Feb. 11, 2010

By Amy Farnum

AIMING HIGH: Second-ranked Amherst needs just one win in the Lord Jeffs' two-game series with Williams on Feb. 12-13 to clinch the top seed in the upcoming New England Small College Athletic Conference Championship on Feb. 27.

The Jeffs have already secured a home quarterfinal game, but can still finish as low as fourth in the standings. Williams is looking to earn its first NESCAC quarterfinal game since 2006, and even has a shot at taking the top seed by winning the remainder of its games and getting help from other teams.

Amherst won its last three contests with the help of first-year defender Geneva Lloyd's four points last week. The native of Calgary, Alberta, began the week with an assist in a 1-0 win over St. Anselm, and then added two goals and an assist in a sweep of Bowdoin. Lloyd leads the Jeffs with 19 points, and was named NESCAC Player of the Week for her performance. She ranks second among the nation's defensemen with 0.95 points per game.

TOP TIGER: RIT junior forward Sarah Dagg garnered ECAC West Player of the Week honors after securing her place in program history during a 7-1 victory against Chatham last weekend.

The native of St. George, Ontario, tallied four points on two goals and two assists to become the seventh player in RIT history to register 100 career points. Dagg now has 39 goals and 61 assists for 100 points in 72 career games. She is also RIT's leading scorer with 37 points, and ranks second in the nation with 1.76 points per game.

No. 4 RIT looks to gain some ground in the ECAC West standings as the Tigers take on SUNY Cortland on Feb. 12-13. The Tigers are currently third in the league behind top-ranked Plattsburgh and No. 3 Elmira.

GETTING CLOSER: St. Catherine University held on to second place in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings with a sweep of Bethel last weekend, remaining just one point behind league-leading St. Thomas. At 13-4-0, the Wildcats are having their best season since putting up a school-record 15 wins in 2000-01.

Junior goaltender Mel Gerten stopped 59 of 60 shots in the series, and posted her second shutout of the year in a 1-0 overtime victory on Feb. 6. The native of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., was named MIAC Player of the Week for her performance. She ranks second in the MIAC with a .948 save percentage.

The Wildcats have won four of their last five games, and travel to Concordia-Moorhead for a conference series on Feb. 12-13, before closing out the regular season with first-place St. Thomas on Feb. 19-20.

VICTORIOUS VALIANTS: Manhattanville moved into sole possession of first place in the ECAC East standings with a pair of league victories last weekend behind the stellar play of senior Monique Rafferty and freshman Katie Little.

Rafferty, a native of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., registered seven points on one goal and six assists as the Valiants downed Castleton State and Norwich by a combined score of 12-3, earning her second ECAC East Player of the Week award. Rafferty now has 21 assists on the year, which ranks third in Division III.
Little, the league's Rookie of the Week, added three goals and three assists in the two wins.

MIDWEEK MAGIC: No. 6 UW River Falls survived an upset scare as the Falcons trailed Bethel 2-1 heading into the third period on Feb. 9. The Falcons then exploded for five goals in the third period, including two tallies from Stefanie Schmitz, en route to a 6-3 victory. UWRF is riding a 10-game unbeaten streak (9-0-1) as they travel to seventh-ranked Lake Forest for a two-game series in Northern Collegiate Hockey Association action. The Falcons are in third place in the NCHA standings, three points behind second place Lake Forest and four points behind first place Adrian ... Middlebury College's Heather McCormack netted a power-play goal in the second period against top-ranked Plattsburgh State as the No. 7 Panthers settled for a 1-1 tie with the Cardinals on Feb. 10. The Cardinals are unbeaten in their last 12 contests (10-0-2) -- the longest active unbeaten streak in all NCAA divisions.