Women’s soccer blanks Vassar, Plymouth St.

Coming off a strong 1998 campaign that saw a dramatic victory over Amherst in the first round of the NCAA tournament followed by a heart-wrenching loss to Connecticut College in the second round, the Williams women’s soccer team appears ready to match last fall’s brilliant 12-1-3 record. The Ephs started off the 1999 season last week in strong fashion, defeating Vassar 2-0 and Plymouth State 3-0 on the road.

In their season opener, the Ephs shut out Vassar 2-0. In the 41st minute mark of the first half, First-year Stacy Starner scored the first Eph goal of the 1999 season, assisted by 1998 second-team NSCAA All-Metro member Katie Bolduc ’01.

Fifty-seven minutes into the game, the Ephs put another ball past Vassar goalie Lauren Kelly. Jill Caterer ’00 (third-team NSCAA All-Metro selection from 1998) scored the second Williams goal, assisted by co-captain Meghan Cleary and Bolduc. Senior goalie Rebecca Brooks was strong in the net, stymieing Vassar while making five saves.

On Saturday afternoon, the Ephs traveled to Plymouth State, looking to start the season with two consecutive victories. The first forty-five minutes of the game saw even play from both sides. Eph senior Becky Kummer contributed the only goal of the half, scoring 14 minutes into the game to give Williams a 1-0 lead.

With 15 minutes left in the second half, first-year sensation Starner sealed the win for Williams, exploding for two goals in three minutes. Starner’s first goal came on a low, driven shot that caught Plymouth State’s goalie flat-footed. Just three minutes later, Starner took off on a breakaway and tallied her third score of the season.

Though the Ephs were victorious in their first match against Vassar, the team looked significantly improved in the Plymouth victory. Saturday, Brooks only needed to make one save in the net, a testament to the tough Williams defense. The game also saw the Ephs able to turn what seemed an evenly match game in the first half turn into a Purple-rout, displaying the growth and intangibles that are necessary if the team looks to match its 12-1-3 record from the previous season.

The Ephs start this season being one of the favorites in the NSACC Metro

Region, returning five starters and a strong supporting cast to revenge their premature elimination from the tournament at the hands of Conn College. Brooks replaces second team All-American Laura Brenneman in goal.

On defense the Ephs field a strong returning cast, including second team All-Metro Katie O’Boyle ’01 and co-captain Ann Brophy ’00. Co-captain Cleary, who was selected first-team All-Metro and second-team All-NESCAC in last fall, leads the Williams midfield. Caterer, Bolduc and Starner give the Ephs a trio of lethal strikers up front.

The Ephs look to continue their winning ways this coming week facing familiar foes. Smith comes into town on Wednesday, September 22, and the Ephs travel to Middletown, CT to take on Little Three rival Wesleyan on Saturday, September 25.