LIU Women’s Hockey Team has got that winning feeling. The Sharks opened up NEWHA conference play Friday against Sacred Heart University with a 4-3 win. Not only was it the Sharks first win of the season, it was the first win for head coach Kelly Nash.
Prior to the win over Sacred Heart, LIU had not had much success out of the gate, losing twice to no. 5 Minnesota Duluth and no. 3 Northeastern.
“We started off the season against the No. 5 team in the country and the No. 3 team in the country,” Kelly Nash said. “We felt like we put up a good fight, but it was still showing that we were 0-4, obviously, in the results. So I think getting this win, especially in conference, was a huge one for us.”
In an end-to-end matchup, Sacred Heart got things going early in the first with a power-play goal from Paige McNeil. LIU made sure to respond before the end of the opening frame, as senior forward Mikayla Lantto second her second goal of the season at 16:36 into the first period to tie the score at one apiece.
Did we mention that all three goals in the second came over a four-minute span?
Umpherville’s goal was courtesy of a penalty shot as Sacred Heart covered the puck in the crease. And Umpherville took advantage of that major mistake.
“You want to get the goalie to make the first move,” the senior forward said. “I got her to move side to side first. It was wide open. She was out of her net.”
Despite the dominant second period, Sacred Hart battled back to make it a 4-3 game in the third period. But that’s as close as Sacred Heart would come as LIU held on.
Besides Kelly Nash notching her first win, freshman netminder Annie Abramson also picked up her first collegiate win. Starting netminder Tindra Holm was out “as a precaution,” according to LIU team officials, after she had to exit last weekend’s matchup at Northeastern in the first period.
Abramson answered the call and battled not only Sacred Heart, but her nerves as well.
“It just felt really good, especially for our first conference game, to get the win. Coming in as a freshman, I’m young. It was a little nerve-wracking at the start, but I settled in,” Abramson said. “It was a dream come true.”
Long Island University Women’s Hockey Team is back in action for a two-game series next Friday and Saturday at #9 University of Maine.