Women’s soccer defeats Bowdoin, Wesleyan over weekend

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Olivia Barnhill ’19 recorded five saves this weekend, helping the Ephs hold the lead against the Cardinals and the Polar Bears. Photo Courtesy of Sports Information.

Women’s soccer (11-0-2, 7-0-1 in the NESCAC) swept a doubleheader this weekend, defeating Bowdoin 2-1 on Sunday and Wesleyan 2-1 on Saturday.

Against Bowdoin, forward Sarah Scire ’20 scored a goal in each half to lead the women to their 11th victory of the season.

Head coach Michelyne Pinard commented on Scire’s scoring performance. “She’s just playing with great intensity and fire. It’s almost like the karma police were saying sorry [for Saturday’s game.] She’s certainly creating a lot for us.”

The Ephs scored first in the eighth minute. Williams pressed forward along the left side, where Ilana Albert ’21 sent a sharp pass to Liz Girvan ’22, who cut behind her defender near the backline. She struck a cross left to right across the penalty box into the path of Scire, who came crashing in from the left side to slot the ball into the left corner. 

With only seconds left in the first half, Bowdoin converted off a Williams foul. Sophia Lemmer sent the ball into the goal box, which initially deflected off a Williams defender. However, Bowdoin’s Beth Brown got a nice touch on the ball, sending it across to Aine Lawlor, who snuck the ball into the left corner past a diving Olivia Barnhill ’19. It was only Barnhill’s fifth goal allowed in 13 matches.

Coming out of halftime, in the 47th minute, Scire dribbled through defenders from the midfield and saw an opportunity to score. With parabolic precision, she blistered a shot from outside the penalty area which flew cleanly into the left corner of the net to make it 2-1.

Bowdoin had a chance to equalize in the 68th minute. Beth Brown got a pass around her defender to connect with forward Julia Adelmann who got a shot off near the goal box. Her shot was blocked and flew into the air, but Barnhill jumped and nudged the ball to the left so that it went just wide. 

Barnhill played 90 minutes, had four saves and allowed one goal.

Despite the Polar Bears putting more shots on frame in the contest, it was the clinical finishing of the Ephs which ruled the day.

On Saturday, the women edged Wesleyan 2-1 with the help of a go-ahead goal by Georgia Lord ’21. Lord slammed the ball into the net in the 48th minute to lift the Ephs past the Cardinals.

In the ninth minute Wesleyan scored to grab an early lead. Liz Young broke away from her defender and scored after a one-on-one confrontation with Barnhill. The Eph netminder was forced to rush off her line to try and block the shot, but Young skillfully slipped the ball by her into the net.

Down early, Williams failed to convert numerous early scoring opportunities. Twice, Scire crashed through Wesleyan’s backline, drawing out Wesleyan netminder Sarah Hammond. One of her shots struck the crossbar, rebounding to Aspen Pierson ’21 who headed it just above the cross bar.

At 42:44, Sydney Jones ’21 and Rain Condie ’22 delivered redemption. Jones was dribbling near the left corner of the goal box when she found a window. She rifled a shot towards the net, which was blocked by Hammond. Hammond’s block ricocheted back to Jones who unselfishly passed it to Condie for the easy tap-in score.   

Wesleyan had a serious scoring opportunity in the 18th minute. After bringing the ball deep into Eph territory, Cardinal forwards found space near the goal box, firing off three shots in quick succession. Kayla O’Brien’s first shot was blocked by a defender but rebounded to her teammate, Liz Young. Her second shot went off the left post, but again the ball found Andy Wiley, and her attempt went wide left.

After Condie’s goal, Williams appeared to gain momentum and dominated possession throughout the second half.

“No doubt that goal helped our momentum,” Pinard remarked. “Soccer can be a cruel game. I think that goal helped us get through a tough first half. Certainly I was pleased with the adjustments we made.”

With more scoring opportunities, the Ephs took the advantage. In the 47th minute, a blocked corner kick found the foot of Lauren Brown ’19, who sent a cross into the goal box. The ball pin-balled in the goal box for a few seconds, eventually finding Lord who buried the game winner in the middle of the net.

With their sharp passing and tenacious defensive effort, Williams prevented Wesleyan from tying the game, winning 2-1.

On Saturday, the women will play against Tufts at 12:30 p.m. in Medford, Mass.