Women’s soccer poised to finish season undefeated

The Williams women’s soccer team has now gone 15 games without a loss, most recently defeating Amherst and Middlebury along with a tie against Tufts. This recent rampage has given the Ephs their first win over Amherst since 1993, securing the Little Three title for the Ephs.

The most recent match-up for the Ephs was a tough double-overtime tie with the Tufts Jumbos in Medford, MA on their homecoming day this Saturday. Neither team was able to hit the back of the net in the 120 minutes of play and the score remained 0-0. This was the fifth straight overtime game for the Ephs although miraculously none of those have resulted in a loss.

After a scoreless first half, the Jumbos began asserting themselves on offense and created several good scoring opportunities in the second period and both overtimes. Williams goalkeeper Laura Brenneman ’99 recorded eight saves including two close tips over the crossbar. The Jumbos tallied 14 shots, while the Ephs were only able to muster five shots on goal.

Earlier in the week the Ephs secured a 1-0 victory over Middlebury College on a extremely cold and windy day. “They were the fastest team we’ve played so far,” said Williams head coach Lisa Melendy. “We were worried defensively, but we had a composed finish .”

Katie Bolduc ’01 scored the lone goal of the game with 4:35 left in the 15-minute overtime period. She took the ball up the middle of the field, passed the goalie who was on the ground after a failed attempt to grab the ball, and nailed the ball into the low left corner of the goal. For the game Middlebury outshot Williams 15-11, but Brenneman was able to keep things in order securing 11 saves.

One of the recent highlights for the Ephs was their Oct. 17 nail-biting victory over the arch-rival Lord Jeffs. Energy was high from the beginning and did not subside until Meghan Cleary ’00 put one past the goal tender with one minute left in the first overtime.

Williams finally got a goal ten minutes into the second half as Jill Caterer ’00 scored off an assist from Bolduc to put the Ephs up 1-0. Bolduc herself had failed to convert on several close scoring tries throughout the first half. This lead did not last long, however, as Amherst fought back to match the Williams goal a mere two minutes later. Alexa Faigen assisted Annie Bertkau to tie the game at 1-1. On both sides the defense began to dominate and the score remained 1-1 throughout the rest of regulation forcing the teams into sudden death overtime.

As the end of the first overtime period approached and fans began pouring in from all over, Cleary was able to find the net assisted by Cameron Walker ’01 at the 13:54 mark.

The win gave the Ephs the win and their first outright Little Three title since 1993. Brenneman had six saves for the Ephs while Amherst goalie Katherine Connelly had 10 for the Jeffs. Bolduc later described the game as “not the best game we’ve played, but it was a battle and a team effort, and to come out on top was awesome.”

“We have just two more games left on the schedule,” Bolduc said “That’s two games to win, one at a time, for an undefeated season. We’re looking to get things together so that we are at our best as we head into the post season, and obviously, we want to win it all.”