Women's Ice Hockey Drops Three Straight Games
Issue   |   Tue, 11/27/2012 - 23:28

Interim head coach Jeff Matthews already has his work cut out for him. The Amherst squad, which nearly won a NESCAC Championship last season, has dropped three of its first four, including a crushing overtime road loss to conference rival Hamilton.

In the first game of the home-and-home series with the Continentals (Friday, Nov. 17), the Lady Jeffs did manage to take care of business by a 6-5 score. It was the seniors who carried the team on that day, as Megan Doyen, Geneva Lloyd and Kaitlyn McInnis all got in on the scoring action.

Emily Flom ’15 and Courtney Baranek ’14 also chipped in with goals, while first-year Eileen Harris added two assists. Even a hat trick by Hamilton’s Stephanie Lang wasn’t enough to overcome the seemingly well-balanced Jeff attack; the Amherst team jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first period and survived despite losing the third period, 3-2.

But the two teams would meet again as play moved to Clinton, N.Y. the following day, and, this time, the Continentals had the advantage. Hamilton’s 4-3 win would be their first victory over the Jeffs after 16 consecutive losses dating back to 2005.

All the Amherst scoring came in the second period, as Hayley Opperman ’14 found the back of the net twice and Ashley Salerno ’14 also tallied a goal. This time, however, the Jeffs’ 3-2 lead at the end of the third period would not be safe. Hamilton’s Gigi Fraser scored the game-tying goal with 10:27 to play in the third period, and the contest would extend to a sudden-death overtime. There, the Continentals’ Katie Zimmerman, who had already scored once on the day, netted the winner and dashed the Jeffs’ hopes of starting out 2-0 in league play.

From there, the Lady Jeffs headed to Middlebury for the Panther/Cardinal Classic, where they didn’t meet with much success.
The Jeffs would match up against first-ranked Plattsburgh and fourth-ranked Elmira, and both teams showed that they were every bit as good as the rankings indicated. In their two losses over the weekend of Nov. 24-25, Amherst was outscored by a 14-4 margin.

Flom and Lloyd did manage to pad their individual statistics as each scored in the Jeffs’ 8-3 loss to Plattsburgh. Tori Salmon ’15 also netted her first goal of the season in a 6-1 defeat at the hands of Elmira. Nevertheless, the Jeffs hung tough throughout the weekend: against Elmira, the Amherst squad came up with just four fewer attempts on goal than the Soaring Eagles as they were narrowly outshot, 32-28.

The Jeffs have nowhere to go but up, and they will get a chance to do just that this weekend when they host NESCAC foe Wesleyan for a pair of games this weekend. The Cardinals are 2-2 but have been competitive in each of their games and will provide a formidable opponent. Following that, the Jeffs can look forward to a mid-week tilt against always-dangerous Trinity (Wed., Dec. 5) that will also be a must-win.