The Williams women’s ice hockey team has gotten off to a good start in ECAC play, defeating Wesleyan right before Thanksgiving break and then going 1-1 on their Vermont road trip to start the season 3-2.
On Sunday, Williams traveled to Middlebury, which had won all 75 matches they had played in ECAC women’s ice hockey play. The Ephs could not keep the Panthers from stretching their dominating streak to 76, as Middlebury cruised to a 3-0 victory over Williams. The Panthers were too powerful for Williams in this match, outshooting the Ephs 53-8. Through the first, Williams held tight against the prolific Panther offense as Monelle Quevillon ’03 turned away all 19 of the Middlebury shots she faced. Unfortunately, Quevillon could not withstand the continued Panther onslaught in the second as Middlebury scored two goals in the period to put the game out of reach. The Panthers added an insurance goal in the third period to up the score to 3-0.
The day before, Williams also played in a 3-0 game against the University of Vermont. Fortunately on that day it was the Ephs who were on the winning end of the stick. The game was much closer than the 3-0 score indicated as UVM outshot the Ephs 22-19. The first goal for the Ephs came 2:12 into the third period on a shot by Alexis Scott ’00 from Cara Shortsleeve ’00. Even then, victory was not assured for Williams as both teams battled each other for the remainder of the period. Williams’ second goal would come near the end of the game (17:16) on a score by Emily Small ’00. Assisting Small on the goal were Caitlin Bowler ’02 and Julie Karoly ’03. At 19:18, Scott, assisted by Jocelyn Wang ’03, scored an empty net goal to seal the Williams win. Quevillon had 22 saves.
The win at UVM was preceded by an earlier 3-2 win at Wesleyan right before Thanksgiving break. The Ephs’ win over Wesleyan was their first against the Cardinals since the 1996-97 season. The Ephs were thoroughly dominant in this one, outshooting Wesleyan 51-16. Shortsleeve led the way with one goal and an assist and the Ephs got good efforts from their first-years to help them get this big win. The first goal for the Ephs came from Amanda Weber ’02, assisted by Elizabeth Toomey ’03, near the end of the first period (19:42). Wesleyan, putting up 11 of their 16 shots in the second, would put up a goal in the second to tie things up. In the third, Williams would not let the Cardinals get the upper hand, getting a goal (13:34)from Karen Thome ’03 from Shortsleeve to take the and getting a goal from Shortsleeve minutes later (16:56) to extend the lead to two. Williams would need the goal as Wesleyan would score their second goal with just 25 seconds left in the game. Williams did not relinquish their win, though, and held on for the last seconds of the game to preserve the important victory. In goal for this game was Anna MacIntosh ’02, saving 14 of the 16 shots she faced.
“The team has definitely done better than expected, “ said Scott, crediting the team’s early season success to the addition of nine first-years, especially goalie Quevillon, who she credits for keeping “us very close in any game no matter how good the team is.”
The team has won some of the games it will need to win in order to qualify for an ECAC playoff berth, defeating two teams ranked ahead of them, UVM and Wesleyan, well as beating Hamilton, which was ranked one place behind the Ephs in that same poll.
If the team can sustain this same level of play for the entire season, they stand a good chance of making the postseason. “Although we are young and learning a lot every day,” said Scott, “ I think the end result in a few months will be exciting to be a part of.”