The Gustavus Women’s Hockey team won both of their games this weekend as a result of explosive offense and stingy defense.
On Friday, the Gusties hosted Concordia-Wisconsin for their first home game of the season. As a result of a fantastic offensive showing, they beat the Falcons by a score of 5-0.
This marked the Gusties’ second win of the season, while the Falcons fell to 0-3.
It was a slow start to the game, as both teams had opportunities to score but could not find the back of the net.
First-year Francesca Gerardi held strong in the net in the first period, saving six shots. The Gusties had 10 shots on net, but were unable to capitalize.
It seemed as if there would be another scoreless period until Concordia committed a five-minute penalty.
Gustavus was able to seize the opportunity, as Senior Kristen Cash was able to score a power play goal, assisted by Sophomore Lilia Scheid.
This gave the Gusties a 1-0 lead going into the third period. This initiated a huge momentum swing and the Gusties eventually found their rhythm in the third.
After about 11 minutes of play into the third period, the Gusties found the back of the net again. Sophomore Jordyn Peterson scored off of an assist from Sophomore Grace Schulte to increase the lead to 2-0.
About two minutes later, Sophomore Stephanie Anderson scored her first goal of the season, assisted by First-year Heather Olinger.
The Gustavus scoring attack was now in full swing. Just a couple minutes later, Sophomore Jamie Byrne also scored her first goal of the season, assisted by First-years Emily Olson and Lindsey Bjerke.
The wave of scoring continued, as Peterson scored another late goal assisted by Anderson. This extended the lead to 5-0, which would be the final score.
Gerardi finished with 12 saves, and was awarded the win in net.
“I think the main contributor to our success this weekend was persistence,” Sophomore Madigan Goldsworthy said. “We struggled in the beginning on Friday, but didn’t give up and scored four goals in the third period.”
Head Coach Mike Carroll was upset with his team’s play through the first two periods but was happy with how they played in the third.
“We just didn’t play well our first two periods,” Carroll said. “As well as we played last Friday on the road, we thought we would be able to make another step in the right direction but for whatever reason we didn’t to start the game. In the third period being 1-0, anything can happen, and we handled that adversity pretty good and got some goals, stuck with it, and played our best at the end which was nice to see.”
The Gusties played the next day, as they hosted No. 7 UW-Eau Claire for a 2 p.m. matchup.
They completed another shutout and won by a score of 1-0. With the win, the Gusties improve to 3-0. This was the Blugolds first loss of the season, as they fall to 2-1.
First-year Hailey Holland scored her first collegiate goal around the 13-minute mark of the first period, which turned out to be the only goal of the game.
The Gusties were able to outshoot the Blugolds 23-19, and had three power plays to the Blugolds two.
“On Saturday, we battled the whole game,” Goldsworthy said. When we got stuck in our defensive zone, we didn’t give up, and when we were winning by one, we didn’t give up the lead.”
After making 19 saves in net, First-year Katie McCoy was awarded the shutout victory. She was later named MIAC Women’s Hockey Athlete of the Week.
This performance in goal drew the attention of coach Carroll.
“Our goalie played really well,” Carroll said. “Cool, calm, and collected back there when she had to be and made some big saves. There were times where we lost our composure in the D zone but the one good thing about it was we kept them on the perimeter and found a way to get it out.”
The Gusties will look to stay undefeated and carry the momentum into their next few games.
“It’s the start of conference play, and we want to win and be on top of the MIAC again,” Goldsworthy said. “We need to emphasize playing a full 60 minutes because every team is hard competition in this conference, and anything can happen in any game.”
The Gusties travel to St. Paul on Saturday to take on St. Catherine at 7 p.m. On Sunday they travel back to St. Peter to host St. Catherine in their second matchup of the weekend at 2 p.m.