WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Morgan Reed scored a goal in the first period and one in the third to lead Utica College (3-2) to a 4-1 win over Williams (1-2) in the Ephs' Lansing Chapman Rink.
In the opening period Utica got the jump on the Ephs with high pressure in the first five minutes, but the Ephs responded and followed with a session of about eight minutes where they controlled play.
The Ephs went the first six minutes before they could muster a shot on goal and by then Utica had three on net.
Reed opened the game's scoring when she scored from in front off of passes from Veronique Lortie and Nicole Schwartz. Lortie dug the puck out of the corner to the left of Eph goalie Charlie Billadeau and found Schwartz near the post to Billadeau's left and Schwartz was able to set up Reed in front who one-timed it past Billadeau.
Both teams managed seven shots on goal in an opening session that featured ebbs and flows of offense with Utica taking charge early and late in the period and the Ephs getting most of their opportunities in the middle portion of the period.
The Pioneers' Marissa McNamara turned aside all seven Eph shots in the first period to allow Utica to take a 1-0 lead into the break. The Ephs' Charlie Billadeau stopped six of seven Pioneer attempts.
The action picked up in the second period with both teams registering more quality shots on goal.
The Ephs had two power play opportunities in the second period, but again it was Utica notching the lone goal of the period. About three minutes into the period Eph forward Gwen Schultz had a shot from 12 yards out to McNamara's right that was went off McNamara's left blocker and deflected into the far corner.
At 6:43 Utica's Carlie Smith capitalized on a puck bouncing off the stick of Eph defender Ashley Arnold and she was off ahead of the pack and in on Billadeau alone.
Billadeau came out and was able to deny Smith's attempt from straight on, but the rebound went to Billadeau's rught, where Utica's Janessa Haasbeek collected it and fed Smith for the touch past Billadeau, doubling the Pioneers' lead to 2-0.
Shortly after that the Ephs fired off testers from short range to McNamara's right, but the shots by Hanna Beattie and Alex Lovaas were denied. Beattie's was turned aside, while Lovaas's was gloved by McNamara.
With the Ephs pressuring McNamara a puck squirted out through the blue line and was collected by the Pioneers' Louise Steele-Norton who came in on Billadeau, but was stoned.
Despite out shooting Utica 10-8 in the second period the Ephs trailed 2-0, with Utica's McNamara upping her save total to 17 and the Ephs's Billadeau was 12.
It only took Utica 13 seconds into the third period to make the score 3-0. Morgan Reed gathered in the opening faceoff inside the Eph blue line and skated in on Billadeau, beating the Eph goalie low.
The Pioneers' fourth and final tally came at 18:02 when Gabrielle Schnepp benefitted from a rebound off a blast from Samantha Pucci. The puck came to Schnepp's stick just outside the crease that she was able to re-direct before Billadeau could react.
Williams got on the scoreboard at 19:08 when Michaela Levine finally got a shot past McNamara on a power play. Off an Eph faceoff Hanna Beattie found Emily Krueger who touch passed to Levine who tipped in the goal.
After the game Eph head coach Meghan Gillis commented, "we had a lot of chances that we were not able to capitalize on and Utica capitalized on theirs. We possessed the puck well and did some really good things, but we're still coming together as a team and getting to know each other."
Marissa McNamara was stellar in goal for the Pioneers turning aside 29 shots by the Ephs and not allowing a goal on four of five power plays. The Ephs' Charlie Billadeau ended the contest with four goals allowed and 22 saves.
Tomorrow Williams will host Castleton State in a 3:00 PM contest and Utica will next see action when they travel to Clinton, NY to take on Hamilton.