Jeffs Hold Off Wesleyan, 2-1
Contact: Matthew Hart
AMHERST, Mass. – Six different Lord Jeffs factored into the scoring as the Amherst College women’s hockey team held on for a 2-1 win over Wesleyan University Friday night at Orr Rink. Senior co-captains Megan Doyen and Geneva Lloyd staked the Jeffs to a 2-0 lead before a third-period goal from Wesleyan’s Lilah Fones ’15 brought the Cardinals within one.
Amherst improved to 2-1-0 in NESCAC play with the win (2-3-0 overall) while the Cardinals fell to 1-2-0 (2-3-0 overall). It was the Jeffs’ 18th consecutive triumph over their Little Three rivals dating back to the 2003-04 season, but the first time since the opening win of that streak that Wesleyan came within a goal of knocking off Amherst.
With neither team generating strong offensive looks for much of the first period, Amherst finally broke through on the power play at the 17:30 mark. Hayley Opperman ’14 ripped one toward the net from just in front of the blue line on the right side and Doyen was positioned for the close-range finish, her second tally of the season, as Opperman and Barrett McBride ’14 picked up their second assists of the year on the play.
The Jeffs continued to control the bulk of possession into the second, eventually padding their lead 9:20 in when Lloyd fired a mid-range wrist shot past Cardinal goalie Ashleigh Corvi ’13 for the senior’s team-leading third strike of the season. Kaitlyn McInnis ’13 was credited with her third assist of the year on the score, while Madeline Tank ’15 tallied her first helper.
Looking to put their recent third-period struggles behind them, the Amherst defense held onto the lead in the final frame, but not without drama as Fones found the back of the net for the first time this season with a close-range shot over the shoulder of Amherst netminder Kerri Stuart ’14 at the 5:52 mark. Kelsey Muller ’13 and Mackey Hemphill ’15 tallied their first assists of the year on the play, but the Cardinals would not manage another strong look as the Amherst defense locked down and Stuart made a trio of saves in net over the final 10 minutes.
With the Jeffs’ blue-liners stifling numerous Wesleyan opportunities, Stuart needed just 12 saves to improve to 2-2 on the season. Corvi kept the Cardinals within striking distance with a strong effort between the pipes, totaling 30 saves over the contest.
Both teams had just two power play opportunities, with Amherst cashing in on one. Controlling possession for much of the game, the Jeffs tallied a 32-13 edge in shots and a 27-9 advantage on faceoffs, led by an outstanding 15-2 performance on the drop by Tori Salmon ’15.
The teams will be back in action Saturday afternoon, with the second leg of the weekend doubleheader scheduled for 3 p.m. at Orr Rink.