Women’s soccer nets duo of NESCAC wins

September 23, 2015 by Scott Shelton, Staff Writer

The long trek up to Maine is always a NESCAC trip to take seriously between the long travel time and the tough competition. Women’s soccer (5-0, 4-0 in the NESCAC) concluded its trip with two victories, downing Bowdoin 2-1 in a thrilling overtime victory on Sunday after defeating Colby 8-0 on Saturday.

In the women’s victory over Bowdoin on Saturday, the first half saw competitive play but no goals. The first goal of the game came with a fine strike from Audrey Thomas ’17 just before the hour mark. From the top of the penalty area, Kristi Kirshe ’17 fed Thomas on the right side, who lasered a shot past the Bowdoin goalie into the top-left corner of the net.

Just nine minutes later, the Polar Bears bore down on the Eph penalty area. The ball slipped past outstretched goalkeeper Tressa Palcheck ’17, sending the game into overtime tied at 1-1.

Extra time began with a flurry of opportunities for the Eph frontline. Kirshe was presented with chance after chance, but the Polar Bear backline cut out each of her passes to Thomas during the first three minutes. It was only a matter of time though, and she finally carved out a pass between the two Polar Bear center backs to pick out the knifing Thomas. Thomas slotted the ball under the keeper’s left arm and into the back of the net to give the Ephs the 2-1 win.

This goal gave Thomas eight goals on the season, for a career total of 32 goals. This puts Thomas in sixth place in all-time goal scorers for Williams.

On Saturday, the women tackled Colby. In an outstanding show of athleticism and teamwork, the Ephs came away with an 8-0 win over the Mules. Thomas scored four of the Ephs’ eight goals. More notably with those four goals, she tied the Eph single-game scoring record, equaling the mark that five other Ephs before her had laid down.

It took just over five minutes for Thomas to find the back of the net and open up the scoring. She then doubled the Ephs’ lead less than 90 seconds later when she slotted the ball past the onrushing Mule keeper.

It wasn’t too long after Thomas’ second that Kirshe added her name to the scoresheet, as she received a beautifully weighted pass from Crystal Lewin ’16 around the top of the Mule penalty area. Calmly placing it to the keeper’s left, Kirshe put the Ephs ahead 3-0 going into halftime.

Thomas completed her hat trick and put the game well and truly out of reach in the 49th minute, when she received a ball from Gabby Suarez ’17 in the heart of midfield and ran at the Mule defense. Thomas’ pace proved to be just too much for the defense as she weaved through a pair of defenders and maintained great composure to lift the ball just over the flailing right arm of the Mules’ keeper, giving the Ephs a 4-0 lead.

Then, 10 minutes later, Thomas equaled the Eph single-game scoring record with a left-footed finish past the Mule keeper that found the bottom corner. Hanna Kaeser ’18 then added a goal in the 62nd minute before Maddie Swarr ’17 bagged her first goal of the season. With Swarr’s goal the Ephs went ahead 7-0.

Kristina Alvarado ’19 rounded out the scoring several minutes before the final whistle blew, marking herself as the first first-year to score this season for the Ephs, ending the game at 8-0.

“We’re very happy with both results from this weekend. Against Colby our offense was really clicking both in terms of ball possession and scoring goals, and Bowdoin was the best opponent we’ve seen yet so it was great to come out with a win,” tri-captain defender Zoe Trutner ’16 said. “The team is pumped to have earned two more wins, but we still have a lot of work to do …”

With the thrilling win, the women improve their record to 5-0, but they return home next weekend to test their perfect record against Amherst on Saturday at 11 a.m. Then on Sunday, the women host Bates at 11 a.m. Both games will be on Cole Field.

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