Middletown, Connecticut-The Williams Ephs (3-2-0, 2-1-0 NESCAC) beat the Wesleyan Cardinals (1-3-0, 0-1-0 NESCAC), 3-1, in Wesleyan's first NESCAC game of the season, finishing last year's season, 3-12-1. This is the Ephs and the Cardinals 82nd matchup with Williams winning 40, Wesleyan 35, and six ties.
"We did a good job playing as a team and working as a group moving the puck around," head coach Meghan Gillis said.
The first period of this Little Three game was scoreless with the Ephs winning the majority of the faceoffs and having overall better chances to score. The Cardinals tallied two penalties but the Ephs were unable to convert the penalties into goals; they have scored three out of 18 power plays this season. A late Cardinal penalty gave the Ephs a chance to put get on the scoreboard early in the second period but that penalty was killed.
Freshman Annie Rush was called for a tripping penalty 4:40 into the second period. The Ephs killed her penalty and used that momentum to score shortly after at 6:59. Junior Sarah Lehman, assisted by senior Michaela Levine, deflected the puck off the board to get her first goal of the season.
Junior Sarah Lehman got her second goal of the game after she slid the puck past Cardinal netminder, senior Corinne Rivard's pad. She was assisted by senior Michaela Levine at 15:33 of the second period.
In the third period, senior Natalie Bernstein took a penalty at 8:35 and the Cardinals immediately capitalized with a goal at 8:50 by junior captain Ellery Sarosi. The puck went loose in the middle and Sarosi shot the puck past Eph goaltender, sophomore Christina Cleroux. This was the Cardinals' fifth power play goal of the season; assisted by freshman Sarah Goss and junior Madzie Carroll.
The Ephs quickly answered with a power play goal of their own at 11:23; their fourth power play goal of the season. Senior Talia Simon scored an unassisted goal, her second of the season, from the blue line just three minutes after the Cardinals closed the two-goal gap.
Wesleyan had another opportunity to try to equalize the game when Cardinal sophomore Cici Frattasio took a penalty shot but her shot went over the crossbar as she tried to put the puck into the top right shelf. The score remained 3-1 for the remainder of the game to give the Ephs their second conference victory.
"We really focused on all the five players on the ice and kept hustling," Gillis said. "We kept our feet moving; using our speed today to do a good job defensively and keeping them on the outside, minimizing the shots on net."
Eph goaltender sophomore Christina Cleroux only allowed one goal after saving multiple shots by the Cardinal offense.
"Tomorrow we are trying to build on being more discipline and taking less penalties to play a full 60 minutes without any lapses," Gillis said looking forward. "It's always tough to play the same team but we are going to focus on us."
The Williams Ephs will face the Wesleyan Cardinals again tomorrow at 3pm at the Spurrier-Snyder Rink in Middletown, Connecticut.