The women’s hockey team suffered back-to-back losses against a strong Hamilton squad last weekend, falling 3-0 on Friday and 4-1 on Saturday. The Cardinals lost to the Continentals in an overtime thriller earlier this month in a contest which did not count as official NESCAC play. The two losses this weekend saw the Red and Black fall to 1-7-0 in the NESCAC and 4-11-0 overall.

Wesleyan’s only NESCAC victory this season came over winter break, in the first game of a weekend doubleheader against Colby at home. Jenny Robinson ’16 put the Cardinals up 1-0 early, and the Birds never looked back. Forward Jess Brennan ’17 netted two more for Wesleyan, leading the team to the 3-1 win. Laura Corcoran ’16 looked phenomenal between the pipes making 34 saves. The Cards continued to produce offensively on Saturday, again netting three goals. However, the Mules’ potent offense found its stride, scoring six goals to earn the 6-3 win.

The Cardinals’ offense struggled for the remainder of the break, including a shutout in a Friday-Saturday doubleheader at Connecticut College. Netminder Corinne Rivard ’16 was stellar for the Red and Black on Friday, stopping 33 of 34 shots. Down 1-0 with just over a minute left in the contest, Head Coach Jodi McKenna made the decision to pull Rivard, which resulted in an empty net goal for the Camels, sealing a 2-0 defeat for the Cardinals. Rivard continued to impress on Saturday, saving 34 of 37 shots, however the struggling offense failed to produce, and Wes ended the weekend on a 3-0 loss. Penalties have continued to be an issue for the Cardinals, with the Camels scoring their first goal on Friday, and third goal on Saturday on the power play.

The Birds continued to struggle in their most recent doubleheader at home against Hamilton, in which they were outscored 7-1. Opening the weekend against the Continentals on Friday night at Snyder arena, the Cards looked good in the first period. However, Hamilton senior Hannah Bartlett scored a shorthanded goal for with 12:29 gone in the second period, taking the wind out of Wesleyan’s sails. With 2:25 left in the game, Jenna Jewell put Hamilton up 2-0 on a spectacular individual effort. Megan Ahern sealed the deal, potting an empty net goal to give the Continentals the 3-0 win.

The Red and Black came out strong on Saturday, going up 1-0 at 11:42 into the game. The squad was finally able to capitalize on the power play. Brennan beat the Hamilton goalie with assists from Cici Frattasio ’18 and Madzie Carroll ’17 to give the team its first lead in over a month. However, penalties were again an issue for Wesleyan, with Hamilton responding under two minutes later with a power play goal of their own. Tied 1-1 for the remainder of the first period, Hamilton looked the better team in the second, taking the lead at 19:21, and skating to the 4-1 victory. Corcoran made 48 saves on the weekend for the Birds.

Lottie Barton ’16 acknowledged the need for more offensive production.

“After a rough first half of the season, our current focus is winning this weekend to get back in the race for playoffs,” said Barton.

The team travels to Bowdoin this weekend, where it will face a struggling Polar Bear squad which sits at 3-5-0 in NESCAC play and 6-8-1 overall. This could be a much-needed momentum starter for the Cards. The next weekend, they will travel to Vermont to face a tough Middlebury outfit, which sits atop the NESCAC bracket at 5-0-3, and 9-3-3 overall. The team then plays against Trinity, in an away-home doubleheader between the two teams at the bottom of the NESCAC table. The Bantams won the NESCAC tournament last season, but have struggled to find form this season after losing many key pieces, and sit just a single point ahead of Wesleyan at 1-6-1 in the NESCAC. Wes finishes up its season against a strong Amherst side which sits squarely in second place in the NESCAC.

The Cards have a shot at post-season play if they can net key wins in the coming weeks. Two wins against Trinity would almost guarantee the Cardinals a spot in the NESCAC tournament, as long as the Bantams continue to struggle. The squad’s next home matchup is a key one, against Trinity, at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 13 at the Spurrier-Snyder arena.

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