A Rosy Finish

A Rosy Finish

Ryan Thomas

The Lady Beacons hockey team had the liberty of starting their season early against Salve Regina College. It was a chance to work out some early kinks, see what needed improving and-most importantly-start the season off with a win.

UMass Boston, led by senior captain Rose Devlin, beat Salve Regina College 5-4 last Saturday at Portsmouth Abbey in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It was a seesaw affair between the two teams with the difference being Devlin’s go-ahead goal at the 14:27 mark of the third period, which was assisted by Kim Davidge and Rachel Sousa.

“That was huge,” Beacons head coach Maura Crowell said about Devlin’s goal. “They [Salve Regina] are a better team this year. Luckily, we got the win.”

Special teams were the difference maker in the first game of the season for the Beacons, as they put away three of their five goals on the power play. “All last week,” Crowell said, “we did special teams work [during practices] and we’ll continue to work on it.” Extra time spent on special teams was evident and it paid off. The Beacons scored on three of eight power play chances while holding the Seahawks to one goal on eight opportunities.

What Coach Crowell is looking for at this point is more discipline and better execution at both ends of the ice. “We have a lot of individual talent right now,” said Crowell. “When we put it together as a team, we’re going to be formidable.”

UMass freshman Jazz Webber started the scoring off at the 4:49 mark of the first period when she netted an unassisted goal, giving the Beacons a lead they would not relinquish. The Salve Seahawks kept close, never trailing by more than one goal and tying the score up on four separate occasions. However, the UMass Boston offense that Crowell boasted about in the pre-season kept jumping ahead of Salve and, in the end, was too much for the New Hampshire college.

Sophomore transfer Maria Nasta, who saw time on the top-power play line, collected an assist on Lauren Duran’s third period goal that put UMass Boston ahead at the time, 4-3. “She looked good,” Crowell said about her top transfer. “I expect her to get more confidence as the season progresses.”

The Beacons started junior Jessica Sams in net against Salve Regina, but Maura Crowell has yet to name a definitive starting goalie. She admits she’s still trying to find that number one. “I’m looking for saves, intensity and the ability to control the rebounds,” Crowell explained. “Not giving up second, third, and fourth chances to a team is important.”

Since the Beacons have extra time before their next game-which is November 16 at home-they will have plenty of time to work on everything. Coach Crowell expressed that the ladies still need to work on their overall game. She also talked about the upcoming game against Manhattanville College, who is ranked ninth nationally in the USCHO.com Division III women’s poll. They are disciplined and they execute well, she said. “Everything they do, I’m trying to get my team to do.”