There is an old adage that says records are thrown out the window in rivalry games. Chalk another one up in that category.
Amherst forward Katherine Ryan scored the only goal of the game four minutes into overtime as the Lord Jeffs snapped the Ephs’ eight game winning streak with a 1-0 victory Saturday. The loss drops the Ephs to 10-2 on the season, and 6-2 in the NESCAC.
“We’ve had a lot of success against Amherst in the past, so I think we may have been a bit overconfident,” Williams back Leanne McManama ’03 said. “But they were a little more intense than us today.”
Playing in front of a fired-up crowd, Amherst (6-7, 3-5 in the NESCAC) hung with the Ephs throughout despite being huge underdogs.
“The fact that it was a big rivalry helped them out a lot,” Stef Noering ’03 said.
The Ephs out-cornered Amherst 16-7, but failed to capitalize on several scoring chances. Earlier in the week, Head Coach Alix Rorke had commented that she was happy with how her team was capitalizing in the circle. That was not the case on Saturday, however.
“We had chances down low but didn’t connect,” Noering said. “The muddy ground made it tough to execute.”
In a tight defensive battle, goalie Wendy Stone ’05 continued to impress. She made five saves, and has only allowed eight goals in 12 games this season. However, her play was not quite enough against the Lord Jeffs. Ryan scored the game-winner on an unassisted goal 4:35 into the extra session.
Thursday, the Ephs had reason to smile after trouncing Springfield College 4-0.
“We played great against Springfield,” Rorke said. “Springfield is a very good team and can really drive the ball. Luckily, our defense was on and wouldn’t let anything through.”
With two assists, Tori Scott ’04 became the all-time Williams assist leader. She now has 25 for her career, as she passed Rorke and Maureen Flaherty ’90 who had held the previous record of 23.
With the Ephs up 1-0 in the first half, Scott made a gorgeous feed to Moonjoo Han ’03 inside the circle and the tri-captain beat goalie Lindsey Pardue for a two-goal lead. In the second half, Scott assisted Noering on another goal after a beautiful setup corner shot from Jaye Gregory ’06.
Scott now has 10 assists on the year, one shy of Rorke’s single season mark.
Tara Boyd ’05 opened the scoring for the Ephs late in the first half on an unassisted goal. It was her fifth goal of the season.
Molly Jennings ’04 capped the scoring for Williams off an assist from Becca Kiselewich.
Stone recorded another shutout, making five saves to lead a defense that stymied the Pride all day long. McManama and the rest of the defense barely allowed Springfield to cross midfield throughout most of the game.
“I was very happy with the way everyone played,” Rorke said.
The Ephs now have two games remaining. Today they travel to Skidmore, four days before another Little Three showdown with Wesleyan on Saturday. If the Ephs do not finish first in the NESCAC, their first round playoff game will most likely be held on Sunday.