MIDDLETOWN, CONNECTICUT - The freshmen tandem of Ellen Chiligris and Candace Lu teamed up on the game winning goal at 17:48 of the second period as Williams (1-0-0) defeated host Wesleyan (0-1-0) 3-1 in the season opener for both teams. Lu assisted on Chiligris's first collegiate tally, recording her first collegiate assist.
After falling behind 1-0 in the second period, the Ephs responded in a timely manner posting two goals in a five-minute span late in the second period to take the lead.
The opening frame featured quick, competitive exchanges, with both sides generating scoring chances, but the score remained deadlocked at zero for the first 20 minutes of play. Both teams were settling in to the first game of the season.
The second stanza featured a lot more action from both teams. The Cardinals took the lead off a power play goal a little over halfway into the second when Jessica Brennan scored. However, the Ephs pushed back two minutes later with a goal by senior Gwen Schultz (Wallingford, CT) at 14:44. The forward wrapped around the back of the net and shot off the forehand side for an unassisted goal.
Building off the Schultz goal, the Ephs used the momentum swing in their favor to take the lead three minutes later with a power play goal by freshmen Ellen Chiligiris (Downers Grove, IL) assisted by freshman Candace Lu (Studio City, CA) at 17:43.
The Ephs finished the second period with strong offensive play, which carried into the final period of the game. The Ephs secured their lead 4:28 minutes into the period with a goal by Sophomore Emily Krueger (Manasquan, NJ). Sophomore Chelsey Stevenson (Tilbury, Ontario) passed the puck up the wall to Candace Lu who took a long shot from the point that was then tipped in by Krueger.
The remainder of the third stanza featured strong play by the Ephs, with a standout performance by sophomore goalie Margaret Draper. Draper came up big at the end of the third period with two superb back to back saves at the four-minute mark and then in the remaining 1:44 when Williams incurred a penalty and Wesleyan pulled their goalie. Draper had a big presence in net holding off a 6 on 4 power play. Draper made a total of 26 saves on the night, while Wesleyan's Corinne Rivard turned aside 15 Eph shots.
"We faced tough competition tonight and will face just as equally challenging competition tomorrow," reflected coach Gillis.
The Ephs will return to the Spurrier Snyder rink tomorrow afternoon to face off against the Cardinals once more. The puck drops at 3:00 p.m.