NESCAC foes hand women’s ice hockey 3 losses

Despite solid play and steady improvement, women’s ice hockey (6-15-1, 4-9-1 in the NESCAC) went 0-3 this week against conference opponents Amherst (14-0-0), Conn. College (6-6-2) and Middlebury (10-2-2). Those teams handed the women three tough losses on the road, bringing them to seventh place in the conference.

In their 1-0 loss on Sunday at Amherst, the women got off to a promising start. The Ephs held the top-seated Jeffs scoreless for the first period. Goalie Sarah Plunkett ’10 provided a strong backbone for the team, saving 40 of 41 Amherst shots on goal, including 20 shots in the first 20 minutes, in what was one of her best showings of the season. The Ephs had six shots on goal in the first period and also took one more penalty than the Jeffs, lodging two to the Jeffs’ one.

Amherst only shot 12 times on goal in the second period and finally managed to capitalize at 16:18. Stephanie Clegg and forward Michelle McGann assisted when forward Courtney Hanlon put one past Plunkett for the lone goal of the game. Although the Ephs notched five shots on goal, they were unable to come up with the point they needed.

The Ephs made a strong effort in the final period. Along with seven power-play chances, they came up with their best opportunity of the game when forward Tracy Ferriter ’10 won the puck and earned a clear path to the net before the Jeffs’ defensemen were able to get back. “It was a great game both ways,” co-captain Joey Lye ’09 said.

The women suffered another tough loss the day before, falling 3-1 to Conn. College. After a scoreless first period, the Camels earned their first point early in the second when Abby Hine ’11 scored on an assist by fellow forward Caroline Jeffrey.

The Camels’ next goal did not come until 6:31 of the third period, when forward Erin Davey converted an assist from defender Brigid O’Gormon. The Ephs responded with a goal by Jacqueline Berglass ’11. Lye and forward Eliza Foster ’12 made the assist. Nonetheless, Williams was unable to come up with another goal to tie the score, and Conn. College put the game away when forward Rachel Lindmark netted a final goal with less than two minutes to play.

After making a decidedly strong effort at the Kenyon arena, the squad fell to Middlebury for the second time this the season on Thursday. The game saw few offensive opportunities for either team until late in the second period, when Middlebury forward Grace Waters opened the scoring on a rebound in the Panthers’ fourth power play of the night. Middlebury goalie Heidi Woodworth thwarted a chance for Williams to tie the game in the final seconds of the period when she blocked Ferriter’s shot.

At 8:45 into the third period, Middlebury scored for the second time when Erika Nakamura assisted Nora Bergman on another power play. Plunkett made some nice saves for the Ephs to hold the game at 2-0 until she was pulled with 1:10 left. She finished the game with 25 saves. Maggie Melburg scored Middlebury’s final goal on an open net.

Despite the score, the Ephs were pleased with their play. “It was definitely one of our best showings all year,” co-captain Sam Tarnasky ’09 said. “It was another tough loss, but we played some great hockey.”

The Ephs have two more games to play before playoffs begin, and the women will finish the regular season at home. They are slated to play Hamilton at 7 p.m. on Friday and Wesleyan at 3 p.m. on Saturday.