When the Women’s soccer team took the field on Saturday, they were just looking to notch their seventh win in as many starts and continue their impressive streak. They easily accomplished that with a 8-0 trouncing of NESCAC rival Trinity. However, they did not stop there; they sent a message to the rest of the country, jumping from a number three ranking to number one in the Adidas National Poll, replacing the College of New Jersey.
The Ephs secured the victory behind stellar performance from several players, including sophomore striker Stacey Starner, who notched three goals and an assist to lead the team. It was the Ephs fourth shutout of the season.
The outcome of the game was only in doubt briefly, as Starner netted her three-goal hat trick in the first 25 minutes of the contest, with assists from forward Katie Bolduc ’01and senior midfielder Cameron Walker. Starner’s third goal set her total at six on the season, putting her one ahead of Walker. The sophomore’s effort in the game turned several heads, including her senior teammate and captain, Cameron Walker, who voiced her opinion quite succinctly. “Stacy Starner dropped the bomb, not once, not twice, but three times.” However, sole possession of the top scorer’s spot belonged to Starner for only about twenty-nine seconds. Walker followed Starner’s three consecutive goals with one of her own less than half a minute later with her sixth goal of the year, with Bolduc assisting.
First-year forward Lydia Crafts continued the attack on the helpless Bantams in the 34th minute, scoring the fifth Williams goal of the first half off an assist by her classmate, Claire Samuel ’04.
The Ephs’ offensive onslaught slowed down for the final ten minutes of the first half, but was started up again the first ten minutes of the second half. Bolduc capitalized on an assist from Starner, scoring her third goal of the year. Sophomore midfielder C. C. Ciafone and senior striker Karen
Kelly added insult to injury, scoring goals in the 69th and 88th minutes, respectively, as the Ephs cruised to an 8-0 victory. Co-Captain Katie O’Boyle said of the win, “We were confident about our chances in the game, but we certainly didn’t expect 8-0. We always go into every game expecting tough competition.”
The team’s thrashing of Trinity came on the heels of a victory against Western New England College. On a cold and rainy day, the team defeated WNEC convincingly, 3-0. Abi Jackson ’03 goal tended and provided the Ephs with their third shutout to date.
The team came out of the blocks strong, scoring a goal only two minutes into the first half when Marlene Bonasera ’02 shot the ball by the WNEC goalie. Before the half drew to a close Bolduc and freshman phenom Samuel.
“We came out hard, took control early, and focused well on being disciplined today,” said head coach Lisa Melendy. “A lot of people got to play and stepped up, and the stoppers played exceptionally well, providing an attack from behind.”
The Ephs’ number one ranking in the national poll has many of the players very excited about the team’s prospects this season. “We’re really psyched about the ranking. Hopefully, we can stay there for awhile.” The team will continue its march today against a tough Middlebury team. Kickoff is at 4:15 on Cole Field.