Women’s soccer (13-0-1, 9-0-0 in the NESCAC) took down Tufts on Saturday.
On Saturday, it was not a senior that stole the headlines, as Kristina Alvarado ’19 and Evan Gancedo ’18 bagged the goals for the Ephs. Their goals contributed to the Ephs’ 10th clean sheet of the season.
Alvarado got the celebrations on Cole Field under way less than five minutes after kickoff, as the Ephs came out firing. Alvarado made a probing run at the left side of the Jumbo defense, leaving one defender in the dust before she sent a ball in towards fellow striker, Kristi Kirshe ’17. Kirshe shrugged off her defender and blindly fired a shot from close range at Jumbo keeper Emily Bowers, who parried away that initial effort. However, Alvarado didn’t give up on the move she started, and she was on hand to finish off the follow-up, tapping it past Bowers to give the Ephs an early 1-0 lead.
In the 19th minute, Bower was called upon to prevent co-captain Mai Mitsuyama ’16 from scoring. After a chaotic several seconds in the Jumbo penalty area, the ball finally rattled its way to the feet of Mitsuyama, who looked to find the top corner, only to see her goal denied by the Jumbo keeper.
Just five minutes later, the Jumbos almost found an equalizer through Alex Scheman. Scheman fought through a defensive challenge from Danielle Sim ’18 at the top of the Eph penalty area, creating enough space to fire a shot at goal. However, Eph keeper Tressa Palchek ’17 was equal to it and guided it away from the back of her net.
Just before the hour mark, Alvarado almost notched her second goal of the game when she used her considerable foot skills to bypass a pair of Jumbo defenders and sent a ball toward the bottom corner of the net. Bower was once again there, however, as she got down well to push the shot away from goal.
Three minutes later, the Jumbos started to assert their dominance, as they had two chances to draw level. Emma Ranalli unleashed a ferocious effort that looked destined for the back of Palcheck’s net. Luckily, Palcheck elevated and tipped the well-struck ball onto the crossbar.
Seven minutes later, Jumbo Chandler Quinton tried the same shot from roughly the same location, rattling Palcheck’s bar. The ball deflected into the Ephs’ six-yard box to the feet of Jess Capone. Capone could not find the target.
Sufficiently jolted by the pair of Jumbo chances, the Ephs reasserted control. Gancedo scored an insurance goal for the Ephs just over five minutes from full-time. Kirshe poked a pass toward Gancedo on the right side of the Eph attack, where she hit a dipping strike that left Bower with little to do but watch the ball sneak in just underneath her bar, sealing the Ephs’ victory.
The women are thrilled with their victory. “I could not be more proud of this team and what we have accomplished thus far,” Mitsuyama said. “We are so lucky that our season is so far from being over, and I cannot wait to see what is in store for this team in the future.”
The women closed out their regular season yesterday, as they traveled north to Vermont to face off against conference rival Middlebury. Results came in too late to report. The women have secured the No. 1 seed in the NESCAC and will host No. 8 Hamilton on Saturday in the first round of the NESCAC tournament.