Women’s Hockey Locks Up No. 2 Seed
Issue   |   Wed, 02/22/2012 - 02:46
Photo courtesy of Chloe McKenzie '14
Senior Stephanie Clegg hopes to end her Amherst career with a NESCAC Championshi

This week, the Jeffs ended their regular season by winning once and tying once in a two game set at Bowdoin.
Going into postseason play, Amherst stands in second place in the NESCAC at 19-4-1 (13-2-1 NESCAC), having already secured hosting rights for the first round of the NESCAC championship.

Amherst got to work last Friday with a 5-2 win in Brunswick, Maine. Senior Josie Fisher led the charge with two goals on the day.

“We played two hard fought games this past weekend against Bowdoin, one of the top teams in our league,” Fisher said. “They scored the first goal in both games, so it was great for us to be able to come from behind to win and tie. The weekend gave us an idea of the tough games we are going to be playing for the rest of the postseason.

Bowdoin got things started about five minutes into the contest when Kim Tess-Wanat notched a goal during a two-on-one offensive advantage.

But Amherst answered quickly when Emily Flom ’15 ripped a shot off less than three minutes later and tacked on Amherst’s first, assisted by Emily Vitale ’12.

Fisher put Amherst ahead at the tail end of the first period, teaming up with Ellen Swiontkowski ’12 and Melissa Martin ’15 to notch the eventual game-winner. The trio came together again when Fisher pushed Amherst’s lead to three before the close of the period.

The score remained the same through the second, but Amherst went at it again in the third when Megan Doyen ’13 contributed a fourth, helped by Stephanie Clegg ’12.

“After being scored on first, to immediately react with three goals in the first period was impressive,” Doyen commented. “There was a large incentive to keep scoring, since we’ve recently been having a little trouble capitalizing on our chances. It was comforting to see the scoreboard with 5 goals for our side.”

The Polar Bear’s Shelagh Merrill registered a goal late in the third, but Emily Vitale ’12 put the game away with the Jeff’s fifth and final goal with less than 30 seconds left in regulation.

Sinead Murphy ’12 served between the pipes for Amherst and made 29 stops.

On Saturday , Amherst rallied from an early two-goal deficit to force a draw.

Bowdoin’s Kim Tess-Wanat registered the team’s first goal 8:17 into the first period. Her teammate Dominique Lozzi padded their lead minutes later, making the score 2-0.

Amherst broke into the second period, determined to come from behind. Four minutes in, Ashley Salerno ’14 connected with Emily Flom ’15, who drilled Amherst’s first goal past Bowdoin goalie Kayla Lessard.

Vitale tied things up nine minutes later, netting one with the help of teammates Avery Stone ’14 and Courtney Baranek ’14. Amherst applied pressure in the third period, but couldn’t put the puck in the net. After a scoreless overtime period, the game ended in a 2-2 tie.

Murphy goaltended this game as well and registered 17 saves on the day.

The Jeffs now look ahead to some exciting post-season play, kicking things off this Saturday by hosting Conn. College in the quarterfinals of the NESCAC championship.

“We’re incredibly excited for the playoffs because every game is essentially a one game season,” senior tri-captain Clegg said. “There are no second chances, so we’re ready to gain momentum and battle to the top.”