NEW LONDON, Conn.--For the fourth time in the past five years, the Connecticut College women's hockey team will be playing in the NESCAC Final Four.
The Camels (15-7-3), who are the eighth ranked team in the latest United States College Hockey Online (USCHO) National Poll, tied a program record with their 15th victory Saturday in a convincing 5-2 victory against seventh seeded Williams College. They visit Middlebury Saturday to face-off against fifth seeded Amherst College at 4 p.m. The Camels out-scored the Purple & White 4-1 in their two-game sweep at Orr Rink back in November.
Top seeded Middlebury will host sixth seeded Bowdoin College at 1:00 p.m. in the other semifinal. The Championship will get underway Sunday at 2:00 p.m. An automatic berth in the 2017 NCAA Championship on the table for the conference winner.
Samantha Estes (Millis, Mass.) had a hat-trick to lead the Camels in their quarterfinal victory. Estes has scored seven goals in the past 10 games. Seniors Steph Izzi (Salley, S.C.) and Julie Beattie (Livonia, Mich.) both contributed with a goal and an assist in the triumph. Junior Kate Kohl (Chelmsford, Mass.) dished out two assists. Katherine Chester (Mendham, N.J.) made 28 saves between the pipes in the final home game of her decorated career. Connecticut College scored four power play goals in a 12:54 span of the second period to take control of the contest.
Chester is ranked #5 in the country with a .952 save percentage and is tied for sixth in the nation with a 1.13 goals against average. Chester has posted five shutouts to rank #12 in the nation.
Senior defender Julie Beattie of Livonia, Mich. was honored on the All-New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Team for the second consecutive year.
A two-year captain and leader in the defensive corps, Beattie has helped lead Connecticut College to its pinnacle as a program with back-to-back 15 win seasons. Beattie has accounted for five goals and 10 assists to lead the club with 15 points this season. She has tallied 41 career points in 100 games played, scoring 15 goals while assisting on 26 others.
This season, Beattie has anchored a defensive corps that ranks #1 in NESCAC scoring defense with 1.00 goals allowed per game. The Camels also sit atop the conference with a 91.2 percent efficiency on their penalty kill.
Head Coach Kristin Steele features a deep roster with talent in all four classes. Eighteen different Camels have found their way in the box score with a goal or an assist. Izzi is the program's active scoring leader with 37 goals, 27 assists and 64 points. Classmate Ashley Anctil (Manchester, N.H.) has chipped in with 45 points on 27 goals and 18 assists. Sophomore Katlyn Paiva (Rehoboth, Mass.) has registered 16 goals and 19 assists for a total of 35 points.