UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Next Please…

While the sound of thunder sticks still echoed through the Clark Athletic Center, the final seconds ticked off the clock of a convincing 5-1 opening round ECAC East playoff win. But it wasn’t even that close. The Lady Beacons powered their way to the semifinal round with a definitive win over Castleton State College.

Maria Nasta had another standout performance, which has come to be expected this season, but the day belonged to the defense. Through the first 15 minutes of play, it looked like Castleton could actually make it a game. After Stephanie Medeiros was called for interference just 18 seconds into the Spartans’ first power play to give Castleton almost two full minutes of five-on-three hockey, the Beacons appeared to be on the ropes.

However, UMass Boston’s penalty kill was up to the challenge, and Beacon’s Goalie Jessica Sams kept the score even with several huge saves. Then, late in the first, sophomore forward Sandy Parlato took the feed off a face-off in the Spartans’ zone and fired the puck home to give UMass Boston a 1-0 lead.

“That’s the breaking point of the game; who scores [the] first goal,” said Senior Lauren O’Connor. Fellow defenseman Katherine Wall agreed. “It really deflated them,” she said. The two combined for four points and a pair of short-handed goals, including the eventual game-winner.

The Beacons’ defense just outmatched Castleton, and once UMass Boston had the lead, the game was never in doubt. “They couldn’t score, and they knew it,” said O’Connor, who earned the game’s second star for her play. She assisted on both of Wall’s shorthanded goals. The senior defensemen seemed to know exactly when to push the puck. “We just work well together. We know exactly where each other’s gonna be.”

Spartans head coach Greg Stone spoke about his team’s lack of offense after the game. “We had our opportunities, and we couldn’t score goals,” he said. “That’s been our struggle all year, and playing from behind is hard if you’re not scoring a lot of goals.” Castleton wasn’t helped by the fact that goalie Vanessa Carter, who has been a standout player for the Spartans this year, did not play.

In the second period, Captain Rose Devlin would score on the power play and Maria Nasta would add another one of her highlight goals when she skated across the front of the net from the top of the circle to plant the rubber in the corner of the net. Coach Crowell spoke highly of the way UMass Boston is playing right now. “I think we’re capable of doing a lot when we have the whole team show up ready to play.”

In the third, Castleton was clearly showing signs of frustration, and it boiled over when Castleton defenseman Cassandra Koehne and Beacons sophomore Amanda Cianciulli tangled up on the boards and went down to the ice. Koehne was tagged with a 5 minute major for fighting and tossed from the game. The Beacons kept their composure, though. “I’d rather win than fight,” said O’Connor.