Women’s soccer rides shutout to semifinals

Women’s soccer (11-3-1, 8-1-1 in the NESCAC) overcame Conn. College 3-0 at home on Saturday in the NESCAC quarterfinals after falling 3-1 to Middlebury last Wednesday in its final regular season game. The Ephs entered the NESCAC playoffs seeded second behind the Panthers.

The women earned Saturday’s quarterfinal win win after scoring three first-half goals. The first goal came after Chloe Kuh ’13 served the ball into the box. The Camel defense tried to clear the ball out, but Kristine Nakada ’13 kept the ball in the Ephs’ attacking third. Caitlyn Clark ’13 fired a shot on frame but the Camel keeper could not hold onto the ball. Hana Tomozawa ’15 got the ball and placed it in the back of the net, giving the Ephs an early 1-0 lead at 4:37.

The women went on the board again less than a minute later when a shot from rookie Mai Mitsuyama ’16 rebounded off the crossbar to Clark, who one-touched the ball past Signore to put the Ephs up 2-0 at 5:29.

The Ephs’ third and final goal came in the 21st minute. Kuh collected a rebound and chipped the ball high into the back of the net to solidify the Ephs’ 3-0 victory.

The women outshot the Camels 15 to 13. Hannah Van Wetter ’15 recorded three saves in the first half; Laura Wann ’14 and Carolina Echenique ’15 posted one save each in the second half.

“The Conn. [College] game was a great team win with everyone who was healthy playing a big part in getting that result,” Head Coach Michelyne Pinard said.

In their final regular season game of the season, the women fell to Middlebury 3-1.

The Panthers scored first just 14 minutes into the game. Julia Favorito rocketed a shot above Wann’s head to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

The two teams battled back and forth for the remainder of the first half, but neither found the back of the net.

The Ephs started the second half on the attack. Carla Nicasio ’14 fired a shot over the Panther keeper’s head and into the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1. The goal marked Nicasio’s fourth of the season.

Although the Ephs increased the tempo following Nicasio’s goal, the Panthers still found success in the attacking third. Their second goal came when Wann came off her line to try to shut down a breakaway, but Scarlett Kirk slipped a shot into the lower left corner of the net.

The Panthers went on the board again in the 70th minute. Kirk dropped a shot over Wann’s head to seal the Panthers’ 3-1 victory and finish first in the NESCAC. Williams took second in the conference.

“[Middlebury] played very well against us on Wednesday,” Pinard said. “It was a humbling loss, but it pointed out a few things we could improve upon, and I think we have made strides on that front.”

The women will host the semifinal and final rounds of the NESCAC playoffs this weekend due to Middlebury’s loss to Wesleyan last weekend, which knocked the Panthers out of the NESCAC tournament. Williams will play Wesleyan on Saturday at 11 a.m. for a spot in the conference final match, which will be held on Sunday.