WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — The Williams College women's hockey team (3-3-0/ 3-1-0 NESCAC) downed Little Three opponent Wesleyan University (2-4-0)/ 0-2-0 NESCAC) this afternoon 2-1. Senior Sara Lehman (Lexington, MA) scored the game winning goal 34 seconds into the third period, assisted by freshman Mia Carroll (New Canaan, CT) and sophomore Anna Fucillo (Winthrop, MA)
The Ephs started the first period with the same intensity they showed at the end of the third period last night. Sophomore Abby Brustad (Mound, MN) scored to make it 1-0, Williams five minutes into the first frame. The play started down in the Williams end, with Wesleyan offense testing freshman goalie Marissa Anderson (East Falmouth, MA) with a shot from the point. Anderson rebounded the shot to Fucillo, who carried the puck up the ice into the Wesleyan zone. Fucillo laid it over to Lehman, who carried the puck around the net and passed it to Brustad; she was waiting in front of the net to one-time the shot past the goalie.
Williams continued to pressure the Cardinals, going on the power play at 9:31. Assistant captain Emily Krueger'17 (Manasquan, NJ) took a wrist shot from the bottom of the circle that Wesleyan goalie Allegra Grant'20 (Winnetka, IL) deflected into the corner.
The Cardinals showed strong defensive play and earned another penalty kill a minute later.
They managed to tie up the game 1-1 at 17:57 with a goal by sophomore Bridget Sherman (Washington, DC). Sophomore Kendall Carr (York, ME) carried the puck around the net, and laid it over to Sherman who beat Anderson for the goal.
The Ephs went on the power play with just under 2 minutes left in the first period. Sophomore Abby Brustad (Mound, MN) took a hard wrist shot from the top of the circle that Grant knocked away with her glove to keep it tied 1-1 going into the second frame.
Play went back and forth for the first quarter of the second period, with several turnovers occurring in the neutral zone.
Wesleyan had their first major opportunity to take the lead at 5:30, when senior Jess Brennan (Fort Lauderdale, FL) had a partial breakaway. However Anderson stayed big in net to deflect Brennan's shot into the corner.
Seconds later, Anderson came up with another big save, kicking out her right leg to rebound a shot to a Williams defenseman.
Wesleyan had several scoring opportunities half way through the second frame, playing 5 on 3 hockey.
"We did a great job keeping it simple on the PK this afternoon," reflected Williams head coach Meghan Gillis, "we blocked several shots, were aggressive at the right times, and were strong on the forecheck to keep the puck out of our end as much as possible."
The Ephs maintained offensive pressure in the last quarter of the second period, going on the power play at 14:24. Fucillo fired a slap shot from the top of the circle that hit the pipe just as Wesleyan earned a penalty kill.
Still tied 1-1, Williams went into the final frame with an offensive edge, outshooting the Cardinals 27 to 20.
The Ephs carried their momentum from the end of the second period into the start of the third, taking the lead 2-1 34 seconds into the period. Assisted by Fucillo and Carroll, Lehman cut in from the right side of the Wesleyan zone to beat Grant with a shot above her trapper.
Wesleyan had a major scoring opportunity on the power play at 2:25. However, Williams defensemen managed to box out the Wesleyan offense to give Anderson a clear view of Wesleyan shots coming from the point.
The Ephs played solid hockey for the remainder of the period, outshooting Wesleyan 17 to 8 and earning two more penalty kills.
With just over 2 minutes left in the final frame, Lehman forced a turnover in the neutral zone. On a partial breakaway, she challenged Grant with a wrist shot on her glove side that she deflected into the corner.
Williams kept offensive pressure on Wesleyan for the last few minutes of play, so the Cardinals were unable to pull their goalie to gain a one-man advantage, making the final score 2-1 for the Ephs.
"Every NESCAC win is so important," reflected Gillis, "it was huge for us to get four points this weekend. We'll have a quick turnaround this week, playing two strong out-of-conference opponents on Wednesday and Saturday."
Anderson finished this afternoon with 27 saves, while Grant made 42.
The Ephs face off against the Castleton Spartans this Wednesday at Lansing Chapman Rink. The puck drops at 7pm.