AMHERST, Mass. – Fresh off their third consecutive trip to the league finals, the 2018-19 Amherst College women's ice hockey team enters the season with a solid core of returners and an eye on improving every day and bringing home a conference title for the first time since 2010.
Led by seventh-year head coach Jeff Matthews, the Mammoths will have to contend with the loss of six talented players to graduation from last season's squad that finished with a 16-7-4 overall ledger and 9-4-3 mark in the NESCAC.
In addition to 17 veterans, a skilled group of first-years rounds out the Mammoth squad this season, with Kenzie MacDonald '22, Elizabeth Holubiak '22, Stephanie Nomicos '22, Angelina Wiater '22, Anna Kruesel '22 and Caitlin Walker '22 all looking to make an immediate impact donning the Purple & White.
Returning four of their top-five point getters from a season ago, the Mammoths will once again look to boast a potent offensive attack after tallying 80 scores (2.96 G/GM) and 206 total points in 2017-18.
Second on Amherst with 24 points and tied for seventh in the league in points per game last winter, Jocelyn Hunyadi '19 headlines play up front after notching six goals and 18 helpers.
Double-digit point getters last season, Emma Flynn '21, Katie Savage '19, Katelyn Pantera '19 and Kaitlin Hoang '21 will aim to once again be will consistent and dangerous offensive catalysts for the Mammoths. In an impressive rookie campaign, Flynn ranked third on the team in points (17) and assists (10) in addition to sending seven shots into the nylon, while the tenacious Savage landed 15 points behind six goals and seven helpers. Pantera and Hoang each finished the year with 12 points, with both skaters amassing four goals and eight assists as players to watch heading into the new season.
A skillful two-way player that will see time as both a forward in defender, Laura Schmidlein '19 racked up eight points behind a score and seven assists, while Eliza Laycock '20, captain Jamie McNamara '19, and Rose Mroczka '21 will all look to build on the momentum of five point seasons as reliable and hardworking players.
Losing only one defender to graduation, Amherst returns a largely intact defensive unit from last year's squad that compiled a 1.57 goals against average.
A Second-Team All-NESCAC honoree last winter, Miriam Eickhoff '19 is primed for another big season for the Mammoths after potting seven goals and dishing out seven helpers during a breakout junior season that saw her rank fifth on the team and 25th in the conference in points (14).
Mia DelRosso '21 (4G, 5A) and Anne Malloy '20 (6A) are positioned to be key components of the defense after each logging six-or-more points last winter while playing in all 27 contests for Amherst, while Ava Simoncelli '20 (2G, 5A) looks ready for a breakout junior campaign as a crafty player who saw action in 26 games a year ago.
A versatile skater that has the ability to play both forward and defense, Sarah Melanson '20 will be looking to have presence on both ends of the ice this winter.
Goalkeeper Caroline Booraem '20 in the final defensive returner for Amherst, with the keeper having shown the ability to hold her own in between the pipes during preseason against a talented and well-rounded Mammoth squad.
Amherst kicks off the 2018-19 season on Friday, Nov. 16 when they host conference foe Connecticut College at Orr Rink in a 7 p.m. battle.