This past weekend, the nationally-ranked Mules traveled to Middletown, Connecticut to face Wesleyan University on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
Before play, Colby broke even in conference play with a 6–6 record. With NESCAC playoffs around the corner, they looked to solidify their place in the standings against the struggling Cardinals who were on an eight-game losing streak.
On Friday, just three minutes into play, the Mules scored on
their first shot on net. Meg Rittenhouse `24 picked off a pass in Wesleyan’s own zone with only one defender to beat. Rittenhouse slipped past the Cardinal player and fired a shot into the back of the goal.
Following the Colby goal, the Cardinals had a power play opportunity, but Colby’s defense stood strong. The Mules didn’t take their foot off the gas, as they added two more goals before the period ended.
Midway through the first, the Mules worked the puck around to find McKinley Karpa `23, who ripped a slapshot past the Wesleyan goalie’s gloves, extending the lead.
Wesleyan was able to get seven shots off before Colby converted their third goal. Right
after the 15:37 mark, Georgia Pettygrove `25 joined the scoring party with a wrist shot from the middle of the ice. This was her first of the season.
Leading 3–0 the Mules continued to challenge the Wesleyan goalie with an array of shots, but none were able to score.
Similar to the first period, the Mules opened the second period with a goal, their fourth and final. One minute into the second, on a counter-attack, Courtney Schumacher `26 beat the Cardinal defense, finishing an impressive backhanded shot from an improbable angle parallel.
Both teams’ defenses held strong over the final 38+ minutes of the game, leading to
the game ending 4–0. Wesleyan finished the game outshooting the Mules 28–23 on shots on goal. Mandy Busky `25 saved ten goals in the third period.
This win by Colby puts them above .500 in NESCAC conference competition for the first time since Jan. 6.
The Mules regrouped for their Saturday game and played well. In the first period, Colby dominated the offense from the start, with twelve shots on goal compared to five shots on goal by the Cardinals. Breanna Studley `25 was the first to light the score-
board with a breakaway goal that gave the Mules the lead around the 14-minute mark.
The first period ended with a Wesleyan power play, but goalie Paige Bolyard `25 didn’t allow a score. Six minutes into the second period, Schumacher made it 2–0 off a deflection from a missed shot.
A few minutes after the goal, for wards Tate Senden `23 and Rittenhouse collaborated to extend the lead to 3–0 less than halfway through the match. Senden redirected a shot off a face-off in front of the goal.
Although goalkeeper Bolyard stayed strong defensively throughout the game, Wesleyan was able to find the back of the net for their first goal of the weekend. Colby had the lead heading into the third period, but the Cardinals had some momentum.
The third period was the most competitive stretch of play with the Mules and Cardinals exchanging offensive and defensive possessions. Colby had a power play opportunity, but the Cardinals survived without letting in any goals.
With six minutes left in the final period of play, Wesleyan pushed the pace on a power play and cut the lead to one.
However, determined for the NESCAC win, the Mules continued to apply pressure offensively, and with only two and a half minutes left, Audrey Shirer `25 scored the
dagger to complete the sweep.
Colby outshot Wesleyan 34–16 in the afternoon. Tenth-ranked Colby wins and improves to 14–6 (8–6 in NESCAC play). The Mules will host Connecticut College on February 17 and 18 for their last two games of the season.
~ Julian Cangieter- Hernandez `25