St. Anselm Tops Ephs 6-3

St. Anselm Tops Ephs 6-3

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Williams College hosted the St. Anselm Hawks in non-conference action Saturday afternoon. The Hawks held off Williams 6-3, thanks to six goals from six different Hawks, and with the victory, St. Anselm head coach Kersrin Matthews earned her 100th career win. The Ephs netted a goal each period, but it was not enough to come away with the win.

The Hawks extended their winning streak to six and improved to 9-1-0, while the Ephs fell to 3-5-0.

It was a busy first stanza, as the Hawks netted three consecutive goals before Williams snagged one of their own. 

An early Eph penalty put the home team in danger from the start, and St. Anselm was quick to jump on the man-up opportunity. The Hawks worked the puck around the back of the net before Alexandra Starzyk (Enfield, CT) sent one off of a feed from Halle Kent (Lake Placid, NY). She managed to get an off-balanced shot towards the goal that slid between Eph netminder, Margaret Draper's (Belmont, MA) legs. The powerplay goal came 4:18 in.

St. Anselm went up 2-0 when Sabrina Iannetti (Lynn, MA) registered a goal as she connected with teammate Alison Butler (Danvers, MA). Iannetti skated up the left side and made a nice move to cut into the middle, where she lifted the puck over the left shoulder of Draper. The Iannetti tally came at 12:16.

Building off their two-goal lead, St. Anselm continued to pressure Draper and the Eph defense, and notched their third goal of the period with 2:15 remaining. Alison Quinn (Canton, MA), set up by Sarah Geisinger (Willoughby, OH), ripped a shot that made its way past Draper and gave the Hawks a convincing 3-0 lead.

Undeterred, the Ephs stole the Hawks momentum and responded just 9 seconds after the Quinn goal. Williams won the face-off and entered the zone 3-on-2. Gabby Vukasin (Princeton, NJ) took a shot from the middle of the slot, and the puck made its way through traffic past St. Anselm keeper Hannah Synnott (Montclair, NJ). She was aided by Hannah Beattie (Whitehouse Station, NJ) and Caitlin Conlon (Sudbury, MA). 

Headed into the first intermission, the shot count was even at 7 for each side, but the Hawks held a 3-1 lead.

St. Anselm came out strong in the middle stanza and would win back their three-goal lead, thanks to a tally from Tiffany Herron (Clinton Township, MI). She drilled a shot from just inside the blue line on the right side, and the puck snuck by Draper. Andi Foss (Elko, MN) collected an assist on the play. 

Continuing their fast-paced, aggressive play, St. Anselm refused to let the Ephs in it. They notched their fifth goal of the afternoon at the 7:19 mark, this one coming from Butler.

In similar fashion to the first period however, the Ephs showed resilience and answered less than two minutes later to cut St. Anselm's lead. Senior co-captain Cristina Bravi continued her stellar start to the season with her sixth goal in eight games. She picked the puck up on the left wing boards and fired a shot from a tricky angle. The puck made it's way between Synnott's legs to put the Ephs within three of the Hawks. Teammates Conlon and Michaela Levine (Lititz, PA) picked up assists on the play.  

A five-minute major on the Hawks led to several opportunities for the Ephs to cut their opponents lead once again. They tested Synnott between the pipes with a flurry of shots, but to no avail. 

The Ephs would successfully kill off a penalty themselves before the second period came to a close.

Williams came out in the third period looking to cut into the three-goal deficit, and would do just that with 3:58 remaining in regulation. Levine picked the puck up from behind the net and found Emily Krueger (Manasquan, NJ) in front, who sent it home from the top of the crease. Bravi also picked up an assist on the Krueger tally.

Despite the Eph resistance and strong comeback effort, the Hawks would deliver the dagger shortly after Krueger's goal. 17 seconds later, Nina Gozzi (Suffield, CT) drilled a shot from the left side and found the back of the net to finalize the score at 6-3. Quinn and Alex Kazmer (Crystal Lake, IL) were awarded assists. 

Head coach Meghan Gillis was pleased with her team's ability to adjust against such a strong opponent: "I thought that we started to get more pucks through than we did in the first period and got more shots on net. They were doing a good job of protecting in front and blocking a lot of shots, so when we were able to get pucks through and get people to the net, we got more scoring chances." 

Draper turned away 16 bids, while Synnott made 20 saves this afternoon.

Williams will get an extended break for the holidays and will not take the ice again until January 10, when they take on Trinity College in Hartford, CT.

Looking ahead to Trinity, Gillis stated, "It should be pretty evenly matched, but we'll have to work hard over break so we can be ready to start in January. It'll also be good to have both the goalies back and healthy come the New Year."

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