AMHERST, MA - The Williams College women's hockey team (8-8-2) lost a close game tonight against rival Amherst College (13-2-3) 2-0. Freshman Brenna Sullivan (Lockport, Ill) scored the game winning goal at 14:27 in the first period. Amherst goalie Yuna Evans (East Haven, Conn) played a solid game, making a total of 34 saves, while Williams goalie Christina Cleroux (New Glascow, NS) made a total of 31. The Ephs are now 5-4-2 for NESCAC play while the Lord Jeffs are 8-1-2.
Amherst came out aggressive tonight, with senior Tori Salmon (Batavia, NY) scoring a goal at 3:37 in the first frame. Salmon leads the Lord Jeffs with 15 goals this season.
The Ephs received a penalty right after the goal, but were able to hold off Amherst to keep it a one goal game.
However, the Lord Jeffs kept pressure on the Ephs, and extended their lead to 2-0 with a goal by Sullivan at 14:27. With just under a minute of play to go in the first period, junior Michaela Levine (Lititz, PA) fired a shot from one knee that Evans got her glove on to keep the game at 2-0.
The second stanza featured physical play, with both teams receiving two penalties a piece. At 17:55, Amherst received a five minute penalty for boarding that crossed over into the third period.
The Ephs registered seven shots on net in the first 2:55 minutes of the third frame but could not find the back of the net. Both sophomores Sarah Lehman (Lexington, MA) and Chelsey Stevenson (Tilbury, Ont) had back-to-back scoring opportunities, but Evans made two solid saves to preserve the two-goal lead.
Right after Williams received consecutive penalties half-way through the third to give Amherst a one-man advantage for four minutes, senior Melissa Martin (Berkley, Mass) skated up the right wing for a breakaway. Freshman goalie Cleroux shut down Martin to make her 31st save of the night.
Head coach Meghan Gillis commented, "Special teams did a great job on the penalty kill tonight, but we weren't able to capitalize on our power-plays."
The Ephs put pressure on the Amherst goal tender late in the third by pulling Cleroux for a one-man advantage. Freshmen Kearan Burke (Shrewbury, MA) and Emily Eide (Edina, MN) had shots on net, but Evans stayed tough between the posts to secure a shutout.
"Amhert came out firing tonight and secured the lead with two quick goals. We played a solid game after that with several good offensive chances. I want us to be ready at puck drop tomorrow and play an aggressive sixty minutes of hockey," reflect coach Gillis.
The third-ranked Ephs face off against second-ranked Amherst again at 3pm tomorrow.