No. 3 ranked women’s soccer defeats strong Jeff squad

Ephs midfielder Nicole Stenquist ’12 winds up to play a long ball on Saturday against the Jeffs.
Ephs midfielder Nicole Stenquist ’12 winds up to play a long ball on Saturday against the Jeffs.

Women’s soccer (8-0, 4-0 in the NESCAC) continued its dominant season with a decisive 3-0 victory over Amherst last Saturday. The Ephs’ victory over the Jeffs (5-2, 3-1) brings the all-time series between the schools to 14-13-8 in favor of Williams.

Williams faced the same initial difficulty starting up its offense as on Sept. 26, when the team struggled to score in the first half against Colby. The usually dominant Ephs only managed six shots the entire first half, but at the 30-minute mark Annelise  Snyder ’11 scored off of a pass from Annie Neil ’11 to put Williams up 1-0.

Amherst also had only six shots on goal in the first half, but one of those six slipped past keeper Lauren Sinnenberg ’10 and glanced off of the post. Fortunately for the Ephs, the ball did not find its way into the net, and Williams stepped up its defense to avoid any more close calls throughout the rest of the game.

Williams came out much stronger in the second half ready to solidify their 1-0 halftime lead. Tyler Rainer ’11 scored just five minutes into the second half – her first goal of the season – off of a pass from Bridget Gallagher ’13. A long, scoreless half passed by before Snyder scored again with only a few minutes remaining in the game. Caitlyn Clark ’13 assisted the goal.

Being on the road definitely affected the team in their game against Colby, but according to tri-captain Kara Duggan ’11 it “wasn’t really a factor this weekend. Sara Wild [’11] ripped some sweet shots from the outside early on that helped us get momentum offensively,” she said. “We also had a great fan turnout which added fuel to our fire.”

While Williams came out with the win, Amherst was statistically the most competitive team the women have faced this season. Amherst only had 11 shots on the books, but managed to hold Williams to a mere 19 shots on goal. While the eight-shot advantage over Amherst is impressive, Williams usually demolishes its competition, outshooting opponents a total of 220 to 61 this season. That the Ephs were still able to win 3-0 is a testament to the team’s finishing ability.

The Ephs have only allowed one goal this season and have won every game by at least three goals. The team also claimed the Little Three title after last weekend’s win, as it defeated Wesleyan 5-0 in its season opener.

Although the Ephs’ success this weekend is impressive, Head Coach Michelyne Pinard and the rest of her team are still focusing on moving forward. “The Amherst game is a big game every year,” said Pinard. “We beat a great team, but nobody thinks that means our job is done. We still have plenty of things to refine and work on. This team has its sights set on playing great soccer in November.”

“We need to make sure that we don’t get complacent,” Duggan said. “Soccer is a great game in that any team can win on any given day, regardless of talent, so it’s important to work hard to make sure nothing is left to chance.”
Specific preparations for the Amherst game were definitely effective for this past weekend, and Duggan believes that the team needs to continue training aggressively in order to win. “We have a lot of tough games coming up, so we definitely can’t take a break,” she said. “NESCAC games are very competitive . . . This weekend’s double header [against Trinity and Bates] should be a real test for us.”

Williams will face off against Bates at 10 a.m. on Saturday, followed by a 12 p.m. game against Trinity on Sunday. Both games will be played at home. “[We want to] put together two strong, back-to-back games of soccer [this weekend],” she said.

One comment

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