Cards Post Tie with Williams and Gain First Win of the Season vs. Nichols Over Last Three Games
Wesleyan picked up its first win of the year behind the shutout goaltending of Rachel Stemerman '09, as she collected 34 saves in a 2-0 home victory over Nichols Sat., Dec. 6. Both Sena Ito '11 (#12, photo insert lower left) and Julia Mulhern '12 (#5, photo insert upper right) picked up a goal and an assist in the game to lead the offense.
Mulhern got her first career goal off a rebound 1:10 in the second period and Ito made it a 2-0 game 50 seconds later by lifting the puck into the upper right corner of the net.
On the strength of Ito's goal at 6:04 of the first period, Wesleyan held a 1-0 lead over NESCAC and Little Three rival Williams for more than 53 minutes of the contest Sat., Nov, 29 in Middletown. Ito received a pass from Hannah Jackson '08 from the left side while standing in the slot and pushed a backhander past the Williams keeper to spot Wesleyan an early edge. Jill Reynolds '12 also picked up an assist on the play for her first career point.
Stemerman had another tremendous outing as she made 39 stops over the first 59 minutes of the contest while holding Williams off the board. But the Ephs pulled their goalie with :50 to play and found the net on a rebound with just :23 to go to even the count at 1-1. With Stemerman adding another eight saves in the five-minute overtime to close out the game with 47 stops, Wesleyan came away with a 1-1 deadlock.
The next day featured a visit from Milddlebury, ranked first in the nation in Division III, Sun., Nov. 30 to finish up the NESCAC weekend. Stemerman matched her career high for saves established eight days earlier against Trinity with 54 in a 5-0 setback, as the Panthers outshot the Cardinals, 59-8. Middlebury remained undefeated on the year as well as all-time vs. Wesleyan (38-0-3). The teams last tied in Jan. 2007. Middlebury connected on three of its six power-play chances Sunday, including two in the first period to grab a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes.
The Cardinals closed out the first semester with their seventh straight home game as Holy Cross ventured to Middletown Tues., Dec. 9. Wesleyan gave the undefeated ECAC East-leading Crusaders a tussle as the teams entered the final period tied at 2-2. Wesleyan trailed 2-0 late in the first period before Hannah Jackson '09 posted a pair of assists, setting up Heather Lindgren '11 for a goal late in the opening stanza, and Ito for her third goal of the season late in the second. But Holy Cross netted the game-winner midway through the final period and added a pair of insurance goals in the final three minutes of the game for a 5-2 decision. Stemerman was on her career average for saves with 38 in the contest.
The team returns to the ice for its next game Sat., Jan. 3, traveling to Utica for back-to-back games over the weekend.