Women’s ice hockey (4-17-1, 3-12-1 in the NESCAC) ended its season with a 6-2 loss to top-seeded Middlebury in the NESCAC quarterfinals Saturday. The Ephs kept the game within one goal for two periods, but four power play goals from the Panthers proved too much for the Ephs.
Middlebury came out strong and notched its first goal 1:40 into the first period with a one-timer from Madeline Joyce. Five minutes later, a Williams penalty led to a Middlebury power play goal by Jennifer Krakower, who beat Williams netminder Rachel Nguyen ’14 with an assist from Sara Ugalde to put Middlebury up 2-0.
However, with 5:44 remaining in the first, Sam Weinstein ’13 fed a pass to Nicolle Perry ’13, who shot the puck into the slot and beat Panther goalie Alexi Bloom on a backhanded shot to end the period down 2-1.
In the last five minutes of the second period, Middlebury skater Grace Waters took advantage of a loose puck and put a rebound into the net to put the Panthers up by a 3-1 margin.
Determined to keep the game in hand, Weinstein and Perry teamed up for another goal with 2:04 left to play in the second. Weinstein centered a strong pass through the slot and Perry was able to get her stick on the puck, redirecting it past Bloom and bringing the Ephs within one of the Panthers at 3-2.
The Ephs spent much of the third period killing off penalties. Consequently, the puck remained in the women’s zone for most of the period. Ugalde recorded her second point of the game on the Panthers’ fourth goal of the night. Ugalde beat Nguyen with a one-timer to put the home team up 4-2. From there, the Panthers’ power play unit took control of the game, and goals from Madison Styrbicki and Laura Greer at the 12:13 and 4:25 marks, respectively, finalized the score at 6-2.
Nguyen finished the game with 26 saves. The rookie finished her season with a .889 save percentage. Bloom recorded 17 saves for the Panthers.
Despite the loss, Head Coach Joey Lye was pleased with her team’s resilience. “The score doesn’t indicate the level of play we had here tonight,” she said. “I’m really proud of how the girls came together to give a great effort. With how the season went overall, it would have been easy to throw in the towel early. I’m proud of how the girls persevered and were able to come together as a team.”
The team will graduate five seniors this year: Co-captain Lauren Zurek ’11, Stephanie Berger ’11, Jacqueline Berglass ’11, Mimi McClatchey ’11 and Allie Page ’11 all played their final game for the Ephs on Saturday. The five seniors led the women to a 4-17-1 season this year and combined for 23 goals and 59 assists during their four-year combined career. “I’m happy that I’ve been able to be here with these young women for four years and know they’ll be very successful,” Lye said.