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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Will women’s hockey fall through the ice, or become an icebreaker?

Goalie+Leah+Bosch+guards+the+net+against+Amherst+College+at+a+home+game.+Photos+by+Dong+Woo+Im+%2F+Mass+Media+Staff.
Dong Woo Im
Goalie Leah Bosch guards the net against Amherst College at a home game. Photos by Dong Woo Im / Mass Media Staff.

UMass Boston Women’s Hockey has had a far from ideal season. The Beacons were off to a smooth start, alternating wins and ties while staying out of the loss column [1]. The team was a force to be reckoned with as they took the ice by storm and managed to bring many strong opponents to their knees throughout the year. However, their celebrations were short lived, as they’ve failed to translate their potential and production into goals. 

The team has a promising netminder in second-year Leah Bosch, who has stood tall in goal while facilitating a defensive monster in the Beacons’ blueliners. Though on the offensive front, production has been at a complete standstill, and defense alone cannot win games. Their lack of offense has caught up to them as the season’s progressed, the biggest example costing them the Codfish Bowl tournament against Amherst College. 

Though exceptional performances from the team have been seen throughout the season, the New England Hockey Conference title seems a little far-fetched, especially now that the Beacons have a multi-game losing streak etched in the books. This alone has been enough to decide the trajectory of their season. 

The Beacons have been provided innumerable opportunities to prove themselves throughout the year, but opponents were quick to snatch these chances from the now-ghastly grip of their sticks. The Beacons’ sloppy play as of late has translated to success on the opposing end of the ice, letting other teams take complete advantage of their blunders. 

 This season, the Beacons saw a lot of close losses against nationally ranked universities, and also endured a heartbreaking 1–0 defeat against Amherst College in the Codfish Bowl, who, according to Beacons Athletics, were the runner-up in the National Championship last season. [2] Even though UMass Boston failed to bring the title home, they went head on with the Mammoths and were able to push their backs against the wall. How they’ve fared in these matchups—in which they’ve been deemed the underdog—has proved that the team holds a lot of potential, but they’ve been unable to bring it to the ice. 

At the start of the year, the team showed steady progress, but over time, their decent start converted into a long-lasting losing streak where they struggled to score even a single goal in some of these bouts. Even though the defense was on point, they still couldn’t keep the opponent from netting at least a single puck throughout the full 60 minutes, and the Beacons’ constant struggle to score acted as a thorn in their road to victory. 

Despite their inconsistencies, all is not lost for the Beacons. They still have an array of games left this season to prove themselves. These matches may not promise them the chance for the NEHC title, but they can at least close the season out with a bang. The team has been constantly trying to turn a new leaf and save the season, but so far their efforts have not yielded the desired fruit. 

The Beacons undoubtedly give their all on the ice, and their defensive metrics agree. According to Beacons Athletics, women’s hockey has outshot their opponents three times during their losing streak. However, it’s their failure to net these shots, alongside the strong play from opposing goaltenders that have stood between the puck and their chances to win. 

These matches took a toll not only on the teams’ statistics, but also on their confidence and self-esteem, which can be seen throughout the season as losing has taken over their winning spirit. With consecutive matches looming over their head, they hardly get time to lick their wounds before the next match, which negatively impacts their upcoming games.  

Even though this season has not gone as planned, the Beacons are determined to come back stronger and faster, with sharpened skills and a spark of motivation. Maybe winter break has given the Beacons the much-needed time to reflect on their poor season and learn from their mistakes. If that’s the case, when weekend games are back on women’s plate, it’ll only be a matter of time until Beaconville finds out if the team is going to slip through the ice, or become an icebreaker. 

 

[1] 2023-24 Women’s Ice Hockey Schedule – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)

[2] Women’s Hockey Drops Codfish Bowl Opener in Another Low-Scoring Battle – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)

[3] 2023-24 Women’s Ice Hockey Cumulative Statistics – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)

 

About the Contributor
Dong Woo Im, Photographer