After being swept by Amherst two weeks ago, the women’s hockey team split two non-conference games last week with Sacred Heart University and College of the Holy Cross.
The women began the series against their Little Three rivals with a 4-1 loss.
After a scoreless first period, Brenna Sullivan scored first for the Lord Jeffs just 17 seconds into the second period and then added a power-play goal four minutes later.
Wesleyan cut the score in half when Captain Jordan Schildhaus ’15 scored the Birds’ only goal, assisted by fellow seniors Laura Wasnick and Captain Cara Jankowski. Laura Corcoran ’16 stopped 27 of the 30 shots she faced.
The next day, however, was a different story for the Cardinals, although it ended in the same way as the previous game.
Wesleyan fell behind 3-1 in the first period of that match with Jankowski scoring the netter, assisted by Schildhaus. The two captains helped subtract another goal from the lead when they assisted Wasnick’s goal, making the score 3-2.
In the fourth minute of the third box, Schildhaus struck again, this time putting away a beautiful breakway goal, evening the score and breathing life into the Birds. The score stayed that way through 60 minutes, and the teams headed to overtime to settle the match.
Ninety seconds into the extra frame, the Cards took a tripping penalty that proved to be extremely costly. Lynndy Smith stuck the dagger in the Cardinals at 2:17 of the extra frame, helping the Jeffs stay undefeated in-league.
Jankowski, though, was encouraged by the game, despite the loss.
“Playing strong teams like Amherst only makes us better,” she said. “ [It] gives us the confidence that we can compete with anyone.”
Schildhaus echoed her co-captain’s statements, highlighting the team’s ability to fight back after getting down early as a huge strength.
“Although it was a tough overtime loss, the fact that we were down early but battled back to tie it late in the game gives us the mentality that we can compete against any team in our league,” Schildhaus said.
The two Amherst losses snapped a nine-series streak, dating back to last year, of earning a point against every NESCAC opponent.
The skaters went into their games against Sacred Heart (SHU) on Nov. 25 looking to bounce back from those tough defeats, even though they had lost nine of their last 10 to SHU. They responded in style, though, winning 3-2 and scoring the game-winner on a shot by Ellery Sarosi ’17 at 17:52, on a skillful pass from Wasnick. This was Wasnick’s third point of the week.
Sarosi also scored the game’s opening goal with assists from her two captains, who are on a point-tallying tangent. Schildhaus is third in the league with four goals and and four assists, while Jankowski has three of each for fifth in the league.
Sandwiched between Sarosi’s two goals was a netter from Lottie Barton ’16 that gave Wes a 2-1 lead in the second frame. Corcoran earned the win in-net, registering 15 saves.
The Birds fell hard to Holy Cross, though, on Sunday, Nov. 30, getting shut out for the first time this season, 4-0. Corinne Rivard ’16 took her third loss of the year, making 31 saves on 35 shots.
Regarding this loss, Schildhaus said that the team lost sight of what they need to do to win games.
“Our biggest weakness in the game against Holy Cross was just not focusing on the technical aspects of the game,” she said. “We didn’t execute simple passes, win battles to the puck and play the best Wesleyan hockey we are capable of playing.”
Schildhaus added that the season has had a lot of ups and downs.
“We’ve had a lot of ups and downs this season,” she said. “The 5-0 win against Williams was a good solid game for us, but the 4-0 loss to Holy Cross was not. We have good players and a good system and when we put that all together for a full 60 minutes, we can play with anyone. I hope that we can take the good things we’ve done and use it as a foundation going forward.”
The Cards have one more game before winter break, a non-conference tilt at Salve Regina University on Dec. 8. They’ll then be off until Jan. 3, when they take on Plymouth State, before starting the most important, NESCAC-heavy portion of their schedule.