WATERVILLE, ME – The top-ranked Amherst College women's hockey team had its dominant 53-game unbeaten streak in regular season conference play come to a halt this afternoon with a 3-2 loss at Colby College. The Mules picked up their first conference win of the season to drop the Lord Jeffs to 12-2-4 (8-1-3 NESCAC).
Colby scored a trio of first-period goals, including the game's first goal just 2:23 into the opening frame, before holding off the Lord Jeffs for the win. The White Mules took the 1-0 lead on a score from Marissa Simmons off helpers from Kaitlyn Conway and Stephanie Scarpato. Less than 10 minutes later, Scarpato put Colby up 2-0 with an unassisted goal on a shot that beat Amherst goaltender Sinead Murphy (Rochester, MN).
Less than 90 seconds after Scarpato's tally, Amherst senior Molly Malloy (Stamford, CT) closed the gap to 2-1 off assists from Cianna Wyshnytzky (Hawthorn Woods, IL) and Alyssa Chwick (Purchase, NY). With Amherst pushing for an equalizer, Colby was able to beat the Lord Jeff defense and Murphy for a third time at the 13:11 mark of the first stanza on a Meghan Tedoldi score.
Assists on the third Colby score were awarded to Conway and Scarpato. Scarpato entered the day as Colby's leading scorer with 22 points on nine goals and 13 assists, and added three points in the first period against the top-ranked team in Division III.
In the second period, Amherst closed the deficit to a single score once again as senior Michelle McGann (New Berlin, WI) scored at the 12:36 mark. Assists on Amherst's second goal came from sophomore Josie Fisher (Norwich, VT) and Randi Zukas (Glen Head, NY).
Amherst was unable to beat Colby netminder Loni Pisani in the final period, with McGann's tally in the middle frame standing as the game's final score. Pisani finished the night with 31 saves for the win, which surely stands as the biggest of the season and possibly her career. The victory improves Colby's record to 3-12-5 overall and is the White Mules only conference victory this season (1-8-3).
Despite today's loss being Amherst's first in regular-season NESCAC play since 2006, the Lord Jeffs will have to wait until the end of this evening's Trinity-Middlebury game to see if they will remain atop the conference ladder. With a .792 winning percentage, Amherst has fallen mere percentage points behind 7-1-2 (.800) Trinity College. If the 4th-ranked Bantams can top No. 7 Middlebury, then Amherst will drop into the second spot in the NESCAC standings.
After a program-record four straight weeks as the top-ranked team in the USCHO. Com Division III Women's Poll, Amherst will have to wait and see if they drop out of the top spot on Monday afternoon. On Tuesday night, Amherst will host Saint Anselm College when the Lord Jeffs look to rebound from their first NESCAC regular-season loss since a Dec. 2, 2006 setback to Middlebury.