Coming off the road last weekend with two hard-fought conference wins, women’s soccer (11-0, 7-0 in the NESCAC) is looking to break free from a mid-season offensive slump. The still undefeated team managed 1-0 shutouts over opponents Tufts and Colby, but nonetheless did not play to its full potential in either contest.
“We have been experiencing a bit of a mid-season lull, which is not that atypical during midterm time,” said Head Coach Michelyne Pinard. Despite this supposed lull, the Ephs were able to maintain their perfect season, rounding out the weekend with their 11th straight win.
In Sunday’s battle against Colby, Williams dominated the field but was unable to convert almost all of its scoring attempts. Although they out-shot the Mules 24 to 7, the Ephs’ only goal came in the eighth minute from Brianna Wolfson ’10 off an assist from Tyler Rainer ’11.
“Colby was a battle,” said co-captain Caitlin Colesanti ’09 of Sunday’s match. “After coming off of Tufts and traveling to Maine, we were ready to get a win. The wind was definitely a factor and we controlled most of the game, unfortunately we just could not put the ball in the back of the net more.”
Saturday’s match against Tufts was equally frustrating and dangerously close, with the Jumbos outshooting the Ephs 13-6. Sara Wild ’11 was the team’s saving grace, scoring the Ephs’ only goal in the 37th minute with a shot to the upper-right corner.
“Tufts was a gritty win,” Colesanti said. “Sara Wild did an amazing job in the midfield which led to our goal. We didn’t play particularly well, but we pumped it out in the end. Tufts definitely played their best game of the season and it showed. We just didn’t have our best game of the season.”
Despite an exhausting weekend, players and coaches alike seem to be pleased with the overall result. “Winning back-to-back on the road really shows that we are developing as a team,” said Colesanti, reflecting on the weekend’s challenges.
Pinard echoed these thoughts. “I am proud of this team in that they keep working and battling even if the soccer isn’t pretty,” she said. “That is why we have been able to pull out these victories. This is one of the toughest teams I have ever coached; they refuse to give up.”
A week earlier, on Saturday Oct. 11, Williams defeated conference opponent Wesleyan in a 3-0 shutout. Williams dominated the field, taking a total of 27 shots to Wesleyan’s six. Wild put the team on the scoreboard in the 11th minute off an assist by Brett Eisenhart ’12, and co-captain Clare Gallagher ’09 scored off an assist by Wild in the 19th minute. The Ephs maintained their 2-0 lead through the half, with Rainer scoring two minutes before the final whistle to clinch a 3-0 shutout.
“Wesleyan was a well-fought game,” said Colesanti. “We were happy to get the result of 3-0, especially against a Little Three rival.”
The team will face non-conference opponent Keene State today at 3:30 on Cole Field.
“We are focused on putting this past weekend behind us, and getting back to playing dynamic attacking soccer again,” said Pinard.