The 2015-16 season for the University of Rhode Island women’s ice hockey season concluded in the ACHA National Championships, with losses to eventual winner Miami University and Adrian College by final scores of 5-2 and 7-3, respectively, as well as a 5-2 win against their conference foes, the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.
“I really can’t say enough about this group and how great it’s been this season,” Rhode Island head coach Ashley Pagliarini said. “Just the fight that our team has, it’s never giving up in any game.”
During Wednesday’s game against Miami, the Rams took a 1-0 lead just a little over a minute into the first period when sophomore forward Monica Darby was assisted by forward Casey McCormick. The lead was short-lived however, as Miami University outscored the Rams 3-0 during the remainder of the period and 2-1 to end the game.
“They have some of the top goal scorers in the country so we tried to eliminate their goal scoring and we tried to play as well as we can,” Pagliarini said. “We fell short, but I think losing by three goals to the National Champions says a lot about our team and how hard we worked.”
Thursday’s game against the Adrian College Bulldogs was seemingly one-sided after Darby gave the Rams a 1-0 lead 6:54 into the first period. A back-and-forth scoring affair ensued in the third period, with the Rams’ comeback attempts being unsuccessful.
“We played pretty well against them, and fell short,” Pagliarini said. “We were scoring goals, and they were scoring goals, so it was back and forth. Overall, I think we played well against some very good teams in the league.” Â
Entering the third and final game of the season against the Minutemen on Friday, the team’s mindset changed.
“They beat us during the Championship round of the Eastern Collegiate Women’s Hockey League, so we wanted to get a little revenge,” Pagliarini said. “All of our seniors really wanted to win that game and they worked hard, as well as the rest of the team to go out on a positive note.”
A 2-0 shutout in the first period began with senior forward Alisha DiFilippo scoring her 42nd goal and Darby receiving an assist by Jacquelyn Keable to score her 31st goal of the season. After a scoreless second period, DiFilippo added another goal 4:32 into the final period. Senior forward Sydney Collins and McCormick added two assists each on goals by Darby and Kristen Levesque to close out the game. Freshman goalie Abigail Torres saved 98 of 112 total shots-on-goal during the three-game playoff series.
The taste of vengeance was especially sweet for the departing players, several of whom received league honors.
“I can’t say enough about our senior class and their leadership and hard work on and off the ice,” Pagliarini said. “I can’t be more proud of them and we’re going to miss them tremendously.”
The Rams will look to build off the successful season as they prepare to regroup and retool for next season.
“We know where we want to get our program and how hard we have to work in the offseason,” Pagliarini concluded.