Ephs end NCAA run in quarters

No. 18 women’s soccer (13-5-3) overcame No. 6 Emory with a 1-0 victory in the Div. III NCAA Sweet 16 match on Nov. 19 before falling 4-0 to William Smith in the tournament quarterfinals on Nov. 20. The loss against William Smith ended the women’s tournament run.

Tri-captain Nicole Stenquist ’12 was named to the Second Team All-NESCAC for her performance in her senior season.
Tri-captain Nicole Stenquist ’12 was named to the Second Team All-NESCAC for her performance in her senior season. Photo by Sports Information.

Tri-captains Brett Eisenhart ’12 and Sachi Siegelman ’12 did not start in the women’s quarterfinal game on Nov. 20 due to injuries, putting the women at a significant disadvantage from the first whistle. William Smith took an early lead in the match. The Ephs gave away the ball in the midfield in the 14th minute, and Heron Whitney Frary played a through ball to forward Dineo Mmutla at the top of the box. Mmulta slipped the ball inside the near post behind keeper Laura Wann ’13 to put the Herons on top 1-0.

Less than three minutes later, Wann punched a ball off a corner kick, but it found Mmulta at the top of the box, and Mmulta sent the ball over Wann’s head and into the net, notching her second goal of the game and giving William Smith a 2-0 advantage.

The Herons scored twice more late in the second half to solidify a 4-0 victory and eliminate the Ephs from the tournament. William Smith dominated the game, outshooting Williams 14-4 and holding a 5-2 advantage in corner kicks. Wann finished with five saves, while Heron keeper Amanda Davis tallied two saves in the game.

Eisenhart was proud the team battled until the final whistle. “Every second of every game, we played for each other­ – those on the field and those who were stuck watching from the bench. I know we left everything that was left inside of us on that field,” she said.

On Nov. 19, the women defeated a formidable opponent in undefeated Emory in the Sweet 16. The Ephs battled with the Eagles for 90 minutes, but neither team found the back of the net during regulation, sending the contest into two 10-minute sudden death overtime periods. The Ephs did not record a shot on goal in the first overtime but produced back-to-back corner kicks in the second period. Almost seven minutes into the second overtime period, Hayley Cook ’14 sent a low, driven ball off a corner to Eisenhart on the six-yard box at the far post. Eisenhart headed the ball, which ricocheted off a defender and slipped past Eagle keeper Kaele Leonard, sending the Ephs to the quarterfinals with a 1-0 win.

Head Coach Michelyne Pinard was impressed by her team’s perseverance and performance this season. “I am thrilled with how far we got in the tournament given how young we are and how many injuries we had,” she said. “It’s clear that this team is capable of dealing with any obstacle thrown at them and coming out a stronger and more resilient team.”

The quarterfinal loss marked the final game for Eisenhart, Siegelman and tri-captain Nicole Stenquist ’12. Eisenhart and Siegelman garnered First Team All-NESCAC honors, and Stenquist was named Second Team All-NESCAC. The trio has earned three NESCAC titles and four Div. III NCAA tournament appearances in its tenure.

“We will miss the seniors a great deal – their work rate, commitment and overall positive energy,” Pinard said.