RYE, N.Y. – This moment will always stand out for Alicia Nickolenko.
The sophomore forward on the Wesleyan University women's ice hockey team notched her first collegiate goal on Friday evening in season-opening action, but Manhattanville received a two-goal and one-assist performance by junior forward Nicole Mensi during a 3-1 win in Rye, N.Y.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Valiants (2-2-0, 0-2-0 UCHC) drew first blood on the power play with 9:38 remaining in the first period, as sophomore forward Amanda Sabia sent a shot into the back of the net, assisted by Mensi and senior forward Sarah Sinning.
- Wesleyan earned its own power-play marker on Nickolenko's tally, which was designed by a couple heads-up passes from juniors Sarah Goss and Grace Keogh. Goss, who has assumed an assistant-captain role this winter, will be a crucial factor to Wesleyan's defensive effort this year, and Keogh will look to build off her sophomore campaign, which included a pair of assists in 16 games.
- Mensi and Sabia traded positions for Manhattanville in the second, with Mensi scoring and Sabia providing the assist at the 6:22 mark, and the tally ended up being the decisive goal. Wesleyan's comeback hopes took a big hit with 5:42 left in the second, as Mensi struck again, with Sabia and senior defensewoman Kristi Peters orchestrating the play.
- Wesleyan is looking to continue building off its strong 2016-17 campaign, which included qualifying for the NESCAC Tournament for the first time since the 2013-14 year. Tenth-year head coach Jodi McKenna has led the squad to the conference playoffs five times, and in 2013-14, helped the team claim the No. 5 slot with a 5-6-5 conference record.
- Freshmen Maggie Curran, Sarah Takahashi and Sydnee Goyer, and junior Hedi Droste all made their debuts as Cardinals on Friday.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Manhattanville held a 43-21 edge in shots, but sophomore goalie Allegra Grant continued to demonstrate her immense talent in between the pipes for Wesleyan, turning away 40 shots. She jumped right in last season and earned the starting gig, appearing in 18 games and compiling a 6-9-3 record. The Winnetka, Ill. native led the unit in goals-against average (1.75), save percentage (.947), saves (572) and shutouts (four).
- Valiants sophomore goalie Taylor Elias earned the win on a 20-save night. Senior captain Alex Horton and senior Cici Frattasio paced the visitors with five shots apiece, and sophomore forward Colleen Castro pitched in with four.
- Manhattanville was powered by five-shot outings from Mensi and Sinning. Wesleyan went 1-for-3 on the power play, and Manhattanvile was 1-for-5 on the advantage.
- The Cardinals will compete in their home opener on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. against Post University at the Spurrier-Snyder Rink in Middletown, Conn.