Ephs start season strong with 3-0 record

Audrey Thomas ’17 scored her 25th career goal in the game against Trinity on Sunday.

Women’s soccer (3-0, 2-0 in the NESCAC) maintained its unblemished record to start the season, garnering wins over Castleton, Trinity and Hamilton. On Sunday, the women took on Castleton with a thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 victory in overtime with a goal by Kristi Kirshe ’17.

On Saturday, the women took on NESCAC opponent Trinity, commanding strong play from the very outset of the game. The Ephs opened the floodgates with four different players scoring, as they topped the Bantams 4-1.

The Ephs were immediately made aware of their unfriendly surroundings, as the Bantams pounced on their first opportunity of the game, just inside of three minutes. Taylor Kirchgessner connected squarely with an Andi Nicholson pass to give the Bantams an early 1-0 advantage. However, the Ephs would not stay behind for long.

In the 10th minute, Audrey Thomas ’17 equalized, latching onto the end of a beautiful ball from Kirshe before poking the ball past the on-rushing keeper, Monica DiFiori. Thomas’ second goal of the season catapulted her into a tie for 10th place on the Williams all-time scorers list (25 career goals) along with Sarah Walmsley ’10 and Mindy Thompson ’98.

The level score would only stay that way for so long with the Eph frontline looking as lively as they did, and in the 29th minute, the Eph pressure paid dividends again. After a goalless drought in her first two years, Gabby Suarez ’17 scored her first-ever goal after a chaotic scramble in the box. After Suarez struck, the ball trickled into the back of the net, where Trinity goalkeeper DiFiori couldn’t quite reach it. The game went to half with the Ephs up 2-1 over the Bantams.

The Ephs resiliency didn’t stop there, however, as they picked up in the second half right where they had left off. It took just over 10 minutes after the restart for Kirshe to double the Ephs’ advantage. Thomas received a ball on the right side of the attack in full stride, as she raced past her defender before rolling a pass across the face of goal towards Kirshe at the far post. Kirshe’s first touch wasn’t the best, but she patiently spun her defender before belting a shot into the back of the net from close range, leaving DiFiori little hope of keeping the Bantam’s deficit at just the one goal. With the goal, Kirshe also broke her way into the Williams all-time scorers list, drawing level on 25 goals with Thomas.

Fifteen minutes later, Natasha Albaneze ’18 would put the match to bed, as she was on hand to extend the lead to 4-1 in favor of the Ephs. Hanna Kaeser ’18 made a run at the Bantam backline, but as she split the central defenders, one Bantam managed to knock the ball out of her possession. Unluckily for the Bantams, however, it fell to the feet of Albaneze, who took one touch to control and then another to rifle the ball over DiFiori and into the roof of the net. Albaneze’s ruthless finish extended her perfect strike rate, carried over from last year, as she has scored with all five of her shots on target.

Between Suarez and Albaneze, the Ephs put down a solid marker on Saturday for their depth.

The Ephs kicked off the first game of their season with a 1-0 win against NESCAC opponent Hamilton on Sept. 8. The lone goal came from Thomas in that game, with an assist by Crystal Lewin ’16.

The women travel to Maine this upcoming weekend to take on Colby on Saturday and Bowdoin on Sunday.

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