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The Mass Media

Last chance for women’s hockey and basketball to climb

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Photo of the previous Women’s Basketball game. Photo by Olivia Reid (She/Her) / Photography Editor. 

Women’s ice hockey and basketball have been playing their final games of the season as winter sports comes to a close. Women’s ice hockey closed their season facing Castleton university on Saturday Feb. 11 in the New England Hockey Conference matchup. Women’s basketball also faced the Spartans in a close game that extended to double overtime, where they secured qualification to the Little East Conference Tournament. Castleton is one of two universities that share both leagues, the LEC and the NEHC, with UMass Boston, with the other being the University of Southern Maine.
Ice Hockey
The women’s ice hockey game against Castleton began with the Spartans showing dominion. Two forwards from Castleton targeted Beacons’ goalie Leah Bosch, slid the puck through her legs and the Spartans scored the first goal of the game. This continued into the second period when close action near the Beacon net turned into the second goal for the Spartans and they went into the third period with a 2–0 advantage (1).
In the final period, the Beacons tried to bounce back. In the third minute, forward Hannah MacDougall attempted an attack and junior Katie Wilbert, fueled with focus, controlled the puck from a MacDougall pass and scored the first goal for the Beacons. However, Wilbert’s goal was not enough to spark a comeback, as the game nevertheless ended with the Beacons defeated 2–1 (1).
The penultimate game of the regular season for the Beacons was on Friday, Feb. 10 against Plymouth State University. During the first period, both sides remained intact defensively, keeping the score 0–0. During the second period, the Beacons outshot the Panthers 24–7, but both defenses remained strong and no goals were scored for either side heading into the third period (2).
The Beacons began the third filled with determination. They dominated the middle of the ice, connecting on long passes from end to end. Soon thereafter, Liz Kramp intercepted a pass from the left, quickly skated in front of Plymouth’s net and came up shooting in the last five seconds of the Beacons’ power play (2).
The puck bounced off the goalie but after a few turnovers and passes from both sides, the Beacons’ momentum continued. MacDougal intercepted a pass under the blue line, and with strength shot on goal, this time scoring and breaking the scoreless tie, putting the Beacons at a 1–0 advantage.
At this point, the game turned into an offensive showcase for both sides. At the fifteenth minute, Wilbert intercepted a pass between Panther defenses and skated to encounter a defensive player head-to-head. She smashed against the barrier boards and fell. This scuffle wasn’t in vain because after the puck slid around the end boards, Wilbert got up and positioned herself in front of the net. Ana Gustafson hit Wilbert with a pass, who controlled, shot and scored, positioning the Beacons with a 2–0 lead (2).
As the third period continued, the Panthers felt the pressure and moved closer to UMass Boston’s net, but Goalie Leah Bosch stood tall for the Beacons. Similarly, UMass Boston had a few close opportunities, but they couldn’t get any more shots past the Panthers’ Goalie. With six minutes left on the clock, a Panthers player shot from the left side and scored Plymouth State’s first goal of the game (2).
As the clock ran down to its last seconds, both teams played strong with the most notable play being a close goal for the Beacons. Nevertheless, the game ended in a 2–1 victory for UMass Boston (2).
Women’s Ice Hockey ended with a conference record of 8–8–2, maintaining their .500 record from Fall 2022, when they ended 3–3 (3). The team looks forward to starting their tournament games during the next three weeks. They ended up as the sixth seed, which means that they will continue to play against the third seed, University of Southern Maine.
Basketball
On Wednesday, Feb. 8, when women’s basketball played against Castleton, the game began in favor of the Spartans as well. This was not a surprise since the Spartans are fourth in the standings and two seeds above UMass Boston. They took an early lead, ending the first quarter up 15–9, and then added eleven more points as the second quarter began. Nevertheless, the Beacons focused and started to chip away at the early deficit until they reached a tie at half time of 31–31.
The second half of the game was a constant catch up. The Spartans gained an 11-point lead at one point, and the Beacons fought to tie the score. Offensive action came at the hands of forward Megan Dixon and freshman Sunny Green. On the defensive side, freshman Tatiannah Fevry and Sibayla Jensen took center stage, as they contested many of the Spartans’ attacks.
With 38 seconds left on the clock, Senior Keriann Farina gave UMass Boston a momentary two-point lead at 56–54. Castleon would quickly regain control after a timeout, tying the game 56–56 and going overtime.
The tension spilled over into the first overtime.  The Beacons began strong, getting out to a four-point advantage at the hands of Dixon and Green. The Spartans pushed back though, gaining the lead at 61–60. A free throw from Dixon tied the game 61–61 and prompted a second overtime.
The Spartans grew restless and determined to win, securing a seven-point lead over the Beacons. Senior Forward Paige Ollivierre fought back by hitting a three pointer, but Castleton was too far ahead at 74–67. They finished the game with a series of free throws and a final score of 76–67, a nine-point defeat for the Beacons (4).
Moving on from their loss against Castleton, the Beacons went head-to-head against the second seed in the standings, Rhode Island College on Saturday, Feb 11. The first quarter began with a distressing fourteen-point deficit for UMass Boston, trailing 19–5. The game followed a similar structure, where the Anchorwomen scored at least twice more than the Beacons during each quarter. Although Green had a team leading seven steals and Fevry secured nine rebounds, the game ended with a dismal score of 75–30 favoring Rhode Island College (5). The losing streak and poor conference record for women’s basketball has caused setbacks for the team, though they have worked through hardship before and are anticipating better days ahead.
Women’s basketball and hockey were unable to end their regular seasons on a high note, though their recent play does not adequately represent how hard they fought throughout their respective campaigns. Despite some struggles with consistency, every game was a guaranteed bloodbath for the Beacons, and though they may be labeled as underdogs to many, there’s still a lot of optimism for the future with the flashes of potential they showed throughout the year proving just that.
1.http://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/11/womens-ice-hockey-drops-regular-season-finale-on-road-set-sights-on-nehc-tournament.aspx
2.http://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/10/return-of-the-mac-dougall-womens-ice-hockey-picks-up-big-road-win-at-plymouth-state.aspx
3.https://nehockeyconference.com/sports/wice/2022-23/standings
4.http://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/8/womens-basketball-falls-in-double-overtime-thriller-against-castleton-at-home.aspx
5.http://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/11/womens-basketball-falls-on-road-to-rhode-island-college.aspx

About the Contributor
Valentina Valderrama Perez, Features Writer