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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

11/27/23 pdf
November 27, 2023

Women’s Hockey Team

What a ride it’s been for the UMass Boston’s Varsity women’s hockey team. Beginning only three years ago, the team has quickly been making an impressive name for itself in a short amount of time. Just last weekend they were able to strike fear in the hearts of Manhattanville, playing against the nation’s third-ranked Division III team the Valiants.

UMass Boston certainly belonged. They owned three separate leads and with 13 minutes left in the final period, were tied. However, the Valiants surged in a late run to win, 6-3, in the ECAC East Conference semifinals this Saturday in Rye, N.Y.

“We are definitely disappointed not to pull it out at the end,” said Coach Maura Crowell. “We definitely had them scared. Everybody came out flying and showed a lot of heart. I was so proud of them.”

If one thing was not already clear, it is now. UMass Boston has a legitimate women’s hockey program.

“We’ve come up faster than anyone would have thought,” said Senior Goaltender Amanda Boucher. “No one expected us to be where we are. As four more years go on, we can become a Manhattanville.”

Boucher led the team’s strong play. She had a stellar 38 saves, and kept the Beacons ahead or tied for two-plus periods. The play capped a great season and career. She earned several awards this week-all-conference second team and all-tournament first team.

“Boucher played out of her head,” said Coach Crowell. “She was insane, stopping shots and breakaways.”

Coach also credited Senior Captains Kristin Wilson and Molly Norton with playing their best hockey of the season.

The Beacons’ top three goal-scorers accounted for the team’s scoring. Melissa Belmonte scored on a backhander in the first period, set up by Rose Devlin and Maria Guanci. In the second period, Kasey Turner and Andrea Ciarletta scored go-ahead goals.

The former was assisted by Katherine Wall. The latter was the season’s 26th for Ciarletta, who entered the game leading the country in scoring.

However, Manhattanville always had an answer. They scored tying goals after each Beacon goal. They ultimately took at 4-3 lead on the game-winning shot by Danielle Nagymarosi. Their end run was assisted by a questionable five-minute penalty major against UMass Boston’s Sarah Cronin.

The final score does not detract from UMass Boston’s potential to become Manhattanville’s equal. They are on the doorstep. The Beacons played so well that Manhattanville pulled its starting goaltender.

The quality play is a fitting conclusion to what has been a remarkable season. The team ends with a 15-9-1 record, five more wins than 2004-05.

The Beacons began reflecting on women hockey’s first four years (one as a club sport, three varsity) and future prospects.

“Next year we want to be in the championship game,” said Coach Crowell. “We want to beat Manhattanville.”

The future indeed looks bright. The team’s top four point-getters-Ciarletta, Belmonte, Turner and Guanci-will return next year. The Beacons will have another varsity season under their belt.

And, its resume now includes this game. The Beacons know they can compete with the elite. The program is a force to be reckoned with, four years after women’s hockey arrived on campus.

“It’s cool that I [with my teammates] helped establish that in our first four years…being a part of history here,” said Boucher. “Not everyone can say I was on the first team and the first sport [of a school].”