UTICA, NY – The No. 12 Utica University women’s hockey team is set to travel this weekend for a pair of games against Wilkes University. The teams face off on Saturday and Sunday with both games starting at 3:30 p.m.
Follow Along: Wilkes will provide live video through https://bit.ly/3HDUcXT and live stats via https://bit.ly/3I6RdsA.
Last Time Out: The team remained unbeaten in UCHC play as it completed yet another series sweep on Saturday with a 7-1 senior day victory over Lebanon Valley College. Erica Sloan (Potsdam, NY/St. Lawrence Steel) notched her second hat trick of the season and provided an assist as she led the Pioneers’ offense. Georgiana Santullo (Woburn, MA/Boston Shamrocks/Woburn High School) and Carly Stefanini (Framingham, MA/Brooks School) left their mark all over the game as well, Stefanini finishing the afternoon with five points on four assists and a goal while Santullo tallied three assists and a goal. Holly Silva (Boston, MA/Worcester Academy) recorded three points in the matchup with a goal and two assists. Kelsey Elliott (Attleboro, MA/East Coast Wizards), Kaci Ryder (Shrewsbury, MA/WC Swans), Carolyn Whitney (Raleigh, NC/Milbrook School) and Madison Novotny (Wesley Chapel, FL/Northwood School) each had an assist. Lauryn Brown (Eden, NY/Syracuse Valley Eagles) had 11 saves in her first start in goal of the season. After being honored before the game, the seniors led the charge in the first period for the Pioneers, scoring four goals in the first frame. Utica’s first line of attack consisting of Georgiana Santullo (Woburn, MA/Boston Shamrocks/Woburn High School), Erica Sloan (Potsdam, NY/St. Lawrence Steel), and Carly Stefanini (Framingham, MA/Brooks School) has been a nightmare for opposing defenses all season. On Saturday, these three were responsible for the Pioneers first two goals of the contest with Sloan providing both goals off assists from Santullo and Stefanini. Holly Silva (Boston, MA/Worcester Academy) would score the next one from close range off assists from Kaci Ryder (Shrewsbury, MA/WC Swans) and Kelsey Elliott (Attleboro, MA/East Coast Wizards) to extend the lead to three goals. In the last minute of the first, Maggie Rylott (Cobourg, Ontario/West Northumberland) tacked on another amidst a Utica power play. In the second period, Utica would build on its 4-0 lead by adding two more goals in what was another strong period of play. Georgiana Santullo (Woburn, MA/Boston Shamrocks/Woburn High School) would score the first goal of the period at the 7:48 mark off assists from Erica Sloan (Potsdam, NY/St. Lawrence Steel) and Carly Stefanini (Framingham, MA/Brooks School). Just a minute later, Stefanini would notch her fourth point of the contest with a goal of her own off Holly Silva (Boston, MA/Worcester Academy) and Santullo passes. After two periods, the game was all Utica as the team led 6-0 and held a 38-9 shot advantage. Lebanon Valley briefly stopped the bleeding just 22 seconds into the third period with a goal of their own. Much of the action in the remainder of the period was back-and-forth with several nice saves by goaltender Lauryn Brown (Eden, NY/Syracuse Valley Eagles). The Pioneers would score their final goal of the game just past the 18-minute mark when Erica Sloan (Potsdam, NY/St. Lawrence Steel) would complete her hat trick as she fired a shot that found the back of the net.
In the Poll: The Utica University women’s hockey team remains No. 12 in this week’s US College Hockey Women’s Top 15. The poll was released Monday by the national college hockey website. Utica holds on to the No. 12 spot after receiving 90 points this week, allowing the team to hold its position after the 75 points last week. The Pioneers improved to 18-1-2 overall this season after defeating Lebanon Valley College 4-2 on Friday and 7-1 on Saturday. The full Division III women’s hockey rankings can be found at https://www.uscho.com/rankings/d-iii-womens-poll/.
Where we Stand: The Pioneers are currently first in the UCHC with a fantastic 15-0-1 record and 47 points. Right behind Utica is Nazareth, who is second at 15-1-0 and 46 points. The two teams meet at Nazareth in the regular season finale in a series that may determine the UCHC regular season champion. Assuming both sides go 2-0 this weekend, the Pioneers can win its first-ever outright championship by either going 1-0-1, 0-0-2 or 1-1-0 at Nazareth. The Pioneers enter the weekend on a 20-game point streak and have clinched a postseason berth. The team is outscoring opponents 108-18 and scoring 5.1 goals per game.
Too Easy: Erica Sloan (Potsdam, NY/St. Lawrence Steel) had a great weekend scoring four goals with one assist against Lebanon Valley College. On February 3 she recorded one goal on four shots before following up with a four point outing the next day on three goals and one assist over just six shots. Sloan has been on a tear and in her last four matchups she has accumulated eight goals while compiling 10 points. She was also named the UCHC Player of the Week for her performance.
Group Effort: With the absence of Angela Hawthorne (Santa Clara, CA/Meijer), Maddie Esposito (Ashburn, VA/Boston Shamrocks) and Lauryn Brown (Eden, NY/Syracuse Valley Eagles) had the opportunity to step in between the pipes last weekend. In Friday’s game, Esposito posed a .944 save percentage while saving 12 shots to lead the Pioneers to a 4-1 victory. On Saturday, Brown got her first career start and made 11 saves for a .941 save percentage to pull out the victory while only surrendering one goal.
About Wilkes: The Colonels are 4-15-2 this season with a 4-10-2 conference record. They dropped their meeting with Worcester State University 4-1 on February 4. Wilkes Bella Kaczorowski is leading the team with nine goals and 11 points. Rachel Morey has been the team’s top playmaker with seven assists and nine points. Julie Patterson, Abigail Barcless and Anneke Bouma are three more names to look out for. Abigail Barcless has been fierce in front of the net blocking 32 shots while goaltender Addy Olson has started all 14 games, posting a .903 save percentage with 474 saves.
The Series: Utica is a perfect 8-0 in the all-time series against Wilkes since the sides first met in 2019. The Pioneers are also 3-0 when traveling to Wilkes and have outscored Wilkes 19-2 when playing on the road. Utica won 12-2 when the team’s met last season on February 12, 2022.
Up Next: No. 12 Utica and No. 14 Nazareth will meet in Rochester, NY on February 17 and 18 for the final series of the regular season.
#30 Lauryn Brown G 5′ 9″ Sophomore Wellness & Adventure Education
#41 Maddie Esposito G 5′ 7″ Junior Cybersecurity
#32 Angela Hawthorne G 5′ 2″ Junior Business Management
#17 Madison Novotny D 5′ 3″ Junior Health Studies-Physical Therapy
#91 Maggie Rylott F 5′ 4″ Senior Teacher Education and Psychology
#87 Georgiana Santullo F 5′ 5″ Graduate Student Psychology-Child Life
#15 Holly Silva D 5′ 1″ Senior Cybersecurity
#6 Erica Sloan F 5′ 5″ Senior Public Relations and Marketing
#81 Carly Stefanini F 5′ 8″ Junior Criminal Justice
#16 Carolyn Whitney F 5′ 7″ Senior Animal Behavior Players Mentioned
#30 Lauryn Brown 5′ 9″ Sophomore Wellness & Adventure Education G
#41 Maddie Esposito 5′ 7″ Junior Cybersecurity G
#32 Angela Hawthorne 5′ 2″ Junior Business Management G
#17 Madison Novotny 5′ 3″ Junior Health Studies-Physical Therapy D
#91 Maggie Rylott 5′ 4″ Senior Teacher Education and Psychology F
#87 Georgiana Santullo 5′ 5″ Graduate Student Psychology-Child Life F
#15 Holly Silva 5′ 1″ Senior Cybersecurity D
#6 Erica Sloan 5′ 5″ Senior Public Relations and Marketing F
#81 Carly Stefanini 5′ 8″ Junior Criminal Justice F
#16 Carolyn Whitney 5′ 7″ Senior Animal Behavior F