Mustangs Drop Opening Game of Codfish Bowl at UMass-Boston, 2-1

BOSTON, Mass. - Freshman McKenzie Taggart (Centennial, Colo./Colorado Selects) scored her team-leading fourth goal of the season, but UMass-Boston withstood a 5-on-3 and 6-on-4 in the final 1:22 as the Beacons advanced to the title game of the 6th Annual Codfish Bowl with a 2-1 victory Thursday.

The Mustangs (4-7) were outshot 28-14 through the first two periods and trailed 2-0 before mounting a rally in the third.

Freshman Karly Vis (Murillo, Ont./Thunder Bay Queens) got the first good chance as she sent a shot over UMass Boston netminder Kailyn Burke's shoulder from the left circle that dinged off the underside of the crossbar and into the corner.

Taggart then scored on the power play for Stevenson at 8:57, snapping an 0-for-27 skid for the Mustangs with the man-advantage. Freshmen Jessie Capanelli (Lancaster, Pa./West Chester Quakers) and Molly O'Neil (Aurora, Colo./Colorado Selects) both registered assists on the play.

For Taggart, it was her first goal and point since a 3-1 win at New England on December 8 after she started the season with eight points in the team's first seven games. Meanwhile, O'Neil picked up her team-leading fifth assist on the play and is now tied for the team-lead in goals, assists and points with Taggart.

After O'Neil took a penalty at 15:34 to give the Beacons a power-play, UMass Boston (4-6-1) took a penalty 30 seconds later to even the sides at 4-on-4. With 16 seconds left on the original penalty to Kelly Sharlow, the Beacons' Alexa Cappione was whistled for tripping to give the Mustangs a 5-on-3 with 2:11 to go.

UMass Boston won the faceoff after a Mustangs timeout but found themselves skating 6-on-4 16 seconds later, when Stevenson head coach Shera Vis pulled freshman Mackenzie Bruch (Hiram, Ga./Boston Shamrocks), leaving an empty net.

The Mustangs had several good looks at the net in the final two minutes, but each shot sailed just wide or was blocked by a defender in front, preserving the win for the Beacons.

Stevenson was held to one goal or less for just the fourth time in 11 games this season as Burke made 23 saves on 24 shots for UMass Boston.

Meanwhile, Bruch finished with a career and team-high 36 saves on 38 shots. She had 26 saves through the first two periods before stopping all 10 on net in the third period.

Sarahanne Cavolo and Katie Loiselle each scored for the Beacons who advanced to the Codfish Bowl championship game for the fifth time in six years.

Stevenson will play Plymouth State in the consolation game on Friday at 1:00 p.m.