Seeds hold in NCAA quarterfinals
Over the weekend, nail-biting finishes, overtimes, and upsets abounded. That statement was likely true in some tournament in some sport, but none of it applied in the NCAA Women’s Collegiate Tournament on Saturday, where the four host teams had their games well in hand as the time ticked down.
Boston College dethrones Clarkson
We are guaranteed a new national champion after Boston College knocked out Clarkson, 5-1. As has been the case much of the year, junior forward Alex Carpenter impelled the charge for the Eagles, scoring the first two goals and assisting on a third. Carpenter’s shot under the crossbar was the only goal of the first period. She cut to the middle and found the five-hole on Golden Knights’ goaltender Shea Tiley 23 seconds into the second frame. Kristyn Capizzano buried a rebound off the end wall 15 minutes later. Daniella Matteucci’s third-period goal was the only one of 21 Clarkson shots to elude Katie Burt, who won her first NCAA tournament start. Haley Skarupa got that goal back seconds after a Clarkson penalty expired, and Toni Ann Miano found an empty net to conclude the scoring. BC finishes its home season a perfect 19-0 in Conte Forum.
Harvard blanks Quinnipiac
Harvard gained the Frozen Four for the first time since 2008 by stopping Quinnipiac, 5-0. Emerance Maschmeyer handled all 20 shots that the Bobcats sent her way, her third shutout of the year. Abigail Frazer put the Crimson on top to stay before the game was five minutes old with a goal from the left point. Tallies from Haley Mullins, Samantha Reber, Sydney Daniels, and Karly Heffernan followed. Frazer, Heffernan, and Lexi Laing produced two-point games.
Harvard will collide with BC in the second semifinal on Friday. The two squads split their two regular-season meetings. The Eagles took the first game in a rout that delivered insult, while the Crimson earned a closely-contested Beanpot championship to impart greater injury.
Wisconsin continues mastery of Boston University
Freshman Annie Pankowski finished on a breakaway three minutes into Wisconsin’s 5-1 triumph over Boston University, and the Badgers were off and running, peppering the BU net with 48 shots in the contest. Katarina Zgraja doubled the margin at the 15:54 mark, and Pankowski potted her second goal a period later. Emily Clark put UW up four by the second intermission. Jenny Ryan added a power-play goal before Victoria Bach scored for the Terriers to deny Ann-Renée Desbiens a shutout. Wisconsin has taken all five of the head-to-head matches versus BU.
Minnesota ends storybook run by RIT
Top-seeded Minnesota survived a mess of its own making and posted a 6-2 victory over RIT to end the Tigers’ first foray into the NCAA tournament. Milica McMillen and Kate Schipper scored to give the Gophers a two-goal lead in the first five minutes, but Minnesota lost two members of its second line to major penalties and game misconducts by the first period intermission. Carly Payerl took advantage and fired in the first of her two goals on the day, but the Gophers responded with power-play tallies by Rachel Ramsey, Maryanne Menefee, and Hannah Brandt to assume a 5-1 lead just past the midway point. Payerl’s second marker gave the Tigers some late hope, but Lee Stecklein squelched it with a short-handed goal into an empty net. Schipper and Brandt tallied three points.
The Badgers and Gophers will square off in the first semifinal on Friday. It will be the teams’ third NCAA tourney game in the last four years, despite the fact that the two haven’t met in the conference tournament once over that stretch.