Since the last women’s ice hockey update, when they stood at 3–2 for the season, the team has played eleven games with mixed results.
In the Cards’ Dec. 6 matchup against Saint Anselm College, the Hawks managed to get off to a hot start, quickly scoring in just the first four minutes of the game. From there, Saint Anselm never looked back, taking full control of the game. Despite some last minute heroics from Bridget Cornell ’23, Wesleyan ended up falling to Saint Anselm, 5–2. While the outcome of the game certainly wasn’t what the Cardinals were hoping for, some light was found in star goalkeeper Allegra Grant’s ’20 twenty-four save outing. The effort put her past the 2000 career saves mark, an incredible accomplishment.
The next day, on December 7, seeking to bounce back from their loss against Saint Anselm, the Wesleyan women faced off against Plymouth State University. Halfway through the second period of the game, with the game tied at 2–2, it appeared as though it would be a close one. However, Audrey McMahon ’22 and Allie Damren ’20 decided that wouldn’t be the case, with each scoring near the end of the second and third period respectively. The Cardinals won the game 4–2, highlighted by a particularly impressive two-goal outing from McMahon, which at the time put her at the top of the scoring list for all NESCAC players.
After securing the comeback against Plymouth State, the Red and Black hoped to start their second winning streak of the season when they hosted Post University on January 4. The Eagles must’ve been in some kind of rush, as they got all the scoring out of their system early with one quick goal just 2:14 into the game. From then on, Wesleyan was in complete control, scoring four times and putting some serious clamps on Post. The Cards won the game 4–1.
Back in action after winter break, the Cardinals faced off against Manhattanville College on January 7. During a 39-second stretch roughly ten minutes into the game, Manhattanville managed to score twice. Wesleyan’s Cornell answered at the 15:36 mark with a goal of her own, making the game 2–1, but 24 seconds later Manhattanville scored another goal. Most hockey teams would crumble facing a 3–1 deficit created in such a quick manner, but the Cards had other plans. Over the next two periods, the Red Birds scored four unanswered goals to win the game 5–3. Also, with McMahon’s goal at the beginning of the second period, she managed to reclaim her rightful position at the top of the NESCAC scoring charts.
Given their recent success, Wesleyan probably arrived at their January 10 matchup against Colby with an aura of confidence and splendor similar to the one Michael Jordan and the Bulls wore walking into game 1 of the 1998 Finals. This confidence certainly carried into the beginning of the game, as Ally Detre ’22 put the Cardinals on the board first with a goal about five minutes in. Five minutes later, Colby then scored a goal of their own, tying the game up. After another Wesleyan goal and another quick Colby response, regulation ended with a 2–2 tie, launching the teams into overtime. Unfortunately for both teams, overtime was dominated by stifling defense from both Colby and Wesleyan, resulting in a universally disappointing 2–2 tie. On the bright side, the result of the game added to a then eight-game period where the Cardinals suffered defeat only once.
The next day on January 11, still frustrated by the tie, the Red and Black hoped to exact revenge upon Colby at the other end of their doubleheader. Colby scored quickly out of the gate with a goal just 2:24 into the opening frame. Just about a minute into the second period, the Mules scored another quick goal, lifting their lead to 2–0. Wesleyan’s Cali Stevens ’22 responded with a quick goal of her own just twenty-six seconds later, making the score 2–1. Through the remainder of the game, the Wes defense did its part in mounting a comeback, holding the Mules scoreless after their early goal in the second period. While Wesleyan’s offense had two more good opportunities to score, including one about a minute before the game’s end, they were unfortunately unable to convert. Colby won the game 2–1.
The loss to Colby was unfortunately just the beginning of Wesleyan’s troubles, as Wesleyan has since gone on to fall to Middlebury twice, Endicott College, and Connecticut College twice.
It is important to point out however, that of Wesleyan’s six straight losses, four were against top-ten ranked teams, and two were at the hands of a very solid Connecticut College team.
Nate Schultz can be reached at email@example.com.