Women's Hockey Falls Just Short of NESCAC Title
Issue   |   Tue, 03/06/2012 - 23:35
Photo courtesy of Rob Mattson
The Jeffs were defeated 1-0 by Middlebury but will continue their postseason after earning an at-large NCAA bid.

This weekend, Amherst fell to Middlebury in a heartbreaking 1-0 overtime loss in the NESCAC Championship game. The Jeffs’ post-season continues, however, as they secured an at-large NCAA bid on Monday morning.

Starting on Friday night, Amherst faced Bowdoin in the NESCAC semi-final game and shut them out 1-0, earning their sixth-straight NESCAC championship appearance.

First-year Tori Salmon was the game’s hero, breaking out with less than a minute into the second period and finding the net for the night’s game-winner. She was helped by Erin Babineau ’12 and Geneva Lloyd ’13, who was recently named to the All-NESCAC First Team and was dubbed NESCAC Women’s Hockey Player of the Year. Ashley Salerno ’14 and Josie Fisher ’12 were also named to the All-NESCAC Second Team in that announcement.

Sinead Murphy ’12 goaltended for the Jeffs, registering 16 total saves and her 10th career shutout.

Amherst stayed the night in Middlebury, Vt. to take on the Panthers in the NESCAC championship game the next day. In a hard-fought battle, the Jeffs fell to Middlebury in overtime, 1-0.

Murphy went at it again, making 24 stops in the game in a formidable defensive effort. While Fisher, Salmon, Megan Doyen ’13 and Babineau all came up big with memorable challenges on Panther goalie Annabelle Jones during regulation, the game remained scoreless at the end of the third period.

In overtime, Middlebury’s Lauren Greer finally broke the tie six minutes into the extra period, ending the game and earning the team’s second-straight NESCAC title.

The following morning, Amherst tuned into the NCAA Selection Show to find out that they had earned an at-large bid despite the loss, giving their post-season new life.

“It’s a heartbreaker to lose such a close game in the finals, but with how we played this weekend we have a lot to be proud of and build off of for Saturday’s game,” Lloyd said.

Amherst drew Norwich Univ., the current No. 1 seed. The Jeffs faced Norwich earlier in the season and tallied an impressive 2-0 upset win. The Jeffs will travel to Northfield, Vt. this Saturday to compete in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

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