Women’s soccer (8-3-2, 4-2-2 in the NESCAC) battled to a tie against Tufts on Saturday. The Ephs and the Jumbos fought through the entire 90-minute regulation period and two overtimes before ending the game 0-0.
Both teams got off to a strong start, with Williams getting six shots on goal in the first half, including a near-goal by Annelise Snyder ’11 in the 32nd minute. Brett Eisenhart ’12 also had a close shot later in the half, heading a ball wide of the net. The Ephs, however, were unable to finish and convert their chances. Goalkeeper Laura Wann ’14 played the entire first half for the Ephs, but the defense shut down the Jumbos so effectively that Wann was not called to make a single save.
The women maintained their offense in the second half, putting another seven shots on net to outshoot Tufts 13-5 by the end of regulation. Julia Schreiber ’11 came in to replace Wann in the second half and made two saves to preserve the shutout in the second 45 minutes. An equally impressive performance from Jumbo netminder Kristen Wright and her defense forced the game into overtime.
Two 10-minute overtimes yielded three more Williams shots, but the women fell just short of victory. Another scoreless 20 minutes left the NESCAC competition tied 0-0.
“We played incredibly well against Tufts,” Head Coach Michelyne Pinard said, especially crediting the team’s defense for the weekend’s shutout. “We have worked on solidifying our back four [recently], and they did a really great job against a very good and very fast Tufts team.”
Tri-captain Kara Duggan ’11 agreed with her coach’s assessment. “Our team really tested Tufts, playing many dangerous balls and moving the ball well all over the field,” she said. “It’s unfortunate that we did not get the result we wanted, but we did a lot of great things as a team.”
Williams will next host Middlebury on Friday at 2 p.m. The game, the women’s last of the regular season, will decide where in the NESCAC the team will end its run, as the Ephs are currently tied with the Panthers for third place in the NESCAC.
“Middlebury had always played us very well,” Duggan said. “We need to keep executing all over the field and really focus on putting away our opportunities. Just like any other NESCAC game, it is really important for us to win, and [winning would] give us a higher rank going into playoffs. We are looking to do whatever it takes to win a NESCAC Championship.”
Pinard agreed with Duggan’s mindset heading into the postseason. “Our goal is to win the NESCAC tournament, and we can do that if we are in first place or in fourth place,” Pinard said. Her focus – and the team’s – is already on the postseason run. “We can’t wait to play some of the teams we didn’t beat and take care of during the regular season again in the tournament.”