January 26, 2009

The Middlebury College women's hockey team won its only game of the week as the Panthers had a weekend off from NESCAC play. Three players tallied two points with a goal and an assist for Middlebury in a 6-3 victory over host University of Massachusetts Boston.

Sophomore Anna McNally (St. Paul, Minn.) opened the scoring for Middlebury with an unassisted goal at 6:33 of the first period, but UMass Boston responded just over three minutes later when Lauren Duran scored at 9:43 to knot the score at 1-1.

The Panthers took a two-goal margin with a pair of goals in a span of nine seconds when sophomore Heidi Woodworth (Princeton, N.J.) and rookie Maggie Melberg (Woody Creek, Colo.) set up junior Ashley Bairos (Van Nuys, Calif.) for her second goal of the year at the 6:10 mark and McNally fed senior Annmarie Cellino (W. Seneca, N.Y.) for her sixth goal of the year just nine seconds later to give Middlebury a 3-1 lead. Nasta fired a shot from the point that was redirected by Duran for her second goal of the afternoon and team-leading 10th of the season to pull the Beacons to within 3-2 with 11:29 to go in the second period on the power play, but that would be as close as they would get for the day.

Junior Heather McCormack (Rowley, Mass.) netted the eventual game-winner for the Panthers on a helper from sophomore Nora Bergman (Concord, Mass.) and Bairos with just 39 seconds left in the middle period for a 4-2 margin.

Melberg and senior Molly Vitt (Kenilworth, Ill.) combined to assist Erika Nakamura on her seventh tally of the season at the 5:58 mark of the third period for Middlebury, before sophomore Julia Ireland (Greenwich, Conn.) assisted on an empty netter on the power play for Vitt's sixth goal of the campaign with 28 seconds remaining in the game. UMass Boston struck one last time to cap the scoring with 15 ticks left on the clock when Kristen Smith found Maria Guanci for her third score of the season to make it 6-3.

Leah Hallett was outstanding in net for the Beacons, making a school-record 56 saves to break the old mark of 54 set by Maggie Carmany on December 4, 2004 at Manhattanville College. Junior Lani Wright (Reading, Mass.) stopped 24 shots to earn the victory for the Panthers.
. Women's hockey record: 9-1-3
. Up next: 1/28 vs. Williams - 7:00, 1/31 vs. Bowdoin - 7:00, 2/1 vs. Colby - 3:30