Women’s soccer powers to top of NESCAC

No. 19 women’s soccer (9-2-1, 7-0-1 in the NESCAC) went undefeated in last weekend’s doubleheader home stand, blanking Endicott 2-0 on Sunday and downing Tufts 3-2 on Saturday. The women finished 2-0 the previous weekend, topping Bowdoin 1-0 on Oct. 7 and rival Amherst 3-2 on Oct. 6. On Oct. 2, Williams drew a 0-0 tie with Hamilton.

The women overcame Endicott after scoring two second-half goals, one by co-captain Caitlyn Clark ’13 and one by rookie Abby Morss ’16. Morss was named NESCAC Player of the Week for her efforts.

The game began with possession split evenly between the Ephs and the Gulls, but the women took control as the game progressed. Each team tallied four shots in the first half, but could not capitalize on their respective opportunities.

The Ephs started the second half on the offensive. Alison Magruder ’15 fired a shot from 30 yards out, but the ball ricocheted off the left post, keeping the game scoreless.

The women finally got on the board with 28 minutes left in the game. Magruder was fouled just outside the top of the box, setting up a free kick. Clark rocketed a shot into the back of the net just inside the right post, marking the senior’s first goal on the season and giving the Ephs a 1-0 lead at 61:21.

Williams scored a second and final goal in the 80th minute off a ball from Samantha Vilaboa ’13 to Morss. Vilaboa played a ball ahead of Morss who dribbled into the top left corner of the box then slipped a shot on the ground past Endicott keeper Katie Donnelly. The Ephs held off the Gulls for the remaining 10 minutes of the game, recording a 2-0 non-conference win.

The previous day, the women took on Tufts. The Ephs went down 1-0 early in the game but rebounded with two goals from Morss and a third goal from Magruder to secure the 3-2 win.

Tufts scored first just 13 minutes into the first half: The Jumbos sent a corner kick into the box. Eph keeper Hannah Van Wetter ’15 punched the ball out of immediate danger; however, the Jumbos kept the ball in the box for Allie Weiller to finish in the right corner, giving her team a 1-0 lead.

The Ephs responded with two goals from Morss. The first came when Jumbo netminder Kristin Wright fell on the ball to disrupt play, but quickly lost control. Morss collected the ball and finished in the top left corner of the goal, tying the game at 1-1 at 21:07. Strong midfield play from rookies Morss and Lindsey Vandergrift ’16 helped the Ephs continue the offensive drive.

Morss scored a second goal less than six minutes later. Chloe Kuh ’13 sent a corner into the box to Hana Tomozawa ’15, who took a shot that Wright managed to block. Tomozawa recovered the ball and crossed it to Morss on the right, where she was waiting a few yards outside the box. She sent the ball into the back of the net, tallying her fifth goal of the season. The score gave the women a 2-1 lead at 26:48.

The women recorded the winning goal in the 78th minute when Carla Nicasio ’14 played a through ball to Magruder down the left sideline. Magruder dribbled into the box and placed a shot low and just inside the left post. Tufts persisted, scoring a second goal in the 86th minute, but Williams held onto the 3-2 lead through the closing whistle.

“It was a great weekend for us,” Head Coach Michelyne Pinard said. “Tufts and Endicott are both teams that are capable of beating anyone.  It is great to see Abby Morss get more and more comfortable in her attacking role while having so many other people contribute to our attack as well.  Our backs are doing a phenomenal job of limiting opportunities, and overall, I’m just pleased with how we continue to improve each week.  A lot of hard work goes into that improvement throughout the week, so it’s nice to see the result on the weekend.”

On Oct. 7, the women downed Bowdoin 1-0 on the road. The winning goal came in the 15th minute when Nicasio played a ball to Bridget Gallagher ’13, who was waiting on the right side of the box. Gallagher sent the ball into the back of the net at far post, recording her first goal of the season.

Williams defeated its conference archrival Amherst 3-2 on the road on Oct. 6 after Morss scored the winning goal with 49 seconds remaining in regulation.

The Ephs and Jeffs were tied 2-2 with less than a minute remaining; it looked as if the game would go into overtime until the women’s persistence paid off. Louisa Costa ’15 played a ball into the box off a throw-in when Vilaboa battled with an Amherst defender to keep the ball in the box. Vilaboa got a pass off to Morss, who slotted the ball past the Jeffs’ keeper and into the bottom left corner of the net. The women outshot the Jeffs 15-12 en route to the 3-2 victory.

The women drew Hamilton in a scoreless away match on Oct. 2.

The women will next take on Colby on the road at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.