Women’s D-III weekend wrap: UCHC sees wild finish, Wisconsin-River Falls improves in PairWise

Manhattanville players celebrate another goal in the team's 7-1 win over Lebannon Valley (Manhattanville  Athletics)
Manhattanville players celebrate another goal in the team’s 7-1 win over Lebannon Valley (Manhattanville Athletics)

Augsburg sweeps St. Thomas
Augsburg looked impressive in sweeping St. Thomas and securing third place in the MIAC. On Friday, the Auggies won at St. Thomas, 3-2, when Bridget Wagner scored with just 22 seconds left in the game. St. Thomas had rallied from a two-goal deficit and tied it at the midway point of the third on a goal by Estee Frantz. Abby Bollig made 18 saves in the win. At home Saturday, the Auggies scored a 3-1 win, getting one goal in each period, including an empty-netter at 19:06 of the third to seal the win. St. Thomas jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 7:02 of the first on a goal by Alli Monrean, but Lanie Lobdell tied it at 11:53 and Mikayla Jones scored the game-winner just 1:16 into the second. Eryn Cooley made 39 saves for the Tommies in the loss.

UCHC ends in wild weekend
Elmira won the UCHC overall crown with 28 points on a wild weekend that saw four teams jockeying for position. Manhattanville beat Lebannon Valley on Friday 7-1 and defeated Chatham 4-2 on Saturday to finish with 27 points and first place in the UCHC South. After William Smith edged Utica 2-1 on Saturday, the Herons had a chance to clinch second, but the Herons fell, 4-1. Abbey Luth had a goal and two assists for Nazareth in the win, while Madison Nichols had a goal and assist. Adrianna Brehm made 22 saves in the win. Nazareth leapfrogged William Smith for second in the UCHC North with the win.

The only ranked UCHC team, No. 5 Elmira, swept the final weekend, defeating Nazareth 3-1 on Saturday and blanking Utica 2-0 on Sunday to clinch the top seed and hosting rights for the tournament. Elmira currently sits at seventh in the PairWise, so they can’t afford a slip as the UCHC tournament starts.

No. 7 Wisconsin-River Falls improves PairWise position
With a split with No. 3 Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the Wisconsin-River Falls Falcons improved to sixth in the PairWise rankings. The WIAC doesn’t have an automatic bid, so the Falcons will be looking for an at-large based on their position. The Falcons won at home Saturday, 3-1, on two third-period goals. After falling behind early, Brooke Walters tied it a 6:11 of the second. Bella Wagner scored the game-winner unassisted at 11:42 of the third, and Callie Hoff sealed the win with an empty-netter at 18:44. On Friday at home, the Blugolds edged the Falcons, 1-0. Emma Peterson’s extra-strength goal at 2:42 was the only scoring in the game, and Erin Connolly made 25 saves in the shutout.

Three teams finish conference play with perfect records
Endicott, Norwich, Plattsburgh all finished with perfect records in conference play. No. 9 Endicott rolled the Colonial Hockey crown with a 16-0 record in conference and 23-2 record overall. No. 6 Norwich was a perfect 16-0 in NEHC play and 20-4-2 overall. No. 1 Plattsburgh was a perfect 18-0 in the NEWHL and finished with a 24-1 record overall. Plattsburgh sits atop the PairWise rankings, while Endicott is fourth. Norwich is currently 10th in the PairWise and in the most precarious position in terms of NCAA tournament qualifying if the Cadets fail to capture the NEHC tournament crown and resultant auto-bid.