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February 26, 2024

Women’s basketball and hockey records keep climbing

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UMass Boston #6 skates toward the puck. Photo courtesy of Beacons Athletics.

Through the month of January, the women’s basketball team continued to elevate their record. They won three games and lost one, which was good enough to give them sixth place in the Little East Conference. At a 4–6 conference record, women’s basketball has drawn closer to an even .500 record, playing immensely better compared to earlier in the year, where they boasted an atrocious 1–5 record.

For reference, all Conference scores of an individual university are ordered in the format of games won-lost-tied. Moreover, scores of a specific game between two universities are written with the winning score going first.

On Saturday Jan. 14, the Beacons took on Keene State at Clark Athletic Center. They won the home game by a score of 66–61. The Beacons went on to win their second game in a row four days later when they played on the road against the University of Southern Maine on Jan. 18. The Beacons were able to beat the Huskies by a score of 69–58, helping their record climb in the process. (1)

In both games, forward Megan Dixon scored over 20 points. Dixon is playing her fourth season for the Beacons, as she began her career with UMass Boston as a freshman in 2018.

Individually, she is the scoring leader of the LEC conference this season, with 341 points to date. During games, it is eye-catching to see her score three-point field goals. On the other hand, it is odd to have the highest individual scorer of the conference, yet stand at the sixth seed. (2)

The weekend before the Spring Semester began, the team faced Eastern Connecticut State. This second away game was played in Willimantic, Conn. Perhaps the anxiety of the coming semester got to the Beacons, because this was their only loss of their 3–1 hot streak, being defeated by the Warriors by a score of 64–49.

Later, on Wednesday Jan. 25, they faced West Connecticut at home. This was a special game for Dixon, as she eclipsed the 1,000 point mark for her career. The game was a success for the Beacons too; they won the first official game of the 2023 Spring Semester with a score of 50–45. (3)

Much like women’s basketball, the women’s hockey team also boosted their record during January. The Beacons were able to obtain sixth place in the NEHC after winning two games, tying one, and losing one. By doing so, they were able to break a .500 record, at 6–5–1, compared to being an even 4–4 at the end of winter break. Interestingly, the improvement was shown in the tie and defeat. (4)

Their campaign saw their first leg of games come during the month of November, with their second leg currently happening until the middle of February. Games are usually played on both Friday and Saturday of each week.

In the second week of January, they began their impressive stretch of games when they faced the Cadets of Norwich University on Jan. 13. At the time, the Cadets were standing eighth in the NCAA standing. Back on Nov. 5, when the Beacons faced them for the first time, they played horrendously and lost 10–0.

This time, the Beacons came out firing. The team ended the first period leading 2–1 and stayed strong during the second period, leading 4–3 going into the third. In the third period, the Cadets tied the game up at 4–4, but couldn’t surpass the Beacons in overtime, ending the game in a tie. (5)

A day later on Saturday Jan. 14, they faced the Pilgrims of New England College, who are currently at the bottom of the NEHC standings. Beacons goaltender Victoria Kennedy was the x-factor of the game; she stayed strong in net and maintained a shutout with 28 saves against the Pilgrims. The Beacons were able to win 2–0, beating the Pilgrims for the second time this season. Their game against New England was the one that broke women’s hockey’s even NEHC record, giving the Beacons a 5–4–1 edge in the standings (6).

The following weekend began with a 2–1 defeat from the University of Maine on Jan. 20. Although it may seem like an underwhelming result, it is an improvement compared to their game in November, where they were mauled by the Black Bears in a 4–0 loss. In this instance, they had better defense and goaltending, and were able to bury at least one goal.

The following day they played Salem State, who are ranked second to last in the standings, and beat them for the second time in the season, blowing the Vikings out of the water with a score of 6–1.

Moving forward, women’s hockey will play both legs of their games against Johnson & Wales University during the first week of February, who rank below UMass Boston in the standings. These games are crucial since it can give them more leeway with a few more wins, and that would help them jump a few spots in the standings. (7)

Recent performances show that both Beacon teams are shifting gears, winning more often and providing hope for this trend to continue into the last stretch of the season. The games remaining will give both teams the chance to raise their seed in the conference, and perhaps propel themselves ahead and vastly improve their chances at a championship game.

Sources:

(1)http://www.beaconsathletics.com/sports/womens-basketball/schedule

(2)http://www.beaconsathletics.com/sports/womens-basketball/roster/meg-dixon/3678

(3)https://littleeast.com/stats.aspx?path=wbball&year=2022

(4)http://www.beaconsathletics.com/sports/womens-ice-hockey/schedule?path=whockey

(5)http://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/1/14/kennedy-curves-pilgrims-earns-second-shutout-of-season-in-womens-ice-hockey-win.aspx

(6)http://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/1/13/womens-ice-hockey-thriller-in-the-chiller-ends-in-tie-for-womens-hockey-against-no-8-norwich-university.aspx

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

About the Contributor
Valentina Valderrama Perez, Features Writer