Ephs drop Cardinals 2-0, draw Polar Bears 1-1

No. 11 women’s soccer (4-1-1, 2-0-1 in the NESCAC) tied Bowdoin 1-1 in double overtime at home Sunday after notching a 2-0 win on the road against Wesleyan on Saturday.

Against Bowdoin on Sunday, the women were especially challenged in the first half. The Polar Bears capitalized on a corner kick in the 17th minute to open scoring in the game.

Tri-captain Nicole Stenquist ’12
Tri-captain Nicole Stenquist ’12 beleaguered the Polar Bears’ defense with four shots on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Sports Information.

Bowdoin’s Caroline Logan struck the ball into the middle of the box, where Polar Bear Emily Gould got her head on the ball. The ball then found Bowdoin’s Molly Popolizio, who headed the ball past Williams keeper Laura Wann ’13 and into the net. The header put Bowdoin up 1-0. Popolizio nearly scored again just a few minutes later with another header, but Wann tipped the ball, which deflected off the crossbar and away from the net.

Although the Polar Bears scored first, the Ephs outshot them five to three in the first half.  Rookie Alison Magruder ’15 created several scoring opportunities in the opening half, but Bowdoin keeper Louise Johnson stifled the women’s offense with two saves. The women ended the half in a 1-0 deficit.

The Ephs came out firing in the second half after making some key adjustments during the break. “A major adjustment that we made was to work off the ball,” Head Coach Michelyne Pinard said, “so everybody was working incredibly hard when they were on the ball. We gave each other better options in the second half, played a little more quickly and started to battle a little bit more. Those three things made all the difference.”

The women finally got on the board in the 50th minute. Hayley Cook ’14 played a ball to Louisa Costa ’15, and Costa sent a through ball to tri-captain Brett Eisenhart ’12, who made a run into the box. Eisenhart then slotted the ball past Bowdoin’s keeper and into the goal, tying the match at 1-1.

Following the Ephs’ goal, tri-captain Nicole Stenquist ’12 threatened with a shot from inside the box that the hit the near post. Her attempt was one of 14 shots for the Ephs in the second half.

The women created another quality scoring opportunity off a free kick from about 40 yards out by tri-captain Sachi Siegelman ’12. Siegelman sent the ball just over the keeper to a waiting Eisenhart who volleyed the ball over the crossbar. Time expired with the score still tied at 1-1, resulting in two 10-minute sudden-death overtime periods.

Both teams created quality scoring opportunities in the first overtime, but neither side could convert, throwing the game to a second overtime period.

Both teams were hoping to steal the win in the final 10 minutes of play, but time expired before either side could score. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Despite the draw, the women learned some valuable lessons from the game. “This game was exactly the wake-up call that we needed,” Siegelman said. “We came into this game off of some really awesome games, so we thought, ‘This is Bowdoin, we’re going to walk all over them.’ That’s not what happened. They came out to play. They battled in the first half, and we weren’t mentally prepared for that.”

The women found more success on Saturday in Middletown, Conn., against Little Three rival Wesleyan. The women played with fire from the opening whistle and scored a goal in both halves.

In the first 45 minutes, Cardinal Kerry Doyle threatened to score, ripping off two shots. Fortunately for the Ephs, one shot hit the post and another sailed high over the crossbar.

With three minutes remaining in the half, Siegelman found the back of the net off a set piece.  Siegelman took the kick from 35 yards out and sent the ball reeling into the top right corner of the goal in the 41st minute. The score put the women up 1-0. It was Siegelman’s second goal of the season. The Ephs stifled the Cardinals’ offense for the remaining minutes of the half, heading to halftime with a one-goal lead.

The women returned from the break strong. Two minutes into the second half, Caitlyn Clark ’13 scored on a shot that dipped below the crossbar off an assist from Stenquist. Clark’s shot made the score 2-0 in the Ephs’ favor.

Despite their two-goal lead, the Ephs continued to pound the Cardinals on offense, as Cook and Magruder attempted three shots each in the second half.

Keeper Hannah Van Wetter ’15 shut the Cardinals out in the first half, recording one save. Wann solidified the shutout with three saves in the second half.

The women will host Springfield on Thursday at 4:15 p.m. The team will then play Hamilton at home on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m.