Women’s soccer falls from grace, loses to Bobcats and Panthers

After a week of disappointment, the Williams women’s soccer team reversed their fortunes and ended the week on a positive note. The Ephs suffered tough losses to Middlebury on Tuesday and to Bates on Saturday, their first losses of the season, but managed to close out the week with a victory over Colby on Sunday.

Having beaten Colby by a score of 1-0, the Ephs record currently stands at 8-2.

Both teams played an intense game, and it stayed close the whole way. The only goal of the game was scored with less than ten minutes left, when Marlene Bonasera ’02 converted the game-winning goal off of assists by Stacey Starner ’03 and Maggie Lee ’04.

Although both the play and the final score were extremely close, Williams dominated the statistical categories. The Ephs managed 22 shots on goal, compared to 10 for Colby, and the Ephs also consistently kept the ball deep in Colby’s end of the field.

The day before, the Ephs lost to another Maine team, the Bates Bobcats, by the score of 2-1. The loss was due primarily to Williams’ slow start, a problem they have faced time and again this season. Bates controlled the tempo of the match throughout the first half, dominating the middle of the field and attempting more shots on goal than the Ephs.

Bates scored the first goal of the game late in the first half, taking a 1-0 lead into the locker room at the break.

Williams played better in the second half, both more aggressively and with more confidence. Stacey Starner ’03 tied the game for the Ephs when she kicked a Bonasera pass into the back of the net. The game only remained knotted for a very short time, though, as Bates came back to score the final and winning goal less than four minutes later. Despite a valiant effort in the second half, resulting in Williams ending with 18 shots on goal to Bates’ 10, it was not quite enough to overcome the slow start.

Williams entered this week undefeated and ranked number one among Division III soccer teams in the country, the first time the Ephs had accomplished that feat. Coming on the heels of last season’s Final Four trip, high expectations swirled around the Ephs as they traveled to face Middlebury. Unfortunately, the Ephs did not remain undefeated for long, as they lost to a tough twenty-fifth ranked Middlebury team 2-1 on Tuesday.

Middlebury came out pumped up and aggressive, and the Ephs managed to keep pace throughout a fast-paced and scoreless first half.

In the second half, Williams managed to strike first, with senior co-captain Cameron Walker scoring past the ill-positioned Middlebury goalie, who had moved out of the goal area. Colleen Doody ’03 chipped in with an assist on the goal. Middlebury responded with a game-tying goal less than a minute later. Both teams played with amazing intensity for the rest of the game. With less than ten minutes remaining, Middlebury managed to score the game-winning goal; the Ephs, despite a concerted attack, were unable to respond before time ran out.

The Ephs were disappointed to suffer their first two losses this week, but were able to rebound nicely against the White Mules.

On Wednsday, Williams faces MCLA in at Cole Field at 4:15 p.m., and on Saturday they have an important away game with arch-rival Amherst