Women’s soccer still unbeaten

With dominant victories this week over Springfield and Bates, the Women’s Soccer team moved to 8-0 for the season, a record that made its way onto many team members’ arms Saturday night.

Williams beat Bates 3-0 Saturday in a game that was anticipated to be a battle, but turned out to be a show of dominance. Nonetheless, it was a huge win for the Ephs, who all said that their effort and crispness are improving every game. This prospect does not bode well for opposing teams judging by Williams’ performances this week.

Two goals in around the first 20 minutes set the tone for the game. CC Ciafone ’02 scored on a hard shot from 22 yards out with five minutes gone by for the first goal, her fourth of the year, and Jill Caterer ’00 added another in the first half for her seventh goal of the year. These goals might have taken the wind out of the Bates attack, but Williams was not about to concede that.

Captain Meghan Cleary ’00 commented that “even though we were winning 3-0 at the half, we were all still aware that they were capable of coming back. We knew they would turn it up in the second half, and we could not let up or they would be back in the game.” This attitude speaks to the maturity of this upperclass-laden squad, and is an indicator of determined mid-season focus.

A third goal in the second half by Marlene Bonasera ’02, her first of the year, allowed the team to breathe a little easier in the face of an unrelenting Bates attack.

The defense put in another solid day of work. Every pass or shot was contested and the Bates forwards never got loose for a wholly open look at the goal. Rebecca Brooks ’00 was unblemished in goal for the seventh of eight games in goal, and contributed to an astounding 0.13 goals-against average.

The defensive unit, consisting of Captain Ann Brophy ’00, Meghan Cavanaugh ’00, Katie O’Boyle ’01, Kristen Sullivan ’01 and Trisha Barbosa ’02, played another excellent game. The group plays off each other skillfully, and, in combination with midfielders dropping back, makes life for opposing offenses frustrating until the final horn sounds.

On Thursday, the team traveled to Springfield to play a team that it admittedly came out flat against last year. This was not the case again, however, as it commanded the game from start to finish and came out with a 5-0 victory. The game started out at a furious pace, as Katie Bolduc ’01 and Jill Caterer ’00 scored in the first ten minutes. Bolduc’s goal was her first of the year, and came off an assist from first-year Stacy Starner. Minutes later, Cleary and Bolduc combined to set up Caterer for the second score.

The offensive ball movement was very precise and quick throughout, leading to three more goals in the second half by Cameron Walker ’01, Karen Kelly ’01 and Kathleen Smith ’03. For first-years Smith and Kelly, these were their first goals of the season, and for Walker it was her second.

Coach Lisa Melendy commented on the team’s play. “I felt this week that the team did a good job of creating and capitalizing on their scoring opportunities. We have been working on moving the ball quickly on attack, and I believe the team is starting to realize the effectiveness of that style of play.”

The balanced scoring attack is a facet of the offense worth illumination as well. The scoring in both games was very spread out, and the team is winning as a unit. The Springfield game was prime evidence of this, as many players contributed to the win.

After another week of spectacular play, the team is poised and ready for the week ahead, starting with Union at home today at 4:15 and culminating with Amherst at home Saturday.

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