The women’s hockey team fell to 1-4-0 (0-2-0 NESCAC) last weekend with two losses to Little Three rival Williams. Though the losses were disappointing, there were many positive takeaways, which the squad will carry into their last matchup before the break, a home match against Salve Regina University on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m.
Corrine Rivard ’16 got the start between the pipes on Friday night, posting 27 saves in the losing effort. Defensively, the team looked strong in the first period, holding the Ephs to a 0-0 score, despite giving up two penalties. Though the Cardinal power play continues to look strong, penalties were an issue early on, preventing the Birds from establishing an offensive rhythm.
Just under seven minutes into the second period, however, Williams took advantage of a bouncing puck off the boards, and Sarah Lehman slipped one past Rivard, notching her first goal of the season to give Williams the 1-0 edge. 8 minutes later, Lehman struck again, this time sliding one just under Rivard’s pad, with an assist by Michaela Levine.
Heading into the third period down 2-0, the Red and Black showed that they were down but not out. When the Ephs took a too-many-women penalty at 8:35, the Wesleyan power play got to work. Just fifteen seconds into the power play, Captain Ellery Sarosi ’17 took advantage of a loose puck in the slot, and ripped one past Ephs goaltender Christina Cleroux. The Cards’ fifth power play goal of the year was assisted by Sarah Goss ’19 and Abby Rutt ’17.
Those penalties finally caught up with the Birds’ defense just a few minutes later, when Ephs senior Talia Senior capitalized on a Jess Brennan ’17 penalty for checking, extending the lead to 3-1.
The Cardinals almost closed the gap when Cici Frattasio ’18 was given a penalty shot. The sophomore put her shot just over the bar, attempting to go high glove side on the Williams netminder. The score remained 3-1 as Wesleyan dropped its conference opener, giving Williams its second NESCAC win.
Less than 24 hours later, the two teams squared off yet again, this time with Laura Corcoran ’16 taking on the role of starting goaltender for the Cardinals. Though Williams went on to win 3-0, the Wesleyan offense spent a good portion of the game in the Ephs’ defensive zone, but ultimately could not put one by Cleroux.
The first period was again scoreless, with Corcoran recording nine saves, and Cleroux eight. Williams finally broke the tie 9:53 into the second period, when sophomore Kearnan Burke tipped a shot from Simon, past Corcoran and into the Wesleyan net, putting the Ephs up 1-0.
The rest of the period was scoreless, but the Ephs were not to be stopped, and made it 2-0 just under four minutes into the second period. Senior Michaela Levine scored on a brilliant individual effort, beating both the Wesleyan defender and Corcoran for the goal. Levine added her second at 11:23, finishing a two-on-one with a laser just over Corcoran’s right shoulder.
Again the Cardinals’ offensive rhythm was interrupted by five penalties, though the penalty kill continued to look spectacular, and preventing the Ephs from scoring. The Wesleyan defense looked solid overall, and Corcoran finished with 23 saves.
On Wednesday, the squad will face off against Salve Regina in its last matchup before the break. The Seahawks sit at 4-2-2, but have not recorded a win since the middle of November.
Early-week work on tenacity and toughness will hopefully prove fruitful against a Salve side with weaknesses showing.
“The last few practices have been focused on battles so we’re prepared to come out with some grit,” said Sam Curran ’17.
After the break, Wesleyan will travel to Clinton, NY for a clash against against Hamilton College, who currently sit at 3-2-1 (2-1-1 NESCAC). So far, the NESCAC is shaping up a bit differently from last year, with last season’s tournament champions, Trinity, sitting at 1-4-0 (0-4-0 NESCAC). After the break, things will really heat up, with the brunt of conference matchups taking place. The Cardinals will look for a win on Wednesday, and will hope to carry momentum into January.
“Salve is the last game before winter break so we are really hoping to get a win,” Madzie Carroll ’17 said.