Matsoukas’ 56 saves lead to upset of #15/14 Princeton

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SCHENECTADY, ​​N.Y. – The Union College women’s hockey team earned the program’s first win over a ranked opponent when they defeated #15/14 Princeton in a 4-1 final. Four Union players found the back of the net and the sophomore sofia matsoukas she saved 56 shots as the Dutch claimed victory on Saturday afternoon at Messa Rink.

Matsoukas was the story of the night for the Union, setting a new career-high with 56 saves that tied her for 10th on the school’s Division I single-game saves list. Her previous best record of hers was 54 saves against Harvard in the final game of the year in 2022. The 56 stops are the second-most in a win by a Union netminder, trailing only 59 saves by Shenae Lundberg ’15 in a 1-0 win over Northeastern University on December 2, 2014.

Eight Union skaters recorded one point in the win. The goals came from senior emily kingsophomores maren friday Y ashley adamsand first year Riley Walsh. King, Adams and Friday also had assists.

juniors Celeste Beaudoin Y kaitlyn ehmanas well as older carmen merlo and second year paige greco each contributed assists. Ehmann scored his first collegiate point with his assist.

With just over 30 seconds left in the first period, Ehmann threw a puck into the zone from the red line. Beaudoin skidded on the loose puck and threw a centered pass to Walsh. Walsh made no mistake and beat the Princeton goalie over his shoulder to take a 1-0 lead. This was the leading ninth goal of the season for Walsh’s team.

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In the second half, the Dutch extended their lead seven minutes into the game. Adams deflected a Tigers pass and the puck settled nicely for Merlo, who entered the zone in a two-on-one with King. Merlo slotted the pass between two defenders to King’s forehand, and the veteran buried the puck in the top corner past the goalie-blocker to double Union’s lead.

The Tigers cut the Union lead with less than two minutes left in the period, but Matsoukas made 21 stops in the second period alone as Union was outshot by a 22-3 margin.

In the third period, the Tigers continued to apply pressure and dominated the frontcourt. Union forced a quick chance and made the Tigers pay. After Greco won the matchup in the defensive zone, Friday swooped in and cleared the glass with his wrist and out to center ice. Adams picked up Friday’s clear and ran around the near side boards, before sending a wrist shot into the net and beating the keeper over her blocker’s side and into the top corner. This goal regained the two-goal lead for the Dutch.

The Dutch closed the game three minutes later. Princeton pulled their goalie with three minutes to go in the third half. King won a puck battle in center ice and his pass deflected to the center point of the ice. Friday grabbed the loose puck and buried the 100-foot shot into the open goal to seal the victory for Union.

The Dutch won their second game in program history over Princeton and their first since the 2014 season when the Union won 2-1. Princeton had beaten Union 14 times in a row before today’s game.

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Union was outshot 57-15 in the game. The power play was 0-3, but one of the best stories was the team’s penalty kick, going a perfect 8-8 as they faced 18 shots with only player advantage.

The Dutch played their last home game of 2022, posting a 5-1-1 record at Messa Rink.

Union (8-6-1, 3-3-1) will hit the road as they travel to Providence, RI and skate against Brown on Friday, December 9. The delivery of the disc is scheduled for 6 pm