WORCESTER, MA - Despite goals by sophomore Alison White (Brookline, MA) and junior Danielle Williams (Needham, MA), and an 18-save performance by junior netminder Heidi Alexander (Edina, MN), the Amherst College women's hockey team fell at non-league foe Holy Cross (9-11-2) Wednesday night, 4-2. The Jeffs dropped to 6-13-1 with the loss, heading into their final game of the regular season this Saturday at NESCAC rival Hamilton College.
White gave Amherst an early 1-0 advantage with the only goal of the first period, assisted by first-year defender Alicia Pichard (Potomac, MD) and sophomore forward Tory Serues (Cambridge, MA). The host Crusaders then erupted for a trio of scores to take a 3-1 lead in the second stanza. Forward Lindsey Jean (Peabody, MA) ignited the back-breaking barrage 1:10 into the period when her wrister deflected off an Amherst skate past a sprawled out Alexander. Meghan Mahoney (Utica, NY) then connected with her team-leading 14th goal of the season, followed by a backhanded scoring strike by sophomore Rachelle Beaudoin (Berlin, NH).
Beaudoin pushed the Crusader lead to 4-1 with her second goal of the night off a face-off just over six minutes into the third period. Down but not out, Williams netted a goal with 2:22 left in regulation, tying her with White for the team-lead with seven goals on the season,and cutting Amherst's deficit to 4-2. The Jeffs pulled Alexander and played with an empty net for 48 seconds in the waning minutes, but it was too little, too late for Amherst, which saw its two-game winning streak in non-conference play fall by the wayside.
Amherst (6-13-1/4-10/1 NESCAC) can cement its place in the postseason with a win at Hamilton (7-15/4-11 NESCAC) on Friday night. The top seven teams advance to the Inaugural NESCAC Postseason Championship Tournament, which begins on Saturday, February 23. The Jeffs currently stand in fifth place in conference race, one point ahead of Hamilton and Trinity College (5-13/4-12 NESCAC).
The top seed receives a bye in the first round and will host the semifinals and final on Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3, respectively. Middlebury, Bowdoin and Colby Colleges all have a shot at the top seed. If Middlebury hosts the tournament, the games will be played on Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2.