MIDDLEBURY, Vermont – Fifth-seeded Amherst scored two goals in the first period and Sabrina Dobbins made 30 saves in a 2-0 victory over second-seeded Connecticut College in the NESCAC Semifinals.
Amherst opened the scoring at the 11:46 mark of the first period when Alex Toupal lifted a rebound over Conn. College goalie Katherine Chester. Chester made the initial stop on a shot from the point by Anne Malloy, but the puck went directly to Toupal at the right post for her 20th goal of the season. The Purple & White made it 2-0 with a power-play goal with 3:25 left in the period. Toupal threaded a pass across the slot from the right point to a breaking Katelyn Pantera. Pantera reached out and redirected the pass behind Chester for a two-goal lead.
The Camels nearly broke through for a goal in the closing seconds of the initial period when Ashley Anctil stripped an Amherst player of the puck right in front of the goal. Anctil released a quick shot from point-blank range, but Dobbins made the save to send her team into the intermission with a 2-0 advantage.
Connecticut College's Kyla Floresca had a quality scoring chance on the first shift of the second period, skating straight up the slot and ringing a shot off the right post. Minutes later, Julie Beattie ripped a shot from the right face-off dot that went hit the cross bar. Amherst almost made it a three-goal game when Pantera swept a shot on goal from the slot while falling, but Chester made a nice save to keep it a two goal contest.
The Camels were poised to get onto the scoreboard when they were awarded a brief (:24) five-on-three power play in the final seven minutes. Amherst erased the penalties with Conn. College's best chance in that time coming on a tip by Samantha Estes on a shot from the point by Beattie. The Camels pulled Chester with 1:20 remaining for an extra attacker, but the Purple & White didn't allow a shot on goal in that span with Kristen Molina and Miriam Eickoff each coming up with key blocks to secure the victory.
Chester finished with 20 saves as Connecticut College held a 30-22 edge in shots. Amherst won the battle of special teams, scoring a goal on its lone power play and killing off all six Camel power plays.