RYE, NY – Sophomore Zoey Pellowitz (Arlington, Va./Washington Pride) scored her fourth goal of the season in the third period, but the Stevenson offense broke through for a goal in each period Saturday afternoon, as the Mustangs knocked off the Valiants 3-1 on Senior Day, taking the inaugural Middle Atlantic Conference title.
The two teams battled to a scoreless tie Friday night, courtesy of 26 saves by the Valiants’ junior goalie Rose Pijaca (Worcester, Mass./Worcester Academy) and 37 saves from the Mustangs’ Catie Darosa.
Monica Pozuc struck for Stevenson (13-7-5, 10-3-1 UCHC, 5-0-1 UCHC) at 17:39 of the first period, splitting two Manhattanville (9-13-3, 6-8-2 UCHC, 4-1-1 MAC) defenders, then beating Pijaca stick-side. Savannah Sommers added a short-handed goal for the Mustangs at 5:04 of the second period, knocking in the rebound of a Chelsea Ellis shot after Pijaca saved an initial attempt.
Pellowitz got Manhattanville on the board for the first time all weekend at 11:00 of the final period off assists from junior Nicole Mensi (Mamaroneck, N.Y./Northwood School) and senior Kristi Peters (Newport Beach, Calif./Anaheim Lady Ducks), one of eight Manhattanville seniors honored before the game for their respective careers. Manhattanville put plenty of pressure on Darosa and the Stevenson defense in the ensuing minutes, including an excellent save to deny senior Karly Kapur (Sparta, N.J./N.J. Colonials) on the doorstep.
The Valiants pulled Pijaca with 1:26 to go for an extra skater, but Sommers blocked a shot attempt to herself and added an insurance goal with 41 seconds left for Stevenson.
The two teams will face off for the third straight game in the first round of the United Collegiate Hockey Conference Tournament on Saturday, February 24 from Reisterstown, Maryland. The game start time is still to be determined; check GoValiants.com this week for a full UCHC Tournament preview.