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The Mass Media

Women’s hockey and basketball reach fifth in their conference standings

An+illustration+of+a+UMass+Boston+women%26%238217%3Bs+hockey+player+and+women%26%238217%3Bs+basketball+player.%26%23160%3BIllustration+by+Bianca+Oppedisano+%28She%2FHer%29+%2F+Mass+Media+Staff.

An illustration of a UMass Boston women’s hockey player and women’s basketball player. Illustration by Bianca Oppedisano (She/Her) / Mass Media Staff.

Keeping up with women’s hockey and basketball has been exciting recently. During the first week of February, both teams jumped up one spot in their respective leagues, reaching fifth in the standings. Understanding where opponents are in the league standings helps make UMass Boston’s odds in the upcoming tournament more clear.

Women’s basketball, who play in the Little East Conference, see Rhode Island College as the undefeated leader of the conference, followed by Eastern Connecticut and UMass Dartmouth at the second and third seed. At the other end of the spectrum is Plymouth State, who has been defeated in every conference game. UMass Boston is in the middle of the pack, often teeter tottering with a .500 record (1).

On Feb. 1, the Beacons faced UMass Dartmouth, a special game for them, since Feb. 1 is recognized as “National Girls and Women in Sports Day.” In the days that followed, the UMass Boston’s Sports Leadership and Administration program held a multi-day event named, “Striving for Equity: Celebrating International Women and Girls in sport.”

The event was composed of a panel by professionals from New Balance and the Boston Red Sox, among others, on Feb 1., followed by a series of presentations by UMass Boston professors on Feb. 2. The lectures saw Dr. Allison Smith, Dr. Kerrie Wilkins-Yel, Dr. Jessica Hammond-Graff, and CEO of GOALS, Caroline Fitzgerald take center stage, exploring how equity could be applied to athletics.

During the game against UMass Dartmouth, the Beacons started strong and gained an 8–0 lead with the help of Keriann Farina and Megan Dixon. However, the Corsairs moved past the Beacons and improved on their slow start, closing the first quarter with a 21–13 lead.

In the second quarter, the Beacons tightened their defense, allowing only eight points from the Corsairs, while scoring 12 of their own. At halftime, the game was 27–25 in favor of UMass Dartmouth.

Their defense could only take them so far, and the second half of the game proved that. The Corsairs exemplified why they are third in the league, defeating the Beacons by a 15-point margin for a final score of 45–60 (2).

On Saturday, Feb. 4, the Beacons were gifted with an easier chance for victory when they were slated to face Plymouth State. Although the Panthers came in strong and took an early 6–2 lead, the Beacons didn’t get intimidated and scored a streak of nine points, with Sunny Green and Keriann Farina leading the way. The Panthers pushed back but the Beacons closed the first quarter with a three-point lead at 18–15.

The second and third quarters showcased less offense for both teams. However, in the fourth quarter, Dixon and junior Alexah Potter scored six three pointers, giving the Beacons a double-digit lead. The game ended victorious for the team, as they blew out the Panthers with a 73–42 win (3). Despite having a conference record of 5–7, women’s basketball still managed to climb to fifth in the standings.

Along with women’s basketball, women’s ice hockey reached an even record again within the conference and managed to climb in the ranking as well.

The NEHC has Elmira College as the undefeated leader. New England College and Plymouth State are at the bottom with one or two wins, while UMass Boston is standing sixth above Johnson & Wales and below William Smith College (4).

The previous week the Beacons lost against both William Smith and Elmira, which is reasonable since both teams were placed above them.

However, during the first week of February the Beacons played both legs against Johnson and Wales, as UMass Boston hadn’t faced this opponent in November for the first leg. Being ranked below UMass Boston in the standings, it was a mystery how the Beacons would respond to this opponent. This was an especially cold encounter, since the New England area experienced negative double digits for the first time in years.

On Friday Feb. 3, they played an away matchup in Providence, R.I. The game began with a stream of 10 shots from the Beacons, none of which reached crossed the goal line. In the sixth minute of play, forward Liz Kramp scored the first goal of the game, which was her second goal of the season.

The one goal advantage remained through two periods where the game became more defensive. This showcased UMass Boston’ s strength, especially at the hands of goalie Leah Bosch who stopped 21 shots in total. Her agility during this game earned her the Rookie of the Week recognition from the NEHC (5).

During the third period, freshman Emily Hansen intercepted a pass from Cailey Kozich and scored the second goal for the Beacons.

The third goal came unexpectedly near the end of the game, when a long shot from sophomore defender Melina Maggio reached an unprotected goal securing the Beacon 3–0 win. This was Maggio’s first collegiate goal.

The win gave women’s hockey a 7–7–1 conference score, reaching even again. They moved past William Smith and placed fifth for the first time this season (6).

The following day the team came back home to Barry Ice Rink to play the second leg.

This was the last home game of the season, thus Senior Night. They honored the three graduating seniors—Cailey Kozich, Emily Franciszkowicz and Addie Budington—at the beginning of the game. The coaches gifted flowers to the seniors, hugged goodbye and took a picture together.

The game itself was very defensive. During the first period neither team was able to score any goals. Goalie Victoria Kennedy stood tall for the Beacons and saved 25 shots in total.

In the second period, UMass Boston’s forward Katie Wilbert scored the first goal of the game with an assist by forward Ana Gustafson giving the Beacons a 1–0 lead. Shortly before the period ended, however, Wildcat forward Logan Arsenau shot a backhand around a UMass Boston defender and tied the game 1–1.

The even score remained through the second period into overtime. Attacks from both teams were blocked by the efficient edgework of both goalies. This gave the Beacons the second tie of their season at 1–1, and they reached a 7–7–2 conference score (7).

The last games of the winter season approach. Women’s basketball will hold Senior Night on Wednesday Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m. Be sure to support the Beacons at Clark as they celebrate the graduating seniors and face the University of Southern Maine, which currently stands seventh.

Women’s ice hockey had their last weekend of games. On Friday Feb. 10 they confronted Plymouth State and won 2–1, while on Saturday Feb. 11, they lost 2–1 against Casselton.

(1)   https://littleeast.com/standings.aspx?path=wbball

(2)http://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/1/second-half-shooting-slump-sinks-womens-basketball-against-umass-dartmouth.aspx

(3)http://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/4/womens-basketball-womans-basketball-pummels-plymouth-state-earn-big-lec-win-at-home.aspx

(4)   https://nehockeyconference.com/sports/wice/2022-23/standings

(5)http://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/6/womens-ice-hockey-bosch-named-nehc-rookie-of-the-week.aspx

(6)http://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/3/shutdown-and-shutout-bosch-leads-womens-ice-hockey-to-road-victory.aspx

(7)http://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/4/womens-ice-hockey-honors-outgoing-seniors-ties-johnson-wales.aspx

About the Contributor
Valentina Valderrama Perez, Features Writer