Women's Ice Hockey: Lord Jeffs get payback
Last Saturday, Feb. 27 the Mules traveled to Massachusetts to take part in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) quarterfinals against Amherst College. It was the third time the two teams had met in the 2009-2010 campaign. Even though Colby (3-17-5) snuck into the playoffs as the eighth seed, the first ranked Lord Jeffs knew the competition would be stiff. Amherst had already felt what it was like to take Colby for granted. Possibly the Mules season defining moment occurred on Jan. 30 when Colby pulled off a 3-2 upset against Amherst at Alfond Rink. Amherst was ranked first in the country at the time and had a 53-game unbeaten regular season streak in the NESCAC. Colby was also tied 2-2 with Amherst midway through the second period of another regular season game with the Lord Jeffs. On Saturday, Amherst did not look past Colby and vented some frustration with a ten-goal outpouring. "We knew they were going to be out for revenge after we snapped their 53 game unbeaten streak. Unfortunately the puck didn't bounce our way that game," senior co-captain Kaitlyn
Colby only trailed 1-0 to the Lord Jeffs after the first period but the floodgates opened in the second and the Mules found themselves down by eight goals after two periods. Co-captain Steaphanie Scarpato '11 netted Colby's lone goal on the day. Amherst was all over the offensive zone and constantly barraging goalkeeper Loni Pisani '11. Pisani still netted 30 saves on the day.
Although the long season ended on a bitter note, the team is still proud of where it stands.
"Unfortunately this year wasn't the most successful season record wise, but there were still a lot of positive things that came from it," said Conway.
Besides the epic victory against Amherst, there were some impressive individual performances for the Mules this year. Scarpato finished her junior season with 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points and now has 80 career points with 34 goals and 46 assists. Other top scorers include Marissa Simmons '12 with 19 points (13G, 6A), Conway with 15 points (5G, 10A), and Liz Osgood '11 with 14 points (5G, 9A). Junior Goalie Pisani stopped 585 shots for a .887 save percentage and backup first-year Filomani Falucci saved 170 shots for a .895 save percentage in six games.
"It's easy to stay positive when you're successful and winning games, the real challenge is staying positive after losing," said Conway. The Mules' record may not spell it out, but the team was extremely competitive in the NESCAC this season. Colby had five ties on the season and eight other games that were decided by two goals or less. It seemed at times the team just could not get over the hump. However, the Amherst victory shows that if the team put everything together it was capable of beating anyone in the league.
"As athletes, we learned to become mentally tougher and how to deal with ups and downs throughout the season. It was a great learning experience and something that I think we will all benefit from in the future," Conway reiterated.
The hockey team also graduates co-captain defender Andrea Fuwa and defender Tatiana Kowalewski as well as Conway.