Ephs end strong season at Nationals

No. 9 women’s soccer (13-4-2, 8-1-1 in the NESCAC) fell 1-0 to Wheaton in the second round of the Div. III NCAA tournament after shutting out Farmingdale State 2-0 on Saturday in the first round. The loss ended both the Ephs’ tournament run and their season.

On Sunday, the women lost to Wheaton in a 1-0 battle. Both teams attacked aggressively from the opening whistle, with Wheaton finding success in the 27th minute. Lauren Corigliano played a ball through from the midfield to Cassey Muse up top, who sent the ball past netminder Hannah Van Wetter ’15 for her 10th goal of the season. The score gave the Lyons a 1-0 lead early in the first.

Following the goal, both teams played a more defensive game. Alison Magruder ’15 was the only Eph to shoot on goal for the rest of the first half; unfortunately, she could not capitalize, as two of her shots went wide right and Lyon netminder Taylor Wilson saved a third attempt.

After the half, both the Ephs and the Lyons unsuccessfully fought to penetrate the other’s defensive line. Carla Nicasio ’14 created a quality opportunity in the 69th minute but shot just wide of the net. Rookie Abby Morss ’16 attempted to head the ball into the back of the net in the 83rd minute, but Wilson came up with the save. Louisa Costa ’15 and co-captain Caitlyn Clark ’13 each saw opportunities in the final minutes of the game but could not convert. In the end, the women were unable to come up with an equalizer, giving the Lyons the 1-0 victory that knocked the Ephs out of the Div. III NCAA tournament.

The previous day, the women eliminated Farmingdale State from NCAAs in handing the Rams a 2-0 loss. The Ephs went on the board 26 minutes into the match when Nicasio sent the ball into the box from the left corner to Clark. Clark collected the ball and powered a shot past Ram netminder Breanna Blair, marking the senior’s third goal on her final collegiate season.

The women scored the final goal of the game with just over 10 minutes left to play when Bridget Gallagher ’13 crossed the ball to Lindsey Vandergrift ’16 in the box. The rookie one-touched the ball into the net for her second career goal. Gallagher earned the assist on the play.

Eph netminder Van Wetter stopped three shots while Blair made four saves for the Rams.

“This weekend was tough because this team is so special and the hardest part is knowing that we won’t get a chance to compete all together again,” Clark said. “All seasons come to an end, but the bonds this group created will last a lifetime. I couldn’t have picked a better group of girls to end my career with.”

Sunday’s loss marked the final game for seven Ephs seniors: Gallagher, Clark, co-captain Chelsea Davies ’13, Chloe Kuh ’13, Kristine Nakada ’13, Samantha Vilaboa ’13 and fourth-season player Laura Wann ’14. The Class of 2013 ended its career with a 60-14-7 record, three NESCAC championships and four Div. III NCAA tournament appearances.