'll have to look at."
Christiansen led the team with 15 assists, and became CUW's all-time leader in career assists on January 28 against UW-Eau Claire. She finished her career with 53 assists in a Falcon uniform.
Isaackson was the only Falcon to reach double digits in goals, finishing the season with 10 scores. She finished second on the all-time list for career goals, scoring 35 times at CUW.
"You take away our seniors this season, and I don't know how many points we have at all," Ingman said. "They're a great group and I really enjoyed having them here. They're all going to have great success in their lives and I hope CUW was a good step for them."
The Falcons will be even younger next year than they were this year, but Ingman is excited about the core group of players that will be returning, along with a new recruiting class.
"I've been telling our recruits that they could be a part of a core group of players that plays together for two to three years and really takes the program in a new direction," Ingman said. "We should have a very solid team over the next couple of seasons."