Women’s Hockey: Cardinals and Panthers Claim Conference Titles, NCAA Berths

Courtesy Plattsburgh and Middlebury Sports Information


PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – The Plattsburgh State women’s ice hockey team captured its fourth Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) West title in as many years after defeating the Utica College Pioneers 8-0 Sunday afternoon.

The Cardinals dominated from the beginning, netting four goals in the opening 20 minutes of action.

Freshman, Karen Hudson would get Plattsburgh State going after directing a puck that Melissa Sheeran threw towards the net past Utica goalie Keira Goin on the back post.

Kayla Meneghin would net the first of three power play goals for the Cardinals 13:04 into the first period. The sophomore corralled the puck in the left corner boards before carrying the puck along the goal line for a shot. The puck would bounce of a Utica defenseman’s skate and through the five-hole of Goin for a 2-0 lead.

Plattsburgh State would break it open shortly after as the Cardinals scored two goals within a minute to take a 4-0 lead. First was Jordan Lipson jamming home a rebound from an Erin Brand shot off the right point. Freshman Courtney Moriarty would answer with a power play goal deflecting a Megan Delay shot from the left point past Goin.

In the second period, the Cardinals would tally two more as Melissa Ames and Sheeran would register the Cardinal goals. Ames deflected a Bridget Balisy shot from the left point on the power play to make it 5-0. Three minutes later, Sheeran would receive a pass from Meneghin and then put a nifty deke on Goin for the finishing touch.

Again in the third period, the Cardinals would add two more goals to finish off the 8-0 win.

Moriarty and Lipson would both get their second of the game as Moriarty scored shorthanded to make it 7-0 and Lipson again would clean up a rebound with 1:47 left in the game to make it 8-0.

Camille Leonard pitched a 17 save shutout for Plattsburgh State while Goin made 42 saves in the losing effort.

With the win, top ranked Plattsburgh State improves to 26-1-0 on the season and earns an automatic bid into the 2016 NCAA Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament. The Cardinals will learn their fate on location and opponent Monday morning at 10 a.m., when the NCAA Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Selection Show takes place. The show can be watched live on ncaa.com.

2016 ECAC West All-Tournament Team:
Forward – Utica – Morgan Reed
Forward – Utica – Emily Coope
Forward – Plattsburgh – Courtney Moriarty
Defense – Utica – Samantha Husak
Defense – Plattsburgh – Andrea Ziesmann
Goalie – Plattsburgh – Camille Leonard
Most Outstanding Player – Plattsburgh – Melissa Sheeran



Middlebury — Middlebury’s Maddie Winslow scored 6:37 into overtime lifting the Panthers to their eighth NESCAC Championship with a 5-4 victory over Amherst on Sunday in Kenyon Arena. With the win, sixth-ranked Middlebury (20-4-3) earns the conference’s automatic bid into the 2016 NCAA Division III Tournament, while fourth-ranked Amherst (22-2-3) hopes to receive an at-large bid. The tournament field will be announced on Monday.

Sunday’s game marked the sixth time since the NESCAC Tournament began in 2002 that the title game has gone to overtime, with the Panthers being involved on five occasions. The contest was also the fifth time these programs have squared off in the finals, with Middlebury claiming the last four meetings.

Jessica Young started the deciding play in overtime for the hosts, collecting her own rebound off a blocked shot and sliding a centering pass to Winslow on the right circle. Winslow quickly one-timed a shot into the upper corner of the net to clinch the championship. The goal was her team-leading 17th of the winter.

The Panthers jumped out to the early lead when Katie Mandigo scored 38 seconds into the game. Mandigo took a long outlet pass from Julia Wardwell and wristed a shot through the legs of Amherst goalie Sabrina Dobbins (21 saves). The hosts doubled that margin at the 3:01 mark on a shot from the slot by Young. She scored after taking a short pass from Winslow as several players crashed the net. The goal was dislodged from its moorings on the play, but it was determined the puck had already crossed the goal line.

Right after Middlebury netted the second goal, Amherst earned a power play, but the Panthers erased the minor penalty with a successful kill.

The Purple & White later had two quality chances on back-to-back shots with less than eight minutes left in the opening period. Caroline Bomstein intercepted a clearing attempt on the right side and fired a high shot that Panther goalie Julia Neuburger (31 saves) stopped. Seconds later, Alex Toupal laced a low shot that Neuburger used her right pad to direct into the corner.

Mandigo increased Middlebury’s lead just after that with her second marker of the game at the 13:45 mark. She one-timed a touch pass from Shanna Hickman in the slot for a 3-0 edge.

Amherst gained some momentum late in the opening period with a shorthanded goal from Sara Culhane. Culhane won a battle for the puck on a dump in and scored on a wrap around, using her backhand with 3:02 left in the period.

In the second period, Amherst continued its surge, scoring three-straight goals to take a 4-3 lead. Bomstein made it a 3-2 game 6:36 into the period, taking a pass at the right point from Jamie McNamara, wristing a shot that went through traffic and over Neuburger’s shoulder. The Purple & White tallied again 1:58 later when Katie Savage collected her own rebound and fed a pass out to Katelyn Pantera, who scored from the top of the right circle to tie the game at 3-3.

Culhane put Amherst in front with her second of the contest on a shot that deflected in off Neuburger. That goal came at with 7:01 left in the middle stanza and was Culhane’s fifth of the season.

Middlebury knotted the game at 4-4 with five minutes on the clock as Audrey Quirk‘s shot from the right point was deflected in by Janka Hlinka.

In the third period, each team came up empty on a power play in the last 10 minutes, but Amherst came within inches of winning the game in the final 25 seconds. Toupal took a shot from the right circle that Neuburger stopped, but a charging Eileen Harris put the rebound toward the goal that stopped flush against the left post while on edge, setting up the overtime period.

Middlebury had a power play early in overtime that the visitors killed off, while Neuburger stopped a 2-on-1 rush setting up Winslow’s heroics minutes later.

Amherst held a 35-26 advantage on shots, while the Panthers were 0-4 on the power play and Purple & White went 0-2.