Utica, NY- The Williams Ephs (5-2-0, 3-1-0 NESCAC) outplayed the Utica Pioneers (9-3-1) 2-1 today at the Utica Memorial Stadium. Senior Natalie Bernstein's late game goal put Williams over the edge.
"I thought that our team played with a lot of heart and I'm proud of how they all worked together," Eph head coach Meghan Gillis said. "We didn't close up after the tie, but kept persevering to get the goal on the power play."
The Ephs outshot the Pioneers 15-4 in the first period but neither team could pull off a goal. Much of the period was spent in the neutral zone going back and forth between the two teams with the Ephs getting off a few quality opportunities.
In the first half of the second period, Pioneer junior Victoria Pelton was called for tripping, giving the Ephs an opportunity to be first on the scoreboard. A minute into the power play at 7:21, juniors Hanna Beattie and Chelsey Stevenson sent a pass from the boards to the open junior Sara Lehman who shot the puck down low in the slot. This was Lehman's third goal of the season.
The Pioneers closed the gap early in the third period with a goal by freshman Lauren Patterson assisted by junior Gabrielle Schnepp and freshman Kayla Dion at 3:19. Another power play opportunity arose for the Ephs late in the third period when Pioneer sophomore Samantha Husak was called for checking. Senior Natalie Bernstein, assisted by freshman Eliza Quigley, just slid the puck past the Utica goaltender to gain the advantage with 43 seconds left to play.
"Utica is a talented team so getting two points from them will really help set the stage when we take on Elmira, ranked second country, in the new year," Gillis said.
The Ephs will return in the new year, playing Elmira on January 2nd at 3pm.