Ephs rally past Oneonta with 2-0 shutout

Women’s soccer (2-1-1, 1-1-0 in the NESCAC) fell to Trinity last Saturday and topped Oneonta State last Sunday. Against Oneonta State, the women pulled out a 2-0 win in their first home game of the season, with goals from Alison Magruder ’15 and Alex McInturf ’15. In the Saturday game, Williams suffered its first loss of the season in a 2-0 heartbreaker to Trinity.

In the Sunday game, the Ephs took revenge for their Saturday loss during their first home game of the season. The women scored two goals in the first 25 minutes to jump out to a 2-0 lead that would prove to be enough to defeat Oneonta State.

The first goal came in the 17th minute when Crystal Lewin ’16 advanced up the right side of the penalty area before sliding the ball back across the face of the goal to the top of the box, where Magruder was waiting to collect the pass. She then rounded her defender and buried the ball right over goalkeeper Rori Stark for her first goal of the season.

The Ephs, however, were not satisfied with one goal, as their pressure only increased after scoring. The second came just under eight minutes later from a corner kick for the Ephs when a defensive miscue in the box allowed McInturf to pounce on the loose ball and finish expertly past Stark. McInturf’s score put the women up 2-0 at 24:02.

The Red Dragons did not take the two-goal deficit lying down, though, as they quickly created chances for themselves as the first half progressed. Late in the first, the Red Dragons won a free kick down the right wing near the corner flag. Liz Lasota floated a beautiful ball all the way to the back post where several Red Dragons were waiting, but the ball was collected by Eph goalie Hannah Van Wetter ’15.

The Ephs had a chance early on in the second half to finish the game off but were thwarted by some outstanding goalkeeping from Stark. Right after the one-hour mark, Mai Mitsuyama ’16 floated her own free kick from the right flank into the penalty area. Lilly Wellenbach ’15 latched her head onto the ball and laid it off to Magruder, whose shot was only just saved by Stark.

There were not many chances the entire game for the Red Dragons, thanks to a dominant Eph defense, but one of the Red Dragons few chances came only a couple minutes after Magruder’s saved shot. Avery Serfis found herself unmarked at the top of the penalty area as she received a pass. She took advantage of a rare defensive lapse to curl what seemed to be a gorgeous shot around Van Wetter, but the ball did not dip quickly enough, drifting just over the crossbar.

The Ephs held on and won 2-0, collecting their first clean sheet of the season. They outshot the Red Dragons 18 to four, with seven of those shots on goal to the Dragons’ four. Williams had four corner kicks to Oneonta’s five, and Van Wetter also made four saves to Stark’s five.

“We’re getting leadership from literally every class, and it’s not a surprise to me that [Magruder and McInturf] got on the board for us,” Heach Coach Michelyne Pinard said. “It couldn’t have come at a better time.”

On Saturday, the women faced off against conference opponents Trinity in Hartford, Conn. The game was scoreless for the first hour until the Bantams rattled off two goals in just six minutes and then held on to remain undefeated this year.

Despite the 2-0 score, the Ephs were actually the ones who appeared primed for breaking the deadlock in the first half. Magruder led the offensive charge with three of the Ephs’ eight first-half shots, but all three managed to trickle just wide of the posts.

The Ephs best chance to score came right before the break when back Gabz Amos-Grosser ’17 found herself with some space and time to fire a shot at Bantam goalkeeper Monica DiFiori, who made the save without too much difficulty.

The beginning of the second half was more of the same from the Ephs, who appeared to be the more dominant team with their pressure and opportunities. In the 67th minute, it appeared that Williams would almost certainly take the lead through Kristi Kirshe ’17 or Audrey Thomas ’17, who both had nice shots on goal, but DiFiori once again proved unbeatable.

On the ensuing counter of Kirshe’s shot, Bantam Laura Nee found herself with some space to dribble into the box and finish past Eph keeper Tressa Palcheck ’17 with the Bantam’s first shot on goal. Nee put Trinity up 1-0 at 68:36.

As if suddenly lifted by their goal, the Bantams’ play immediately picked up as they pressured for a second goal. Their second score came under six minutes later when Andi Nicholson lobbed a long throw-in into the Ephs’ penalty area, where Abbey Lake was waiting to finish past Palcheck. The goal gave Trinity a 2-0 lead at 74:20.

The 2-0 line held, as the Ephs were unable to mount any sort of comeback against the Bantam defense, whose spirits were significantly lifted by the pair of goals.

The Ephs outshot the Bantams 16 to 12, with four shots on goal to two. Williams had five corners to Trinity’s four. Van Wetter and Palcheck did not make any saves in the game, while DiFiori made four.

“[Trinity is] a very good team,” Pinard said. “They’re a very solid team all around. I thought we started slow, but we really had chances in both halves that we didn’t finish. They probably had two or three chances, and they finished two of them. This game at the end of the day is really about finishing chances, and they did that, and we didn’t.”

The women next play this Saturday at 2 p.m. when arch conference rivals Amherst visit Williams at Cole Field.

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