MIDDLEBURY, VT — The Williams College women's hockey team (12-11-1) lost to NESCAC opponent Middlebury College (17-4-3) tonight 7-0. The Ephs finish their regular season ranked 4th in the NESCAC, with a conference record of 12-11-1.
Middlebury College came out on fire, taking the lead 1-0 at 7:48. Sophomore Audrey Quirk (Portland, OR) scored off a shot from the top of the circle, assisted by senior Julia Wardwell (Marlborough, MA) and sophomore Maddie Winslow (Manchester, VT).
The Panthers maintained momentum after their goal, and went up 2-0 with a goal by freshman Rachael St. Clair (Minnetonka, MN) at 9:11. St. Clair scored on a wrap around, assisted by freshmen Shanna Hickman (Wellesley, MA) and Katherine Jackson (Portsmouth, RI).
20 seconds later, the Panthers scored to solidify their lead against the Ephs. Sophomore Haley LaFontaine (Summit, NJ) scored off a shot from the point, assisted by Winslow and sophomore Jessica Young (Mission Hills, KS).
Williams put more pressure on Middlebury after LaFontaine's goal, getting several consecutive shots on net to pressure sophomore goalie Julia Neuburger (Fayetteville, NY). However Neuburger stayed tough between the pipes to hold off the Ephs.
Middlebury capitalized on a Williams penalty, scoring a power play goal at 17:10. Carrying the puck behind the net, junior Kelly Sherman (Washington, DC) took a shot from below the hashmarks to make it 4-0 for the Panthers going into the second period.
The second frame began with two consecutive penalties for Williams. The Ephs were able to fend off Middlebury for the first penalty, but at 3:56 Wardwell scored a power play goal assisted by Winslow and freshman Jenna Marotta (Katy, TX) to make it 5-0.
The Ephs went on their first power play of the game at 8:26 in the second period, but were unable to convert and continued to trail the Panthers going into the final frame.
Play went up and down the ice for the first half of the third. Then at 13:50, Winslow beat a Williams defender and got the puck past Mini to make it 6-0 for the Panthers.
Middlebury went on the power play with just over two minutes left in the final frame. Hickman scored at the tail end of the power play, assisted by Marotta and freshman Grace Jennings (Ghent, NY).
The Ephs were unable to get on the scoreboard within the last two minutes of play.
After the game, head coach Meghan Gillis commented, "We will focus on being aggressive in all three zones, particularly the defensive zone. We'll also focus on improving our penalty kill and playing Ephs hockey."
Williams will face off against Trinity College at Lansing Chapman Rink next Saturday at 1pm for their first round of the NESCAC tournament. The puck drops at 1pm.