Mass. College Hockey: Murphy Lifts Nichols Past UNE, 2-1

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Nichols College sports information department, here’s this evening’s release about the women’s hockey team, which received a go-ahead goal from Grace Murphy to seal a 2-1 win over University of New England:

HARRISVILLE, R.I. –Junior Grace Murphy (Montclair, Va.) scored her team-leading sixth and seventh goals of the season goal to lift the Nichols College women’s ice hockey team a 2-1 win over the University of New England in non-conference action Tuesday night at Levy Rink.

Junior Tori Gianformaggio (Huntington Beach, Calif.) recorded 26 saves to earn her second win of the season as the Bison moved to 3-8-0 on the season and 2-0-0 all-time against UNE. Juniors Talia Hohmann (Marian, Calif.) and Amber Aaskov (Falmouth, Mass.) picked up assists on Murphy’s marker 6:13 into the first period while classmate Bridget Griffin (North Billerica, Mass.) assisted on her second tally, which held up as the game-winner.

Freshman Gabby Crugnale (Malden, Mass.) potted her fifth goal of the season late in the third period for the Nor’easters (5-5-3), who received 25 saves from freshman goalie Sydney Helmbrecht (Grand Rapids, Mich.).

“This was a big win for us,” said Nichols first-year Bison head coach Wil Brown. “It was good to be home in our familiar surroundings, in our locker room. We put forth a solid effort both physically and mentally, and when we do that, we can compete with anyone.”

On the first Nichols goal, Aaskov slid the puck over the Hohmann, who let go of a shot from the left circle that was stopped by Helmbrecht. Murphy pounced on the rebound and poked it into the net. The period closed with UNE holding a 9-6 edge in shots.

Nichols had a pair of solid scoring chances in the second period, but could not pad its lead. Junior Alyssa Bufis (Linden, N.J.) took a pass form the right side and one-timed a shot from in close that Helmbrecht got a pad on. Seven minutes later, Murphy toe-dragged around a defender and walked in alone on Helmbrecht, but her shot targeted for the top right corner was snared by Helmbrecht’s glove.

In the third, Murphy made good on her second breakaway opportunity of the night. The dangle she put on the UNE defenseman was identical to the one she pulled out in the second period, but this time, Murphy went five-hole to beat Helmbrecht 9:11 into the period.

“She pulled out that toe drag in practice yesterday, and she got all of the shot in the second period,” said Brown. “Their goalie made a great glove save on the first one. On the second one, she pulled it back and went five-hole. Changing up the shot the second time around always makes a difference. It was another great play from one of the great players in our conference.”

The Nor’easters finally solved Gianformaggio with 4:16 remaining in regulation to cut their deficit in half. Freshman Gabriella Moscat (Wakefield, Mass.) fired of a shot from the top of the circle that Gianformaggio stopped through a screen, but Crugnale collected the rebound and got off a shot that bounced over Gianformaggio and just over the goal line.

Each team finished the contest with 27 shots. UNE went 0-for-5 with the extra attacker while the Bison were 0-for-3.

The Bison return to action on January 18 when they host Holy Cross at 7:40 p.m. UNE plays at Castleton Friday at 4 p.m. in the Rutland Herald Invitational.

Mass. College Hockey: D3Hockey Midpoint Check-In

By Matt Noonan 

We’ve reached the halfway point of the Division 3 college hockey season.

So, let’s recap the past few weeks and get to know some of the current squads that lead their respective conferences.

ECAC East Men’s: The Cadets of Norwich continue to lead in the standings, according to points (13); however, Babson’s 9-2-0 overall mark is the best in the ECAC East. The Beavers commenced their current season with eight straight victories before falling to Williams, 3-2.

Nik Tasiopoulos, who is a senior forward for the Beavers, currently leads the Green and White with ten points. He’s registered six goals and four assists, while Michael Phillips ranks second with nine points (four goals, five assists).

Two spots below the Beavers sit UMass Boston, a squad that ended its first half on a five-game winning streak. The Beacons, who’re 7-1-2, managed to outscore their last two opponents, 12-4. Peter MacIntyre leads the Blue and White with 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists), while Travis Daniel ranks second in points with 15 (four goals, 11 assists).

ECAC East Women’s: Similar to the men’s conference, Norwich remains the top squad, but keep an eye on Nichols and UMass Boston.

The Bison entered their holiday break 2-6-0 overall and 2-4-0 in the conference. They ended the first half winning two of four contests, which included a 4-3 win over Manhattanville and a 3-0 victory against Plymouth State. Against Manhattanville, Grace Murphy sealed the win with a power play strike. Murphy currently leads the unit in points (6) and goals (4).

As for the Beacons, their first half concluded with back-to-back wins against Colby and Southern Maine. Jenny Currie, Samantha Fallon and Alyssa Sullivan each lit the lamp in UMass Boston’s 3-0 win over Southern Maine, their last contest before break.

ECAC Northeast Men’s: For the second straight year, Nichols remains one of the top squads in the conference. Second year coach Kevin Swallow, a former Maine Blackbear, has guided the Bison to a 7-1-2 overall mark. In the team’s last outing, the Bison topped Franklin Pierce, 9-1. Dylan Woodring picked up his first win between the pipes as he turned away 19 of 20 shots.

Salve Regina remains the top squad in the conference, while Johnson and Wales owns the best overall mark of 9-3-0.

MASCAC Men’s: Framingham State football’s team may have provided some motivation for their men’s ice hockey team, which currently resides atop the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 6-3-1 overall mark. They concluded the first half of their schedule with three straight victories. In their last outing, which was against Assumption, Melvin Nichols and Ryan McDonald each netted a goal, while Alessio Muggli picked up his first win in net.

Salem State and Westfield State remain one point behind Framingham State in the standings. Both units have won four of six conference tilts. And similar to the Rams, the Vikings concluded the first half of their schedule with three consecutive wins.

NESCAC Men’s: Amherst and Williams entered their winter breaks as the top two squads in their conference. Craig Kitto leads the Ephs with 10 points (five goals, five assists), while George Hunkele is second on the team with 6 points (three goals, three assists). Williams hasn’t lost a game this season, as they’ve won five contests and tied two. Both of their ties, which were against Colby and Hamilton, were identical scores: 1-1.

NESCAC Women’s: Amherst entered their break as the second best team in the New England Small College Athletic Conference. They’ve recorded seven points, three conference wins and one non-conferee victory. The Lord Jeffs commenced their season with three straight wins, including a weekend sweep over Hamilton before earning ties with Plattsburgh State and Wesleyan.

When the Purple and White return to action, they’ll face Holy Cross and Cortland State before returning to conference play against Colby.

Mass. College Lax: Nichols’ Murphy Receives CCC Honorable Mention Nod

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Nichols College sports information department, here’s this afternoon’s release about Grace Miller, who was chosen to represent the Bison on the All-CCC honorable mention team:

DUDLEY, Mass.  – Sophomore Grace Murphy (Montclair, Va.) was chosen by the Commonwealth Coast Conference women’s lacrosse coaches to represent the Nichols College women’s lacrosse program on the All-CCC honorable mention team.

Murphy, the team’s leading scorer, racked up 45 points courtesy of 41 goals and four assists. In addition to ten free position goals, the sophomore paced the team with 46 draw controls and 16 caused turnovers while scooping up 26 ground balls. In conference play, Murphy tallied four goals in a setback to Roger Williams and in a 17-14 win at Salve Regina. She scored a season-high six points – four goals, two assists – against Misericordia during the team’s spring break trip to Pennsylvania. Murphy also had a pair of five point games – all goals – at Emmanuel in March and at home against Smith earlier this month.

In two seasons on the turf, Murphy has deposited 77 goals to go along with seven helpers for 84 points. She also has totaled 85 draw controls, 40 ground balls and 31 caused turnovers. Her 2013 goal output is tied for third program history while her career total places her in fourth, 11 behind Jessica Porter ’09.

Mass. College Lax: Nichols Earns First Win Against Mass. Maritime

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Massachusetts Maritime sports information department, here’s this evening’s release from the women’s lacrosse game, which saw Nichols College earn its first victory of the season:

BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. —  Sophomores Alyssa Bufis (Linden, N.J.) and Erica Antonison (Albertson, N.Y.) each netted four goals and an assist for five points to lead Nichols to a 13-8 non-league college women’s lacrosse victory over Massachusetts Maritime Wednesday evening at Clean Harbors Stadium.

The visiting Bison (1-3) received a hat trick from Bufis in the first 9:52 of action to take an early 4-1 lead, but the host Buccaneers (0-3) notched four unanswered tallies over the next 15-plus minutes to take a 5-4 edge on senior Kim Courcy’s (Warwick, R.I.) marker with 4:51 remaining in the half.  Antonison gave Nichols a 6-5 advantage at the break with a pair of goals that came 37 seconds apart late in the opening half, and she added two more tallies to cap a four-goal run that gave the visitors a 9-5 cushion with 21:45 to play in the contest.  Courcy and freshman Molly Smith (Westwood, Mass.) netted markers in a 4:53 span that cut Massachusetts Maritime’s deficit back to 9-7, but the Bison used another four-goal run, including a pair of tallies off the stick of sophomore Grace Murphy (Montclair, Va.) in an eight minute stretch, to seal their triumph.

Murphy finished with a hat trick and an assist for four points in the win for Nichols, which also received a pair of tallies from sophomore Sam MacMillan (Bridgewater, Mass.) as well as single assists off the sticks of seniors Shayna Ramalho (Monroe, Conn.) and Erica Silvia (Middletown, R.I.).  Courcy finished with a hat trick in the setback for Massachusetts Maritime, which also received a pair of goals from Smith to go with a marker and two assists from freshman Shavonne Boyle (Doylestown, Pa.). Senior Shelagh Hogan (North Andover, Mass.) chipped in with a goal and an assist as well for the Buccaneers, who also received a tally from freshman Janine Prokscha (Washington, Conn.) and a helper from sophomore Jillian Petrarca (Manutuck, R.I.).

Freshman AnneMarie Fana (Lawrence, Mass.) picked up her first collegiate victory with three saves in goal for Nichols, while sophomore Deb Langley (Abington, Mass.) made 14 stops in the setback for Massachusetts Maritime as the Bison outshot the Buccaneers by a 39-16 margin for the contest.

Massachusetts Maritime hosts Regis in a non-league outing on Saturday afternoon at Clean Harbors Stadium beginning at 1:00 p.m., while Nichols heads to Dallas, Pa. on Friday afternoon to take on Misericordia in a non-league match beginning at 4:00 p.m.

Mass. College Lax: Britney Wuorio Leads Lasell Past Nichols, 15-6

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Nichols College sports information department, here’s this evening’s release from the Bison’s women’s lacrosse game against Lasell College:

DUDLEY, Mass.  – The Nichols College women’s lacrosse team was defeated by Lasell College 15-6 in non-conference action Tuesday afternoon at a rainy Vendetti Field.

Nichols (0-2) was led by sophomore Erica Antonison (Albertson, N.Y.) with four goals while classmate Grace Murphy (Montclair, Va.) pitched in with two goals and five draw controls. Sophomore Alyssa Bufis (Linden, N.J.) collected four ground balls and classmate Stephanie Mathewson (Simsbury, Conn.) came up with three.

Junior Britney Wuorio (Bolton, Mass.) paced all student-athletes with eight goals and a pair of helpers for a 10 point afternoon. Senior Ashley Slattery (Weymouth, Mass.) found the back of the net five times and had an assist on three others. Sophomore Caitlyn Brecher (Cheshire, Conn.) scored twice and senior Rebecca Stanton (Agawam, Mass.) recorded an assist for the Lasers (2-1). Slattery also filled the stat sheet with five ground balls, two draw controls and a trio of caused turnovers.

As a team, Lasell converted five free position shots and corralled 10 draw controls to go along with nine ground balls and 31 shots. Nichols potted a pair of free position shots while besting the visitors with 14 draw controls. The Bison also came up with six ground balls and took 20 shots on the afternoon.

Wuorio and Slattery combined to stake a 3-0 lead for the visitors with just under five minutes expired on the game clock. Murphy and Antonison each produced a goal to make it a one-goal outing midway through the first half before the duo struck three more times to race out to a four-goal advantage. Antonison used her second goal of the game to bring the contest within three once more before a pair of unanswered tallies each by Slattery and Wuorio. Boucher scored her first goal to increase the Lasell lead to 11-3.  Antonison then capped the first half scoring with a Bison goal as 30 seconds remained in the frame.

Lasell outscored the Bison 4-2 in the first 15 minutes of the second half as Slattery topped off the scoring with 11:40 left in the game.

Laser rookie netminder Sammy Long (Staten Island, N.Y.) turned away six shots in the victory (2-1) as sophomore Michaela Doughty (Scituate, Mass.) was called upon to make one stop in a brief relief appearance. Bison first-year AnneMarie Fana (Lawrence, Mass.) suffered the defeat despite a game-high eight saves and falls to 0-2.

Nichols is off until Monday when the team travels to Emmanuel for a 7:00 p.m. game. Lasell travels to MIT for a 7:00 p.m. matchup on Thursday.