Williamstown, MA -- The Williams College Ephs (19-4-3) faced the Amherst Mammoths (13-11-2) this afternoon in the first NESCAC semifinal game of the weekend. After scoring early in the first period, the Ephs were able to maintain their lead to win 3-1 and advance to the championship game for the third time in program history.
The Ephs took the lead in the first period when senior captain Annie Rush wrapped a pass from the right hand side of goal around to sophomore defender Brynn Puppe in far left corner of Amherst's zone. Puppe then fired a slap shot, high and hard, to upper left hand corner of the goal to score at 13:56 into the game.
For the remainder of the period, the two first year goalies, Chloe Heiting for Williams and Caitlin Walker for Amherst, were able to prevent both teams from finding the net.
The second period started off with two Williams penalties and an Amherst penalty in between, all during a two minute time frame, but neither team was able to score during these power play opportunities.
Halfway through the period, the Ephs received another power play opportunity from a hooking call against Amherst. During this advantage, senior captain Abby Brustad, assisted by Puppe and junior Mia Carroll, was able to skate around and score from far right side of net at 12:16.
Amherst responded with their own power play goal after a Williams penalty at 15:07. Amherst first year Angelina Wiater, assisted by seniors Jamie McNamara and Sarah Wagner, was able to get past Heiting with a hard slap shot.
For the remainder of the second period an into the third, Walker was able to hold off every offensive Williams play to keep the score at 2-1. However at 12:30 into third, Williams scored when sophomore Michaela O'Connor, assisted by Reisman and sophomore Avery Dunn, flipped the puck up with a backhand over Walkin's left shoulder.
Despite pulling Walker with a few minutes left in the game, the Mammoths were unable to get past Heiting again and the Ephs maintained their lead for the remainder of the game.
By the end of the game, Heiting had saved 27 of 28 Amherst shots while Mammoth's goalie Caitlin Walker had saved 23 of 26 Williams shots.
"I thought that we came out a little bit sloppy but then we settled in and played a more composed game," said head coach Meghan Gillis, "I thought lots of different people made key plays at different moments".
The Ephs now look to add to their lone NESCAC championship title from 2014 tomorrow when they play in the NESCAC final at Lansing Chapman Rink at 2:00 PM versus the winner of the Middlebury vs. Hamilton game that followed the Eph win..