NORTHFIELD, Vt.—Despite goals from Sarahanne Cavolo (Roxbury, N..H.) and Emily Howard (Terryville, Conn.), UMass Boston women's hockey fell just short Saturday afternoon, in a 5-2 loss to the Manhattanville College Valiants in the ECAC East Semifinals.
The Beacons saw their season end for the third straight season at the hands of the Valiants, as they end the year with a 9-14-4 mark.
Saturday's game marks the final games of seniors Emily LaRosa (Weymouth, Mass.), Alli Greenberg (Stoughton, Mass.) and Jami Cudmore (Balognie, Sask.). The trio helped lead UMB to four straight ECAC East Tournament appearances and three stints in the ECAC East semis.
On the other side, Manhattanville will get their third straight crack at Norwich University in the ECAC East Championship Game, when the two teams play Sunday at 3 p.m. The two teams have split the last two title games, with Norwich winning last year's championship by a 6-3 margin.
UMass Boston fell behind just under 16 minutes into the game and despite strong surges in the second half of the second and third periods, couldn't overcome Jessica Kehoe and the Valiants high-powered offense.
Kehoe finished with two goals including the game-winner, while Sydney Asselstine, Chelsea Boucher and Alla Traun each added a single tally.
ECAC East Goalie of the Year Mary Evans made 15 saves on 17 shots to help the Valiants move to 18-8-1 on the year.
In net, Casey Schaejbe (Arlington, Mass.) made 17 saves on 22 shots, to finish off her freshman season at 5-10-2. The ECAC East All-Rookie Team selection made 10 saves on 11 shots in the second period to keep the game close, but couldn't withstand the rapid ebb-and-flow of the third period.
After the first two periods in which only three goals were scored (2-1 Manhattanville), the two teams combined for four goals in under five minutes in the latter stages of the third.
UMass Boston held a slight edge through most of the first period thanks to a strong fore-check and sustained pressure. Despite the Beacons holding an edge in shots and puck possession, Asselstine put the Valiants up 1-0 at 15:21, when she sent a puck through traffic that caught Schaejbe's facemask and bounced into the back of the net.
Kehoe made it 2-0 54 seconds into the second, when she found a big rebound at the back post and rammed it home.
The Beacons would answer back at the 15:22 mark of the period, when Cavolo poked home a LaRosa rebound through Evans five-hole. Junior Katie Loiselle (Glocester, R.I.) picked up the second assist on the play.
Manhattanville grabbed a two-goal lead back at 3-1, when Kehoe sent a centering-pass towards net-that deflected off of a Beacons defenseman and by Schaejbe.
The Valiants added on a fourth goal 32 seconds later, when Chelsea Boucher caught the Beacons pinching and lifted a shot over Schaejbe's shoulder to make it 4-1 Valiants at the 15:52 mark.
Howards gave the Beacons a lift at 16:24, when she grabbed a weak Valiants clearing pass at the Manhattanville blue line and skated in on Evans, before rocketing a shot just under the crossbar. The Beacons sophomore forward finishes the season with a career-high and team-high 11 goals.
Any momentum the Beacons mustered off the goal was quickly silenced at 17:54, when Alla Traun scored off her own rebound, after being left in front of the net all by herself.
Neither team had any luck on the power-play, as both squads finished 0-for-4.