Second Straight Tie with Trinity Leaves Women's Hockey #5 in NESCAC Seedings, Faced Bowdoin in Playoffs and Fell, 2-1
Ellery Sarosi '17 (#22, main photo) had a goal and two assists before the game was 15 minutes old as the Cardinals moved out to an early 3-0 lead in their showdown at Trinity Sat., Feb. 22, knowing the winner of the game would be the #4 seed in the upcoming NESCAC tournament. But the Bantams rallied for four straight goals to move ahead with less than five minutes left in the second period. Wesleyan then got the only goal of the third period, coming from Lilah Fones '15 (#17, photo insert upper left) at the 5:08 mark to even the count at 4-4. It was her second tally of the contest. Then for the second time in two days, the teams went into overtime and ended in a deadlock, this time, 4-4. Because Bowdoin defeated Amherst in its final regular-season game, 1-0, the Polar Bears received the fourth and final home game for the NESCAC playoffs by virtue of their 1-0-1 record against both Wesleyan and Trinity this season. Wesleyan becomes the #5 seed and Trinity the #6 seed. Wesleyan headed to Bowdoin for the first round of the tournament Sat., March 1. There the Polar Bears prevailed, 2-1.
Sarosi got Wesleyan on the board just 1:57 into the game at Trinity, then helped set up both Fones and Glenn Hartmann-Mattson '14 on goals at 13:14 and 14:05 for the 3-0 cushion. Sarosi's goal was her fourth while Fones netted her first of the season and Hartman-Mattson also tallied for the fourth time this year. But starting keeper Laura Corcoran '16 was touched for four markers by the 15:27 mark of the second period as the Bantams forged ahead. Corcoran was replaced by Corinne Rivard '16, who shut the door over the next 29:33, allowing the Cardinals to tie on Fones' second goal of the game and campaign. Rivard collected 13 saves during her time in the net while Corcoran had 16. Trinity had a narrow 33-29 edge in total shots.
Wesleyan concluded the regular season with many accomplishment not achieved in years. The Cardinals qualified for the NESCAC tournament for the first time since the 2003-04 season. The fifth seeded equals the team's highest ever in the playoffs. Wesleyan picked up at least one point against every NESCAC rival with a win or a tie while ending four long losing streaks to Amherst, Middlebury, Bowdon and Trinity with ties.
In the NESCAC tournament at Bowdoin, the Polar Bears got on the board just 3:47 into the contest and nursed the one-goal lead into the third period. Bowdoin struck again only 2:34 into the final frame to pad the advantage. Sarosi connected for a power-play goal with 3:42 remaining to cut the deficit back to a lone marker, but Bowdoin prevented any further Cardinal scoring. Wesleyan was only able to pull goalie Corcoran, who had 31 saves in the game, for 22 seconds in the final minute of the game. Then an inadvertent whistle with five seconds left forced a faceoff in the Wesleyan zone and Corcoran covered the net as the final seconds ticked off. The Cardinals ended a much-improved season with an 8-11-6 overall mark, their highest win total since the 2003-04 season.