Women’s soccer storms into second place in conference

Abby Morss ’16 scored the women’s second goal against Tufts with a header in the 79th minute. -Photo Courtesy of Sports Information
Abby Morss ’16 scored the women’s second goal against Tufts with a header in the 79th minute. -Photo Courtesy of Sports Information

Women’s soccer (8-1-2, 5-1-1 in the NESCAC) beat Tufts 3-1 on Saturday with goals coming from Audrey Thomas ’17, Abby Morss ’16 and Katie Wardlaw ’17. The win moved the women into second place in the NESCAC standings, five points behind first-place Middlebury. The victory came on the heels of two NESCAC victories, one over Bowdoin on Oct. 13 and the other over Wesleyan on Oct. 12.

The Ephs offense came out firing on all cylinders, taking five shots within the first 12 minutes of the match. After six minutes, Hana Tomozawa ’15 looked to give the women an early lead, but her shot hit the crossbar. However, six minutes later, she shot again. This time, her strike was blocked, but the ball ended up at the feet of Thomas, who calmly slotted the ball home to open the scoring.

Williams continued to dominate possession in the first half and came close to scoring in the 29th minute when Lilly Wellenbach ’15 hit the crossbar.

Tufts’ lone opportunity to score in the half came just minutes later, when a cross from Katie Coyle almost found its way to Anya Kaufmann. However, goalkeeper Hannah Van Wetter ’15 came out quickly off her line to intercept the pass.

The Jumbos came out of halftime looking sharper and more energetic. They gained some possession and finally created a few scoring opportunities. In the 56th minute, Kaufmann cut inside from the right flank and scored with an unassisted goal to level the score at 1-1.

By the 74th minute, the Ephs were once again looking dangerous offensively. Alison Magruder ’15 took two shots in quick succession, but the Jumbos’ keeper saved both. In the 79th minute, a corner from Mai Mitsuyama ’16 found the head of Morss, who made no mistake in burying the ball into the back of the net to put the Ephs out front 2-1.

Just under 90 seconds later, Wardlaw found herself with space to shoot in the middle of the box and slotted the ball past Tufts’ goalie to double the women’s lead and put the score at 3-1. Overall, Williams outshot Tufts 29 to six. Van Wetter only needed to make one save in the match.

“I think Tufts is a great team with very dangerous forwards,” Head Coach Michelyne Pinard said. “I was pleased that our backs kept them at bay for most of the game. I am also very pleased at how resilient we were. We responded to their goal immediately and put them back on their heels. We got better on Saturday and look forward to applying what we learned about ourselves to work against Middlebury, Bates and Hamilton.”

“What I love about our ability to attack right now is that it is every single person contributing,” Pinard continued. “Our goals typically start from our backs, and the ball moves through our midfield – finally getting to our attacking players. Everyone is involved in making it happen. It’s beautiful to watch it come together, yet I’m inspired by the team wanting it to be even better each and every game.”

On Oct. 13, the women traveled to Bowdoin and came away with a 3-0 win. Crystal Lewin ’16 opened the scoring after just three minutes, and Magruder put the Ephs up 2-0 midway through the first half. Coming out of halftime, the Polar Bears looked sharper offensively and had several good scoring opportunities thwarted by good defensive play and excellent goalkeeping from Van Wetter. However, the Ephs had a few chances of their own in the second half and Kristi Kirshe ’17 rounded off the scoring in the 73rd minute.

Williams was on the road again on Oct. 12, this time against Wesleyan. The Ephs looked dangerous offensively, but the Cardinals held firm. After 90 minutes of scoreless soccer, the game headed into overtime. Van Wetter made a key save to keep the game scoreless, and minutes later, Kirshe hit the crossbar for the Ephs. On the next attack, a deflected pass fell to Kirshe, who tapped the ball in for her first collegiate goal after just seven minutes of extra time to secure a 1-0 win.

The results from the women’s visit to Middlebury yesterday came in too late for this edition. Next up for Williams will be two home games. The women play Bates on Saturday at 11 a.m. and then host Hamilton on Tuesday at 3 p.m. Both games are on Cole Field.