Win Streaks Define Women's Hockey's Interterm
Women’s hockey excelled in conference play over the last six weeks, positioning themselves for a playoff run at the end of the month.
The Mammoths’ January began as many teams’ winter plans did — with cancellations and postponements. The team’s first three scheduled competitions were each either postponed or canceled. Even so, the Mammoths were not deterred.
Immediately snapping a three-game losing streak from before winter break, Amherst defeated Connecticut College on Jan. 8 in a definitive 4-1 away performance. Thirteen minutes into the second period, Carley Daly ’23 broke the deadlock with her third goal of the season. In the third period, a power-play goal by Rylee Glennon ’24 five minutes into the period opened the floodgates. Less than three minutes later, team captain Angelina Wiater ’22 tacked on another goal, and with less than five minutes remaining, first-year forward Anna Baxter ’25 found the goal again to widen the lead. The Mammoths were unable to record the shutout as, just over a minute later, Conn forward Melissa Alexander scored their only goal of the game, putting the game at its final score.
On Jan. 11, the Mammoths defeated University of Massachusetts Boston in an away game, winning a tight contest in overtime. The final score is misleadingly close, as Amherst dominated shots in the game, outshooting UMass Boston 11-7 in the first period, 21-5 in the second, and 16-10 in the third. After conceding one goal in the first period, Glennon and Stephanie Nomicos ’22 scored to put the Mammoths up 2-1 after two periods of play. The Beacons equalized just past the halfway mark of the final period to send the game to overtime. The Mammoths made extremely quick work of overtime, though, scoring after just eight seconds to secure their second win in a row by a score of 3-2.
The Mammoths saved their very best for conference rivals Williams, lengthening their winning streak to three games with a 5-0 trouncing on Jan. 14 in Williamstown. Kate Pohl ’23 scored two goals in the rout. The Mammoths’ strength on the power play was clear, as they scored both goals in the first period while the Ephs were shorthanded. Pohl and Avery Flynn ’23 were the goalscorers in the first period, with their goals coming only two minutes apart. Pohl added another with the sole goal in the second period, and Jayna Park ’24 and Daly were the lone goalscorers in the final period en route to their win.
A day later, on Jan. 15, the Ephs sought revenge in a rematch, defeating the Mammoths in Amherst 1-0, snapping their win streak. Amherst was unable to capitalize on any of their three power play opportunities in the game, and was outshot 25-32 over the 60 minutes. The decisive goal, from Williams’ Brianna Hill, came early in the third period. Amherst goalie Caitlin Walker ’22 made an impressive 32 saves in the game, her second 30-plus save game this season. With the loss, Amherst’s record fell to 5-7-0, and 2-6-0 in conference play.
The result was no better their next time on the ice, as the Mammoths lost 0-1 in a tight competition at No. 9 Norwich University. Although Amherst outshot Norwich 33-26, Norwich goalie Alexa Berg recorded the Cadets’ first shutout of the season, saving every shot that was leveled at her. While Amherst was unable to capitalize on any of their three power-play opportunities, they successfully killed their only penalty of the contest and proved that they could hang with the country’s best teams, holding a top-10 team to only one goal.
Amherst’s next two games, both conference matchups against Trinity, were both postponed, giving the Mammoths a week-long break until their Jan. 25 competition against Connecticut College. This break was effective; the Mammoths returned to the win column on Jan. 25, defeating the Camels 2-1 in a home victory on the ice at Orr Rink. Amherst got off to a good start, with Wiater scoring the first goal of the game with 1:32 left in the first period. But Conn would not be shut out, equalizing with a goal eight minutes into the second period. Nearly halfway through the third period, though, Amherst regained the lead thanks to a goal from Glennon. This lead remained intact through the finish, as Amherst returned to their winning ways and began another unbeaten streak.
On Jan. 31, Amherst defeated NESCAC and Little Three rival Wesleyan 2-1 in an away victory. Both goals for Amherst came on the power play from junior defenseman Flynn. She scored 15 minutes into the game on a rebound of Glennon’s initial shot to give Amherst the advantage. In the second period, with only 27 seconds remaining, Flynn scored again — this time on a slapshot assisted by Glennon. Flynn’s stellar game seemed to motivate her teammates: in the third period, the Mammoths were able to kill a rare five-on-three power play. But they were unable to keep a clean sheet, with Wesleyan scoring just 1:12 from the close. The victory saw Amherst’s overall record rise to .500, with seven wins and seven losses on the season.
A day later, on Feb. 1, the Mammoths defeated Wesleyan in another away victory, this time completing the shutout with a 2-0 win. Amherst took the lead just 2:36 into the game with a goal from Alyssa Xu ’25. Walker stopped all 27 shots she saw during the game to maintain Amherst’s 1-0 lead. With just 45 seconds left in the game, Wiater scored to double the Mammoths’ lead and see the game out. The win brought Amherst’s conference record to an even five wins and five losses, and put their overall record above .500 for the first time this season.
On Amherst’s Senior Day, Feb. 5, the Mammoths finished with a 2-2 tie on home ice against the Bowdoin Polar Bears. After a scoreless first period, Bowdoin opened the scoring with a goal 11:58 into the second period. Five minutes later, though, Amherst capitalized on a power play with a shot from Glennon into the top corner, evening the game at 1-1. In the third period, with 10 minutes remaining, Amherst took the lead with Pohl tipping the puck past Bowdoin goalie Dani Marquez. But the lead wouldn’t last long, as three minutes later the Bears tied the game into overtime. Despite chances for both sides, neither team scored in the five-minute, three-on-three overtime, and both teams left the ice with a tie.
The next day, Feb. 6, the Mammoths dominated the Bears, winning 3-0 in a conference shutout on home ice. Like the day before, the first period remained scoreless, but midway through the second period, it was the Mammoths who scored first, with Glennon taking advantage of the power play for the second time in two days. Just a minute later, Xu redirected a Glennon pass for the second goal of the game. But the Mammoths weren’t done. With 1:50 left in the third period, Julia Weiss ’25 scored an empty-net goal to seal victory for the Mammoths.
On Feb. 8, the Mammoths continued their homestand against Trinity College. The Bantams jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but the Mammoths would not go away, with two third period goals bringing the game to 2-2. Xu converted first to get the Mammoths on the board, and Glennon recorded her third power play goal in as many games to even the score with six minutes to go. But the Bantams clawed their way back, scoring the game winner with two minutes left to stop the comeback effort and defeat the Mammoths 3-2.
The loss leaves the Mammoths with their current record standing at 9-8-1 overall and 6-6-1 in the NESCAC, putting them in fourth place heading into an important stretch of games to close out the regular season. Moving forward, the Mammoths will look to get back to winning ways against the Trinity Bantams in a rematch at Orr Rink on Feb. 9 at 7 p.m., and will face the University of New England Nor’Easters at Orr Rink on Feb. 15.