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Women’s Hockey secures first-ever NCAA tournament victory, falls to Amherst in NCAA

Last Wednesday, tenth-seeded Colby College hosted ninth-seeded Norwich University in the first round of the 2023 NCAA DIII Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament. Despite being seeded one spot lower, the Mules put on a dazzling performance, comfortably defeating the Cadets 5–2 and securing their first-ever NCAA tournament victory. 

From the start, Colby played with a fire unmatched by the Cadets. Within a few minutes, the Mules jumped to a 1–0 lead with the goal scored by Courtney Schumacher `26. 

Following the opening goal, both sides had opportunities to score, but the Mules’ offensive brilliance gave them the edge. Colby doubled their lead later in the period as Breanna Studley `26 found the back of the net, followed by Stephanie Lane `23 adding a third only a minute later, concluding an outstanding first-period performance from the hosts. 

The second period consisted of a few penalties on both sides; however, the Cadets were never able to get any real momentum going, whereas the Mules continued to dominate on the offensive end. With about a minute left in the second period, Colby struck the frame of the goal and was able to retrieve the puck and score their fourth, as Bri Michaud-Nolan `23 found the back of the net. 

Colby never relented, and eight minutes into the third, Captain Meg Rittenhouse `24 smashed the puck over the shoulder of the Norwich goalkeeper, extending the lead to five. 

Although the Cadets were able to escape the shutout and finally get past Colby goalie Paige Bolyard `25, the Mules continued to attack the Norwich goal, pushing numerous shots just wide of the goal.

 The Cadets managed to score a second but could not mount enough offense to overcome the relentless pressure from the Mules. 

Colby’s women’s hockey program broke records this season and made impressive strides into the NESCAC and NCAA tournaments.

 Rittenhouse spoke on the immense pride her team felt after making history this past season: 

“Being a part of the first-ever Colby Women’s Ice Hockey team to win an NCAA game is a feeling I will for sure never forget. Not to mention it being on home ice in front of our fans, our Colby community, it is a truly indescribable feeling. I am so grateful to have experienced it with this team and wouldn’t change a single thing about this record-breaking season,” she said.

This past weekend, the Mules concluded an inspiring season in Amherst, Massachusetts, where they fell to the Amherst College Mammoths 4–0 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. Despite the loss, Colby ended their season with their heads held high and are already eagerly anticipating another successful year. 

“I am super excited to see what is in store for us next year. Obviously, our seniors have done a terrific job with forming a solid foundation and culture for this team, and I hope to continue that into my senior year. Our team this year was definitely on the younger side, but that just makes me even more excited for us in the year to come. The NESCAC is so competitive and the beauty of it is that anything can happen, anyone can win, so I am more than excited to see what things are like for us at this time next year,” Rittenhouse said. 

Next year, the Mules will look to build on their tremendous success from this past season and challenge in the NESCAC and NCAA again. With a young core and a strong sense of community fostered by the players and coaching staff, Colby will be a team to reckon with in the upcoming NESCAC winter season.


~ Mason Groves `23

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