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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Women’s Ice Hockey Makes Its Presence Felt

The players huddled around the seniors in the moments after a home stand that could not have gone better, had it been scripted. The Lady Beacons had just finished off a pair of weekend wins in which they exploded for 15 goals. After losing in a battle with conference-leading Saint Anselm a week earlier, a dynamic UMass Boston team seemed to announce that they will be a force this post-season.

“We made a big statement,” said Coach Maura Crowell of the back-to-back dominant performances by her team. “A lot of people tend to doubt us and say we only beat the teams we’re supposed to beat, and I think clearly we just ran away with it this weekend against some teams that are pretty close to us, standings-wise.”

Senior forwards Lauren O’Connor and Katherine Wall and team captain defenseman Rose Devlin anchor Crowell’s team. The three took part in a senior day presentation prior to Saturday’s drubbing of Southern Maine. “There were streamers everywhere, the [girls] put a lot of effort into it,” said O’Connor, who felt mixed emotions entering the match up.

The trio’s solid play laid the foundation for a pair of important late-season wins. “Our three seniors are a huge part of our team, and the girls just love them,” stated Crowell.

Things didn’t start smoothly, however.

Through the first period of their matchup with the Huskies, the Beacons trailed 1-0, despite having good control of the puck. “We came out a little bit flat,” admitted Southern Maine head coach John Lauziere. Heading into the locker room they appeared to be wasting their strong play. “We just kind of kicked ourselves in the ass,” said Devlin about the team’s locker room chat. Whatever it was sparked UMass Boston to a four-goal second frame.

The scoring streak began with a power play goal by freshman Hannah Davis, who’s had a hot stick of late. Next, team points-leader Maria Nasta, recently named the Eastern College Athletic Conference East Co-player of the Week for her performance, skated straight out of the penalty box to grab her 18th goal of the year. Nasta continues to top the list of conference impact players. By the time senior forward Katherine Wall tacked on a shorthanded goal to make it 4-1, the Beacons never looked back.

“[The underclassmen] wanted to win for us, we wanted to win in our last game here and we just put it together,” said O’Connor who took time to enjoy her senior day victory. Another four-goal period in the third added an exclamation point to a wonderful weekend for the women’s hockey program.

This came on the heels of a 7-2 decision over New England College Friday night that was never in doubt. The Beacons led from start to finish, after freshman forward Rachel Sousa secured the early lead, continuing her stellar rookie season. The goal took a mere ten seconds, a new school record that is likely to stand for a long time to come. However, it was the play of freshman forward Lauren Duran, who tallied two goals and an assist, that carried the Beacons to a convincing win. Duran’s recent switch from defenseman to forward is certainly paying off as she earned Rookie of the Week for the first time. The lopsided win came on “Pink in the Rink” night, for which the Beacons sported pink laces and played before a pink crowd to promote cancer awareness.

The Beacons are clicking at the right time, with two games remaining on their schedule and the playoffs now squarely in focus. “The team’s really gelling on and off the ice,” said Crowell. She also spoke about how her team stacks up with the conference’s best. “It’s a mental thing for my girls. I don’t think we’re any weaker than Manhattanville. I think we can definitely beat this team, it’s just something that they have in their heads that they just need to overcome,” she said. Crowell’s team will certainly have a chance to prove her right. If they are able to sustain their momentum and stay on this roll into the post-season, look for UMass Boston’s women’s hockey to compete for the championship.