Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass women’s club hockey clinches a 1-0 win against Rhode Island

Minutewomen triumph over Rams in defensive game
Photo courtesy of the Daily Collegian photo archives.

In a resilient performance, the Massachusetts women’s club hockey team secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory over the University of Rhode Island.

UMass (10-12-1) faced off against the Rams (7-12-1) at the Mullins Center Community Rink, seeking a pivotal win to break its six-game losing streak. In their quest for a turnaround, the Minutewomen secured a hard-fought victory. Despite the win, the team struggled to capitalize off their multitudinous number of shots on Rhode Island’s goal.

UMass logged an impressive 37 shots on target against the Rams’ 14, yet only scored one goal. Most of the game took place in URI’s defensive half, showcasing the assertive Minutewomen offense. However, UMass couldn’t shake off the evident frustration stemming from its inability to capitalize on the abundance of opportunities.

“[The Rams] were bodying us a bit in front of the net and we weren’t really able to get our stick on the ice,” Brianna O’Neill said.

With 14 in the first, 12 in the second and 11 shots on target in the third, the match underscored UMass’s offensive dominance yet emphasized the team’s desire to translate control into more favorable outcomes on the scoreboard.

“Definitely getting more bodies in … and I think just digging deep when we’re in front of the net … would really help us capitalize on getting those pucks in the net,” O’Neill said.

The first and only goal occurred during a power play for UMass, set up by Meagan Wentworth’s tripping foul. O’Neill saw the opportunity, grabbing the puck from Olivia Jordan and positioned herself in the far-left corner of URI’s goal. O’Neill sent the puck low into the far corner of the net without hesitation, seizing the one-woman advantage to obtain a UMass goal 5 minutes into the second period.

The game kicked off with a somewhat hesitant start, as both teams faced challenges finding their footing. Despite the initial stumbling, the Minutewomen swiftly transitioned into a more assertive mode, initiating a potent offensive push against Rhode Island.

The game’s intensity heightened as the second period unfolded, particularly with UMass unleashing a barrage of promising shots on goal. Just before O’Neill’s eventual goal, she executed an aimed shot towards the left side of the Rams’ net, only to see the puck deflect off the post, narrowly missing the mark. In a parallel play, the Minutewomen’s Kennedy Pierson flicked the puck to Julia Williams, who successfully maneuvered it past URI’s goalie. However, the puck hesitated on the goal line, refusing to cross.

In the third period, the Rams upped their offensive game, launching a series of aggressive attacks by sending multiple pucks toward UMass’s goaltender, Sarah Matthews. Undeterred, Matthews exhibited resolute goalkeeping, preventing any pucks from crossing the line and maintaining the Minutewomen’s defensive integrity.

On the offensive end, O’Neill persisted in her attempts, continuously directing the puck towards Rhode Island’s goal in a bid to secure her second goal of the game. The Rams pulled their goalie with two minutes left, putting the Minutewomen’s defense to the test. Despite the heightened pressure, UMass’s defensive line remained steadfast, successfully thwarting Rhode Island’s attempts to level the score.

Although UMass struggled to convert scoring opportunities into numbers on the scoreboard, there was a notable silver lining. On the team’s first game back in Mullins after multiple weeks on the road, the Minutewomen snapped their six-game losing streak.

“It was really tiring being away for weeks straight,” O’Neill said. “We’ve been in kind of a drought and I think being at home definitely gave us the mindset to really want to win and to really dig down.”

Kate Endres can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @Kate_e_endres.

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