AMHERST, Mass. – In an exciting back-and-forth battle, first-year Angelina Wiater's first career goal stood as the difference maker as the Amherst College women's hockey team dealt visiting William Smith College its first loss of the winter, 4-3 Saturday afternoon at Orr Rink.
With the win, Amherst improves to 3-4-1 on the season, while William Smith suffers its first loss and drops to 10-1-0 overall. Amherst and William Smith return to the ice tomorrow, Sunday, December 30 when they face off at Orr Rink in the series finale beginning at 2 p.m.
After combining for six shots on frame in the opening 13 minutes of the contest, the sides caught fire with just under seven minutes to play, tallying four goals in 57 seconds.
First to strike, Abbey Luth netted her team-leading 11th score of the winter with 6:57 on the clock with assists from Jules Kennedy and Jordan Roetzer to put the Herons up 1-0. Gaining possession of the puck in the left corner, Kennedy connected with Luth on the far post for the one-touch goal.
Doubling William Smiths' lead eight seconds later, it was Kennedy's turn to find the back of the net as she grabbed a dish from Roetzer at the blue line and powered a wrist shot from the top of the right circle off the Amherst keeper and in.
Responding at the 6:27 mark, Rose Mroczka '21 potted her first goal of the season to cut the visitors edge to 2-1. Miriam Eickhoff '19 and Stephanie Nomicos '22 set up the scoring play as they controlled the puck at the blue line before Nomicos's wrister from the right point was tipped by Mroczka over the goal line.
Capping off an action packed minute of hockey with 5:59 remaining in the period, Eliza Laycock '20 deadlocked the matchup at 2-2 after Emma Flynn '20 hustled down the boards to stave off an icing. Beating the defender to the puck in the right corner, Flynn cut behind the net and found Laycock on the far right post who buried the score.
Giving the Mammoths their first lead of the game with 2.9 seconds before the first intermission, Flynn registered a score of her own as she pulled the puck out of a scrum in the left corner and ripped a shot from the bottom of the circle into the nylon to make it 3-2 in favor of Amherst at the break.
Seizing momentum in the second period, the Mammoths owned a 21-5 advantage in shots on frame, however neither side was able to make a difference on the scoreboard as Amherst held on to the 3-2 lead heading into the final 20 minutes of regulation.
One of the Herons' best chances to even things at three all came five minutes into the third stanza as Alison Weiss earned a clear shot from the top of the left circle, however Caitlin Walker '22 stood strong in between the pipes for Amherst as she registered the clutch kick save.
On the power play following a Heron hooking penalty, Wiater netted her first collegiate goal with 9:32 on the clock with assists from Flynn and Eickhoff. Finding the back of the net to extend Amherst's lead to 4-2, Waiters tally stood as the difference maker for the home team.
Battling back to get within striking distance with 4:19 to play, Gina Scibetta and Stephanie Hampton teamed up to capitalize on a give-and-go out of the right corner as Scibetta beat the Mammoth keeper and make it 4-3 down the stretch.
Pulling their goalie with 2:15 remaining, William Smith made an aggressive bid to net the equalizer, however Amherst was able to hang on to claim the 4-3 victory.
In between the pipes, Walker (2-2-1) recorded 11 saves for Amherst in the winning effort, while Olivia Williams (8-1-0) totaled 40 stops for William Smith in the loss.
The Mammoths owned a 44-14 advantage in shots on target and finished 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Herons went 0-for-1 up a skater.