No. 7 women’s ice hockey (18–4–3, 10–4–2 in the NESCAC) won the right to host the NESCAC semifinals and final next weekend following a 3-0 home win over Wesleyan in Saturday’s quarterfinal.
Four women were also named to All-NESCAC teams yesterday. Meghan Halloran ’21 received NESCAC Player of the Year honors, and head coach Meghan Gillis won NESCAC Coach of the Year. Halloran and Brynn Puppe ’21 made the First Team, and Chloe Heiting ’22 and assistant captain Annie Rush ’19 earned spots on the Second Team.
The first-seeded Ephs started strong and took the lead early in the game. Michaela O’Connor ’21 netted a goal at 8:55. Avery Dunn ’21 and Elizabeth Welch ’22 earned assists on the play. At 12:57, Wesleyan was penalized for having too many players on the ice, creating a power-play opportunity for the women.
Then at 14:38, the Cardinals received another penalty, giving the Ephs a two-skater advantage for 20 seconds. The Ephs immediately capitalized on this opportunity as Halloran received a pass and scored at 14:44. Halloran was assisted by Mia Carroll ’20 and Puppe.
In the second period, the Ephs were able to extend their lead when Halloran, after receiving a pass from goaltender Heiting, passed to Rush, who sealed the deal and scored with a clinical finish at 6:35 into the period.
In the third period, neither was able to find the net as Heiting denied the Cardinals a single goal, despite both teams having power-play opportunities.
“I think our game [on Saturday] was inconsistent. We did what we needed to do to get the win but I think we have another gear we can hit,” Rush said.
By the end of the game, Heiting had saved all 19 of Cardinals’ shots.
Following the game, Gillis praised Heiting’s performance. “I think Chloe did a great job of making key saves when she needed to get the shutout,” she said. “I think that the team played really well in spurts. They came out strong in the first period, and the forecheck looked really good.”
The Ephs will host fifth-seeded Amherst in a semifinal on Saturday at 1 p.m.
“The team is pumped to play Amherst and it’s great to get to play at home again,” Rush said.
The winner of the contest will play the winner of the other semifinal, a matchup between third-seeded Hamilton and second-seeded Middlebury, in Sunday’s NESCAC final at Lansing Chapman Rink. Middlebury, the tournament champion, will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
The women are seeking their second NESCAC title and their third NCAA tournament appearance. The Ephs previously made the NCAA tournament in 2003 and 2014.