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Amherst women’s hockey falls to Norwich in NCAA Division III Tournament first round

  • Kaitlin Hoang of Amherst College, right, moves the puck against Morgan Tefft of Norwich, Wednesday at Orr Rink in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kaitlin Hoang of Amherst College, center, moves the puck against Norwich, Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2020 at Orr Rink in Amherst. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Angelina Wiater of Amherst College, right, looks for a shot against Norwich goalie Alexa Berg during the NCAA Division III tournament, Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2020 at Orr Rink in Amherst. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Jillian Mazzocca of Amherst College, center, looks for a shot amid a group of Norwich defenders, Wednesday at Orr Rink in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst College goalie Caitlin Walker blocks a shot by Ann-Frederique Guay of Norwich, Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2020 at Orr Rink in Amherst. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Carley Daly of Amherst College, right, shoots against Norwich goalie Alexa Berg during the NCAA Division III tournament, Wednesday at Orr Rink in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kaitlin Hoang of Amherst College, left, watches as her shot slides down the back of Norwich goalie Alexa Berg to score during the NCAA Division III tournament, Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2020 at Orr Rink in Amherst. It was Amherst's only goal in their 3-1 loss. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst College players Emma Flynn, top, and Anne Malloy celebrate a goal by Kaitlin Hoang during the NCAA Division III tournament, Wednesday at Orr Rink in Amherst. It was Amherst’s only goal in its 3-1 loss. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kaitlin Hoang of Amherst College, front, celebrates her goal with Emma Flynn, from left, Mia DelRosso, Anne Malloy and Leslie Schwartz during the NCAA Division III tournament, Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2020 at Orr Rink in Amherst. It was Amherst's only goal in their 3-1 loss. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

For the Gazette
Published: 3/11/2020 10:53:09 PM

AMHERST — The Amherst College women’s ice hockey team fell 3-1 to Norwich in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament, Wednesday night at Orr Rink.

The win propelled the Cadets (23-4-2) to the quarterfinals, where they will play at Plattsburgh State in New York on Saturday.

Amherst finished its season 17-6-5.

“I want to focus on the amazing year they had,” Amherst coach Jeff Matthews said. “They had an incredible year working together and playing together. They were on a mission since last spring, and they got it done. They showed resilience every game we played. I am so impressed with them, and they found a new way to impress me every week. It was such a fun ride because of that.”

Amherst had trouble solving the puzzle that was Norwich’s defense all night. The game was always close, with Norwich taking a 1-0 lead in the first period and Amherst tying it in the second.

Kelley Madden gave the Cadets a 1-0 lead with 13 minutes, 30 seconds left in the first.

Amherst answered in the second period with a goal from Kaitlin Hoang with 8:12 left.

But Norwich scored twice in the final 12 minutes of the third to advance. Amanda Conway scored on a breakaway to secure the lead for the Cadets. Amherst pulled goalie Caitlin Walker late, and Madden took advantage of the open net to score her second of the game and seal the win.

This loss was tough for the Mammoths. This week, Amherst College decided to suspend on-campus classes following spring break in favor of “remote learning” to keep its community safe from the COVID-19 virus.

“What they’ve had to deal with this week as students is nothing like anyone has ever had to deal with,” Matthews said. “When you combine what they have been through just emotionally this week with the physical fatigue of playing all of these games, it’s a tough, tough situation.”

In addition to suspending classes, Amherst College did not allow spectators to attend any of the indoor games held on campus.

“Please be aware that we are taking these actions out of an abundance of caution and being mindful of the health of the Amherst community, including the teams that are competing. We genuinely regret any inconvenience to the families and fans of the players,” the school announced in a statement.

The difficult and unique situation that was introduced this week with classes being suspended left the hockey team trying to grasp how to deal with the situation.

“It’s a little unfair that they had to deal with all of these issues in addition to everything else they have going on, it’s unfair to everyone,” Matthews said. “This situation we’re in, it’s a whole different animal. We couldn’t even focus on the game today. There was so much more involved here than just the game today.”


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