MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The Gustavus Adolphus College women’s hockey team defeated Plattsburgh State 5-1 in an NCAA Division III semifinal game on Friday afternoon at Middlebury College, advancing to the national championship game tomorrow night. The Golden Gusties, who will play the winner of tonight’s game between Elmira and Middlebury, now hold an overall record of 25-3-2 on the season. The win marks a historic moment for the Gustavus women’s hockey program, which has reached the Frozen Four nine times but never reached the NCAA Division III championship game until now.
“A lot of alumni have paved the way for the girls,” Head Coach Mike Carroll said of the program’s first ever national championship game appearance. “Our coaches did a good job and the girls hung with it and I couldn’t be happier for our school. We’re really looking forward to tomorrow.”
Plattsburgh State, the defending champions from the last pre-COVID-19 national tournament in 2019, scored just 1:21 into the game to go up 1-0, but the Gusties responded 46 seconds later with a goal from Molly McHugh (Jr., Minnetonka) to tie the game at 1-1. From there, the Gusties didn’t look back, adding a goal from Hailey Holland (Jr., Aberdeen, S.D.) with 6:35 left in the first period to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
Gustavus added a power play goal from Tina Press (Sr., Cottage Grove) at 17:04 of the second period to stretch the lead to 3-1 before Plattsburgh had a would-be goal waved off for high-sticking at 16:46. The Gusties notched a short-handed goal from Brooke Power (So., Lakeville) with 12:38 left in the second to increase the lead to 4-1, and Hannah Gray (Fy., Stillwater, Minn.) closed the scoring with 4:49 remaining in the contest to push the final score to 5-1 in favor of the Gusties.
Gustavus was seemingly in full control throughout the majority of the game, outshooting the Cardinals 35-16. Katie McCoy (Jr., Grafton, Wis.) stood up to a number of Plattsburgh scoring chances and made 15 saves in the win. The Gusties went 1-for-4 on the power play and killed off Plattsburgh’s lone advantage.
“We talked a lot about what it means to wear the three crowns at Gustavus and what it takes to be successful,” senior captain Tina Press said. “So being able to leave our mark as a team and say we made it to the championship, and hopefully we’re not done there, we have a big game tomorrow that we’re going to leave our mark, just like the alumni have done.”
The NCAA Division III championship game takes place on Saturday, March 19 at 7 p.m. Eastern/6 p.m. Central and will be live streamed online at the championships website.