Katie MacSorley tipped in a goal at 10:20 of the third period to cap a wild Beanpot championship Tuesday night at Matthews Arena as defending champion Northeastern edged second-ranked Boston College, 4-3, to win its 16th title in the 35-year history of the women’s tournament. It’s been a big week for the Huskies, who climbed back into the national rankings at No. 10 after beating No. 3 Boston University, 4-1, in the semifinals.
Northeastern claimed the ’Pot when defenseman Maggie Brennolt lifted a shot from the left point and MacSorley, parked in front of the BC net, tipped it past Corinne Boyles to end a frantic back-and-forth sequence.
“I’ve been trying to get the team to believe all year that when they play as a unit, they can beat anybody,’’ said Northeastern coach Dave Flint. “I think we’ve showed that the last two weeks here at the Beanpot. You know, you beat the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the country, it doesn’t get much better than that.’’
The game could not have been closer. BC (21-5-2), twice took the lead, but could not hold onto it against Northeastern (16-10-2), which also held and dropped two leads, only to nail down the victory with MacSorley’s goal.
Only a minute earlier, Emily Field had tied the game for BC, breaking out of her own zone and struggling to control the puck as she split a pair of defenders and then poking a backhander past NU goalie Chloe Desjardins (36 saves).
It was a slow start and a frantic finish. The Eagles took the first opportunity they got. With the game still green, Dana Trivigno collected the puck in the left corner of the Northeastern zone and carried it toward the net. She took a quick shot, and it deflected off the stick of Brennolt into the net at 1:18.
“I thought we came out kind of slow, due to nerves,’’ said Flint. “Once we got through that first five minutes, we settled in. I liked how we competed the rest of the game.’’
The Huskies evened the score with a power-play goal at 8:06 of the second, while BC was in the midst of taking a rash of penalties. NU had a 5-on-3 advantage when Brittany Esposito, working from the left side of the zone, hammered the puck at Boyles three times, slamming her third try into the top right corner.
BC twice had to kill off 5-on-3 penalties, and one 4-on-3, and it wore the Eagles down. “It was tough,’’ said BC coach Katie King Crowley, who noted the Huskies had 10 shots on the power play in the second period. “It’s hard, you’re asking kids to kill 5-on-3s and then to score goals, too. I just think it gets tough.’’
The game opened up late in the second period, initiated by a rush down the right wing by BC’s Emily Pfalzer. She dropped a pass back to Melissa Bizzari, who floated a shot into the top left corner of the net at 14:53.
NU collected another power play score at 17:50. Kendall Coyne fed the puck out of the right corner to Kelly Wallace, who took a shot from in front. Pickett pounced on the rebound for her 16th goal of the season. Coyne, who scored a hat trick against BU, earned tournament MVP honors.
The Huskies retook the lead at 18:33 off a faceoff to Boyles’s left. Wallace won the faceoff and Savage swooped in from the edge of the circle to fire a shot past the goalie.
Harvard ripped it up in the second period of the consolation game, scoring three times in two and a half minutes to put the fifth-ranked Crimson (18-3-2) in control as they skated off to a 3-0 victory over BU (18-5-3). Sophomore Samantha Reber led the surge with a goal and two assists, tying her career high for points in a game.