Jan. 29, 2009

Courtesy of Manhattanville Athletics

HARTFORD, CONN. – Freshman Dominique Di Dia scored the game-winning goal with 7:34 left in the third period as Trinity (Conn.) College dealt Manhattanville, ranked ninth in this week’s USCHO.com Div. III national poll, a 3-2 defeat in non-conference women’s hockey action on Wednesday night at Williams Rink.

Junior Britney McKenna and sophomore Laura Komarek also scored for the Bantams, who won their second consecutive game after going winless in their previous five.

For Manhattanville, senior co-captain Alex Blackwell (Brewster, N.Y.) and junior Monique Rafferty (Clifton Park, N.Y.) found the back of the net, but the Valiants lost for the second time in three games following a 12-game winning streak.

Down by a goal entering the third period, things looked good for the Valiants when Rafferty tied the game at two 9:01 into the final frame. On the power play, the junior forward took advantage of a turnover in the neutral zone by the Bantams and fired a shot past junior Isabel Iwachiw for her ninth goal of the season.

But Di Dia and the Bantams struck back just over three minutes later to regain the lead and keep it. At the 12:26 mark of the third, the freshman took a pass at the point from sophomore Sarah Kohn and beat junior netminder Sophia Kokkonis (East Meadow, N.Y.) high for the game-winning tally.

Manhattanville had two chances to knot the score late in the period with a pair of power plays, but the Valiants could not convert on either opportunity. Both Manhattanville and Trinity went 2-for-6 with the man advantage on the evening.

Trinity built up a 2-0 lead early in the second period thanks to a pair of power-play tallies. Komarek got the home team on the board first only 10 seconds after sophomore Jen Ascencio (Monroe, N.Y.) was called for tripping at 8:24 of the first period with her sixth goal of the season. McKenna followed 7:05 into the second stanza with another man-up goal to give the Bantams a two-goal edge.

Manhattanville lowered the deficit to one entering the third period with a power-play goal of its own, coming while the Valiants held a 6-of-4 advantage. Blackwell was the recipient of passes from senior co-captain Erin Brawley (Lordship, Conn.) and freshman Jackie Solomito (Sea Cliff, N.Y.) and deposited her team-leading 15th tally of the season past Iwachiw, tying her for third in Division III in goals.

Kokkonis made the start in net for Manhattanville and made 24 saves on 27 shots in suffering her first loss of the 2008-09 season (5-1-0). Iwachiw turned aside 30-of-32 shots for Trinity to improve to 8-4-2 on the season.

Manhattanville (14-3-0, 12-2-0 ECAC East) will continue its four-game road trip on Friday night, as the Valiants face off with ECAC East Conference foe Plymouth State University beginning at 6 p.m. Trinity (9-5-2, 5-4-1 NESCAC) will battle St. Olaf in a two-game series beginning Saturday at 6 p.m.