Women’s Hockey Skates Past Williams, Earns Home NESCAC Quarterfinal Game
Issue   |   Wed, 02/08/2012 - 00:47
Rob Mattson
Geneva Lloyd fires a shot on goal for the Jeffs, who are 17-3 heading into a weekend doubleheader against Trinity.

Last weekend, red-hot women’s ice hockey extended their winning streak to seven after sweeping Williams on their own ice. “Our younger players stepped up and put us on the scoreboard,” senior tri-captain Stephanie Clegg said. “We outplayed Williams and received significant contributions from our rookies, making us an even stronger and deeper team.

The Jeffs got to work on Friday, taking the Ephs, 5-1, erupting in the third period with three goals to earn the decisive win.
Senior tri-captain Emily Vitale tacked on the first goal after receiving a pass from sophomore teammate Avery Stone and beating Williams goalie Chloe Billadeau stick-side.

The Jeffs padded their lead at 16:46 when Emily Flom ’15 fed a pass to Courtney Baranek ’14, who bested Billadeau again for the eventual game-winner, one of a few reasons why Baranek earned NESCAC Player of the Week honors.

Williams answered in the second period when Hannah Systrom collected a rebound and redirected into the net, making the score 2-1.

Amherst was ruthless in the third period, driving home three goals to put the game out of reach. At 3:59, Clegg ripped a shot off from the blue line past the Eph defense, assisted by classmate Ellen Swiontkowski and Geneva Lloyd ’13.

At 6:57, Anne Gillard ’15 netted Amherst’s fourth and her career first, with Tori Salmon ’15 and Baranek picking up the assist. Salmon went at it again at 12:23, assisting classmate Emily Flom, who notched the final goal of the game. Sophomore Kerri Stuart minded the net, making seven saves in the game.

The next day, the Jeffs and the Ephs faced off again in a much closer game, with Amherst edging out Williams 1-0.

“Going into Saturday, we picked up where we left off and played a solid 60 minutes but just had trouble putting the puck in the net,” Lloyd said. “Baranek really came through for us and was really clutch.”

Defense was king through a scoreless two periods as Amherst goalkeeper Sinead Murphy stood tall, making 20 saves in the game and notching her fourth season shutout.

With only six minutes remaining in regulation, Barrett McBride ’14, Swiontkowski and Baranek broke the deadlock. McBride and Swiontkowski worked to find Baranek, who rifled a wrist-shot that deflected off Billadeau and into the back of the net.

“When we play such strong defense and generate good opportunities in the offensive zone but cannot finish, it gets frustrating, so when we finally scored in the third period it was a relief,” Baranek commented. She had four points on the weekend, which included two game-winning goals in as many games.

The Jeffs now stand at 17-3 (11-1 NESCAC) and in first place of the conference, having earned hosting rights for the quarterfinals of the conference championship.

They’ll take on Trinity this weekend in two of their final four regular season matchups.

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