Last Sunday, women’s soccer (8-1, 3-1 in the NESCAC) put on quite the offensive showing as they dismissed New England College by the margin of 8-0.
First-year Natasha Albaneze ’18 notched the first two goals and then the assists for the next two in a span of 19 minutes in the first half-hour of the match.
The first goal came in the ninth minute from a long ball from Mai Mitsuyama ’16, deep on the right side of midfield, after she was fed by Maddie Swarr ’17. Mitsuyama’s ball took a bounce and was controlled well by Albaneze, before she rounded the New England goaltender Trisha Sardanolato to tap home her third goal of the season into an empty net, giving the Ephs the early lead.
Her fourth goal of the season came under eight minutes later, as the chance was once again engineered by Mitsuyama, who sent a long ball toward the Pilgrim box from the same spot as the first goal, this time picking out first-year Hanna Kaeser ’18 on the right touchline. Kaeser then centered the ball to the penalty spot, where Albaneze was waiting to smash it into the net past Sardanola.
The Ephs showed no intention of stopping there, as it took them only five more minutes to find a third goal through Swarr as Albaneze turned provider this time, taking a free kick from the left side of midfield. She sent the ball into the box, where it fell very kindly to the feet of Swarr, who coolly slotted home her first goal of the season and put the Ephs well out of reach of the Pilgrims.
It was only five minutes later, however, that Albaneze once again featured in a goal for the Ephs. An exchange of intricate passing resulted in Albaneze carving open the Pilgrim back line to match the knifing run of Kaeser, who poked it under the left arm of the on-rushing Sardagnola to make the score 4-0.
The Ephs made it five goals to nil off their first corner of the game in the 36th minute. Sarah Brink ’15 sent the ball in from the right side and teammate Alex McInturf ’15 latched her head onto it perfectly, smashing the ball past the flailing arms of Sardagnola, opening her account for her senior season with her first goal of the year.
The Ephs would make it six goals before the half-time whistle, as just three minutes later Natalie Weyerhaeuser ’15 also notched the first goal of her senior season. Midfielder Katie Wardlaw ’17 served a perfect through ball to Weyerhaeuser in stride, allowing Weyerhaeuser to curl a right-footed shot toward the upper-right corner of the goal that Sardagnola got a palm to, but didn’t do enough to stop the ball from rippling the netting of the right panel of the goal.
The Pilgrims got the second half underway, and they looked to be much more composed at the back for the first 20 minutes as they repelled any onslaughts from the Eph attack.
The Ephs finally broke down the Pilgrim back line again, however, in the 66th minute, as Wardlaw struck a beautiful right-footed dipping shot that caromed off the bar and fell right onto the foot of forward Kristi Kirshe ’17, who poached home the seventh goal of the game for the Ephs and her seventh goal of the season.
The day’s scoring ended in the 81st minute as the combination of Brink and McInturf created a near carbon copy of the fifth goal, as Brink sent in a corner from the right side to the back post, and McInturf was there to knock the ball into the back of the net, this time off her shin.
The best chance for the Pilgrims to get on the scoreboard came two minutes after the Ephs’ final goal, as the Pilgrims sent a ball into the box from a free kick 30 yards out that rattled around for an uncomfortable amount of time, before it was finally sent out of danger by an Eph defender.
“Scoring eight goals in any game on Cole is an incredible feeling,” tri-captain Hannah Van Wetter ’15 said. “This team has the ability to handle anything that is thrown at us and I am so proud of the way we are finishing our chances and committing to get better week in and week out.”
The women return to action next weekend with two hugely important home NESCAC games, the first against Little Three rival Wesleyan on Saturday with kickoff scheduled for noon and the second against Bowdoin on Sunday at noon.