Ephs Fall Short in 2-1 Loss at Buffalo State

BUFFALO, NY -- The Williams Ephs (6-5-0, 4-2-0 NESCAC) fell short in their 2-1 loss against the Buffalo State Bengals (8-4-1, 3-3-0 ECAC West) this afternoon in Buffalo State's Ice Arena. Buffalo State's scoring prowess came from juniors Erin Gehen and Rachel Lenard. For Williams, senior Sarah Lehman contributed the lone goal for her team.

Williams head coach Meghan Gillis spoke to the team's inability to generate a win today: "I think today we played too inconsistently. We had chances and good momentum at times, and then we would let up and lose that momentum."

The Ephs came into this match 6-4-0 overall, with a conference record of 4-2-0. The Bengals came into this contest with an overall record of 7-4-1, while 3-3-0 in conference.

In net for Williams was junior Christina Cleroux, who came into this contest sporting an 89.4% save percentage. The opposing netminder was junior Justine Silva, who came in with a 92.4% save percentage.

At 12:47 of the first, Buffalo State got off to a 1-0 lead after Erin Gehen fired one past Cleroux. Gehen was assisted on the play by teammate Brooke Krantz (sixth assist). Gehen has been a dominant force for Buffalo State this season, this goal marking her tenth of the season, six goals more than the next highest goal contributor on the roster.

Buffalo State also had two power play opportunities in the first period, which, while fruitless, kept steady pressure on the Ephs throughout the first 20 minutes of play. Shot count after the first period was 9-5 in favor of Buffalo State.

"I think after a long trip, we found a way to get out to a solid start today," commented Gillis. "We had some chances early, and the penalty kill also did a good job today."

At 6:49 of the second period, the Bengals furthered their lead to two, after Rachel Lenard sniped one past Cleroux to bring her to four goals on the season (second highest on the team only to Gehen). This goal brought the score to 2-0.

Williams responded late in the second period. At 19:17, senior Sarah Lehman was able to get one past netminder Silva, and bring the game back to within one. This was Lehman's fifth goal of the season, and was assisted by classmate Hanna Beattie (third assist) and junior Emily Eide (fourth assist). The score headed into the third period was 2-1. Shot count after two periods was even at 14 apiece.

The third period was scoreless, the game ending with a final score of 2-1 for Buffalo State. Final shot count on the game was 25-23 for the Ephs.

"We have two huge NESCAC games this weekend," stated Gillis. "Now we have to go work on our consistency and on executing our system to prepare for that match up."

Williams next faces Colby at home on the 13th and 14th of January. The first of these two matchups takes place Friday at 7:00 PM EST. Buffalo State's next game is January 14th at 7:00 PM EST at home against William Smith.