With less than three minutes to go in Saturday’s game against Trinity, the goal finally came.
Co-captain Meghan Cleary ’00 netted the game-winner to defeat the Bantams 1-0 and push the women’s soccer team to a 6-0 record. The score was Cleary’s first of the season, and it could not have been more timely.
Williams again outshot its opponent by a large margin, while the defense pitched its fifth shutout in six games. Coach Lisa Melendy called the defensive effort the best of the season. Trinity got one corner kick and only five shots, as Williams’ defense continued to dominate as it has all season.
The Ephs tirelessly attacked the Trinity goal with 22 shots for the game. The constant frenzy of offensive pressure is due to the confidence the team has in the defense to keep Williams in the game. The game featured numerous chances in both halves for Williams, which were created by good passing and speed advantages on both sides of the field, but they all failed to produce a score.
However, the team stuck to its game plan and kept attacking the goal with fury. Katie Bolduc ’01 commented that “the great defensive pressure really allowed us to be aggressive on offense.” The game winner was typical of the kind of chances that presented themselves as Williams simply took the ball away in the midfield area and sent it towards the box. Cleary took the shot off a loose ball in front and finally put it past the Trinity goalie. The senior midfielder described the goal as “the product of hard work and consistent pressure throughout the game.”
The Trinity team was clearly gunning for Williams from the start. Coming off a defeat of Bates last week, the upstart Bantams saw an opportunity for an upset. Again, the Ephwomen met this challenge and countered with matching intensity. The depth was highlighted again on Saturday with contributions from many different players.
Melendy commented, “I think we continued to improve both offensively and defensively. This was our best defensive effort, probably due to the fact that this is the most challenging game we have had. We need to continue to take care of our scoring chances in order to increase our goal production. Rebecca Brooks, although she was called upon to make few saves, had a strong performance in the Trinity game.”
Last Tuesday, the team took on Western New England and came out the victor by a score of 4-0.
This game followed the pattern of many so far this year in that Williams dominated on both ends, outshot its opponent by a grand margin and stymied any run by the opposing offense. Rebecca Brooks ‘00 had two saves in goal, and the defense gave up only three shots.
CC Ciafone ’02 opened up the scoring in the 20th minute with a volley past the busy Western New England goalie. The second half brought a trio of goals by Cameron Walker ’01, Jill Caterer ’00 and Stacy Starner ’03. For newly minted NESCAC Player of the Week Caterer, this was her fifth goal of the year. It was the fifth as well for Starner.
All of the wins so far this year have been team wins, and it is clear from watching that everyone has confidence in both the abilities and dedication of their teammates. Saturday’s win was a clear test for Williams, and it responded with heart and determination to remain undefeated for the season. The team puts this record on the line Thursday when it travels to Springfield College.