Ephs slam two straight shut outs

No. 10 women’s soccer (6-1-1, 3-0-1 in the NESCAC) crushed NESCAC rival Hamilton 4-0 at home yesterday. The shutout came after the women defeated Springfield 2-0 at home last Thursday in a lightning-delayed game. 

Alison Magruder ’15
Alison Magruder ’15 scored her first career goal in the women’s 2-0 shutout over Springfield on Thursday. Photo by Emily Calkins.

The women established their dominance over Hamilton early in the game, as Hayley Cook ’14 beat the Hamilton defense and scored an unassisted goal in the seventh minute. The Ephs continued their offensive barrage just five minutes later: Caitlyn Clark ’13 played the ball over the Hamilton defense to tri-captain Brett Eisenhart ’12, who chipped the ball over the Continental keeper to put the Ephs up 2-0.

Eisenhart scored her second goal of the game and her team-leading seventh goal of the season in the 16th minute off a pass from Clark. Clark passed the ball from the right side of the field to Eisenhart, who was waiting just out of the six-yard box. Eisenhart fired the ball into the lower right corner of the net to solidify the Ephs’ lead at 3-0.

Hamilton had a scoring opportunity in the 56th minute, as the Continentals had a shot at an open goal. Carla Nicasio ’14 moved in to protect the goal, however, and kept the women’s shutout alive.

Sarah Brink ’15, entering the game off the bench, scored her first goal of the season in the 87th minute. Louisa Costa ’15 corralled a loose ball, and passed it to Brink, who drove the ball past the drawn-out goalkeeper. The rookie’s goal gave the women a 4-0 advantage.

Hannah Van Wetter ’15 played all 90 minutes and made three saves, and the Ephs outshot the Continentals 17 to 11.

In Thursday’s match against Springfield, the teams were forced to play in the heavy rain. The Pride’s kickball style of attacking was not conducive to the field conditions, and the long balls hit down field outpaced the Pride forwards on the wet surface, leading to multiple turnovers. The Ephs, however, were able to attack effectively. In the 14th minute of play, Eisenhart slipped behind the opposing defense, but Pride keeper Erin Greenstein met her shot, denying the women a score.

Both teams had their share of scoring opportunities in the first half but neither could convert. The half ended scoreless with 2:08 on the clock due to a lightning delay, and the teams went into an hour and fifteen minute halftime. The two remaining minutes were added to the second half game clock.

The Ephs came out for the second half looking refreshed: Just three minutes into play outside-back Kristine Nakada ’13 dribbled the ball down the left flank to the top of the six-yard box. Nakada crossed the ball to Eisenhart, who made a run into the box. Eisenhart then challenged the Pride’s keeper for the ball and won out, knocking in the first goal of the match to give the Ephs a 1-0 lead at 47:37.

The Ephs continued to dominate on offense as the second half wore on. With just over 23 minutes to play, midfielder Clark played a ball to Eisenhart at the top right of the 18-yard box. Eisenhart crossed the ball to rookie forward Alison Magruder ’15, who volleyed the ball towards the far post and into the back of the net. The rookie’s first career goal gave the Ephs a 2-0 lead.

Tri-captain Sachi Siegelman ’12 was pleased with how the women responded in the second half, “The turf was still wet, the ball still took bad skips, and to make matters worse, we were coming off of an extra long break because of the lightning,” she said. “But we knew we had to ignore it all and just compete. We took advantage of the fact that Springfield wasn’t mentally ready to play and attacked.”

Head Coach Michelyne Pinard emphasized the importance of the women’s intensity in the second half. “The team realized that we needed to get on the board early because we didn’t know how the weather was going to evolve,” Pinard said. “That brought some really productive intensity to the beginning of the second half that helped us get behind a very organized Springfield team.”

The Ephs held onto their 2-0 shutout in the final minutes of the game to notch another victory.

The women will host Amherst on Saturday at 12 p.m. and Trinity on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.