Undefeated women #2 for NCAA

The Williams women’s soccer team secured the number two seed in the NCAA Division III tournament after finishing an undefeated dream season with two shutouts over Connecticut College and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). The Ephs are one of three teams representing NESCAC in the Metro Region of the NCAA tournament which will be hosted by William Patterson University. The Ephs are scheduled to rematch arch-rival and third-seeded Amherst, who they defeated earlier in the season 2-1, Saturday in Wayne, NJ. Game time has yet to be determined.

Williams is making its fifth NCAA appearance since NESCAC approved team participation in NCAA championships and have a 1-4-2 mark in tournament play. With a 12-0-2 mark this season the Ephs have posted two regular seasons in the past three years without a loss. The Ephs won their final three games of the 1997 season in the ECAC-New England tournament and have now gone 17 games without a loss (15 wins, two ties.)

The Ephs feature an impressive defense that has allowed only four goals all season and no more than one in any contest. Offensively, the Ephs have netted 28 goals of their own. Forward Jill Caterer ’00 leads the Ephs in scoring with seven goals and five assists and goalie Laura Brenneman ’99 has a glittering .311 goals against average.

In their final regular season game, the Ephs defeated Connecticut College, ranked fifth in the metro region, 1-0 this Saturday. Connecticut was the leading scoring team in NESCAC, while Williams was the team that had let up the least number of goals against them, so it was a highly-anticipated game.

Williams head coach Lisa Melendy felt that her team “locked them in well in the first half. Laura Brenneman had a couple of great saves in goal, and I felt we played very well defensively, especially Nikki Strauss and Courtney Stokes in the backfield shutting down their leading scorers.” The first half was scoreless, and the only goal of the game came from Caterer with an assist from Christina Ciafone ’02.

In goal, Brenneman had four saves for the Ephs and Amanda Daltzley of the Camels had six saves. Williams had eighteen shots and Conn. had eight.

Earlier in the week, the Ephs shut out yet another opponent as they defeated MCLA of North Adams 4-0. Williams scored three of its four goals in the first half. Williams head coach Lisa Melendy noted that the teams “were dead even in the second half. Cross-town rivalries are always scary. But our backfield played well together and we had some players coming off injury who played for the first time in a while today.” Coach Melendy also remarked that the seniors were excited, as it was their last home game while playing for the Ephs.

Katie Walsh ’99 nailed the first shot, with just under 26 minutes left in the first half. She knocked it in after Jenny Powers ’99 shot a corner kick to Katie O’Boyle ’01, who drilled it into the mass of players in front of the goal. Bolduc shot it into the top rail of the goal, and Walsh proceeded to knock it in. Bolduc received credit for the assist.

Just under four minutes later, Powers scored on an assist from Walsh. Then, with 15:11 left in the half, Cameron Walker ’01 scored on a soft lob over the Mass. College goalie who was on the ground. Elise Estes ’00 had the assist.

The second half was scoreless until just over five minutes from the end of the game. Estes headed the ball into the net on an assist from Caitlin Ritchie ’00. The Ephs outshot the Mohawks 21-6. In the first half, Brenneman had two saves for Williams. Rebecca Brooks ’00, who took her place in goal for the second half, had four saves.

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