Feb. 6, 2010
BOSTON, MA - Senior forward Maria Nasta (Andover, MA) netted a pair of goals, including the game-winner with just 27 seconds left in the game to lead the University of Massachusetts Boston women's ice hockey team over visiting Salve Regina University, 5-4, in an Eastern College Athletic Conference contest this afternoon at the Clark Athletic Center rink on the campus of UMass Boston. The Beacons match a school record with their seventh straight victory and have won 13 of their last 16 to improve to 14-7-0 overall and 11-4-0 in league play, while the Seahawks fall to 12-6-3 and 9-4-3. The win vaults UMass Boston over Salve Regina in the league standings to fourth place.
The Beacons raised money throughout the game to support the fight for breast cancer as part of the "Pink at the Rink" initiative.
Freshman forward Rachel Porter's (Franklin, MA) wrap-around shot initially was not recognized as a goal for the Seahawks, but after consultation among the officials she was awarded the score to give her the first hat trick of her career on a feed from freshman defenseman Sarah McCusker (Havertown, PA) to knot the game at 4-4 with 8:19 to play.
Salve Regina was later called for an interference penalty to give UMass Boston an extra skater for the final 67 seconds of play and it took advantage. Junior defenseman Jazz Webber (Winslow, ME) and junior forward Rachel Sousa (Woburn, MA) combined to set up Nasta for a shot that rattled off the post and into the back of the net for her second tally of the afternoon and her 16th of the season with just 27 ticks remaining. UMB held on for the win, despite being outshot in the period, 24-5.
The Beacons controlled the game early with the day's first three goals, including a pair of scores in the first period. Sophomore forward Sam Phillips (Scottsdale, AZ) and Sousa found Nasta for her first goal just 2:49 into the game for a 1-0 edge. Junior forward Kristen Smith (Beavercreek, OH) followed with her sixth marker of the campaign for UMass Boston, courtesy of junior forward Katie Kirwan (Centerville, MA) and senior blueliner Amanda Cianciulli (Billerica, MA) at the 14:35 mark of the opening period for a 2-0 margin. Senior forward Katelyn Corsino (Belmont, MA) and senior defenseman Sandy Parlato (Needham, MA) hooked up with sophomore forward Karoline Perdios (Braintree, MA) for her second tally of the year and a 3-0 Beacons' lead with 4:43 gone in the second period.
Porter answered with a blast that went over the shoulder of the UMass Boston goaltender for the Seahawks' first goal at 12:55 of the middle period to cut the deficit to 3-1, but the Beacons responded just 54 seconds later when Smith and Webber fed freshman forward Alli Greenberg (Stoughton, MA) for her seventh score of the season at 13:49 to give them a 4-1 lead.
UMass Boston appeared to be in control, but Salve Regina netted the next three goals of the afternoon to tie the contest at 4-4. Junior forward Danika Williams (Fairbanks, AK) located junior forward Kristen Cokely (Cambridge, MA) for her fourth marker of the year with 4:11 to play in the second period and Porter scored her second goal of the day on the power play at 10:01 of the third period on a helper from freshman forward Samantha Zitzer (River Forest, IL) and McCusker to pull the Seahawks to within 4-3.
Sophomore goalie Leah Hallett (Rocky Hill, CT) stopped 46 shots to earn her school-record tying 21st career victory for the Beacons, while sophomore goaltender Rebecca Simmons (Averill Park, NY) turned away 14 of 18 shots in 33:49 of action for Salve Regina, before being relieved by freshman Ali Muchlbronner (Glenside, PA) for the final 25:44, where she made six saves on seven shots. The Seahawks owned a 50-25 shot advantage on the day.
UMass Boston will be in action again on Friday, February 12 when it hosts ECAC East foe Plymouth State University at 4:00 p.m. at the Clark Athletic Center, while Salve Regina travels to Fairfield, CT on February 10 for a 7:30 tilt with Sacred Heart University.