Middlebury beats Williams 5-3

Eph's Focused on the puck
Eph's Focused on the puck

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA —The Williams College women's hockey team (11-12-2) lost a hard fought game to NESCAC opponent Middlebury College (16-6-2) 5-3 tonight. Sophomore Katherine Jackson (Portsmouth, RI) scored the game-winning goal at 2:46 in the third period. The Ephs will head into the NESCAC championship next weekend with a conference record of of 7-7-2, while the Panthers will head into the tournament with a record of 11-4-1.

The Panthers took the lead early on in the first period, with a goal by freshman Anna Zumwinkle (Excelsior, MN) at 4:25. Sophomore Rachael St. Clair (Minnetonka, MN) won the puck behind the Williams net, and laid it over to senior Allie Aiello (Maplewood, NJ). Aiello passed it to Zumwinkle, who scored a top shelf goal from the point against freshman goalie Marissa Anderson (East Falmouth, MA).

The Ephs responded quickly to the Middlebury goal, evening the score out 1-1 with a goal by junior Kearan Burke (Shrewsbury, MA) at 5:12. Senior Sara Lehman (Lexington, MA) took a wrist shot from the point, that freshman goalie Lin Han (Toronto, ONT) couldn't cover up. Burke was waiting on top of the net to score.

Right after Burke's goal, Williams continued to pressure Middlebury with back to back shots; senior Chelsey Stevenson (Tilbury, ONT) took a shot from the top of the right circle, and sophomore Annie Rush (Anchorage, AK) followed up with a shot from the hashmarks.

At 8:39 Williams received a delayed penalty, giving Middlebury the opportunity to pull their goalie and gain a one-man advantage. However sophomore Eliza Quigley (Marblehead, MA) blocked a slap shot from the point, allowing Williams to gain possession of the puck and reset the play.

The Panthers received a penalty 10 seconds later, opening up the ice for some four-on-four hockey.

At 14:13, Middlebury took the lead 2-1 with a goal by Jackson. Assisted by Aiello and senior Victoria Laven (Fargo, ND), Jackson scored off a shot from the point when Anderson was screened.

Play went up and down the ice for the first half of the second frame. Then, at 10:17, Stevenson scored an unassisted goal tie up the game 2-2. She entered the zone on the left side, and proceeded to take a wrist shot from the point. She rushed the net after her shot, and got the puck past Han off the rebound.

Like Williams in the first frame, Middlebury responded quickly to Stevenson's goal. Junior Jessica Young (Mission Hills, KS) scored a power play goal at 11:43 to make it 3-2 for the Panthers. Zumwinkle and senior Carly Watson (Montpelier, VT) assisted.

The Ephs continued to play with determination and heart, and managed to tie up the game 3-3 with four minutes left in the second frame. Junior Emily Eide (Edina, MN) laid it over to freshman Amanda Reisman (Short Hills, NJ) who took a shot from the point. Senior assistant captain Caitlin Buckley (Mahopac, NY) was waiting in front of the net to bury the rebound.

Middlebury took the lead early on in the final period. Jackson scored her second goal of the night at 2:48 off a top shelf shot.

The Panthers kept pressuring the Ephs, and scored a short-handed goal at 4:55 to solidify their lead 5-3. Freshman Lizzie Sheline (Reynoldsburg, OH) scored off a 2 on 1 play, assisted by Young.

Williams continued to compete hard throughout the final period, but failed to get the puck past Han.

With three minutes left, Anderson shut down Sheline off a break away. However the Ephs then received a penalty, and were unable to pull Anderson to gain a one-man advantage for the last few minutes of play.

"I thought we had some really strong stretches, where we executed the forecheck really well," commented Williams head coach Meghan Gillis, "We need to work on capitalizing on chances when we get them, especially on the power play."

Anderson made a total of 14 saves, while Han made 21.

The Ephs will be competing in the NESCAC tournament next weekend.

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