Women’s soccer shuts out Bates, ties Amherst in double overtime

Alexander Christ

Women’s soccer (5-0-1, 3-0-1 in the NESCAC) played two conference matches over the weekend, beating Bates 3-0 and tying Amherst in double overtime.

On Sunday at Bates, Georgia Lord ’21 scored the game-winner at 3:55 after a failed clearance by the Bobcats, leaving the ball perfectly placed at the edge of the penalty box. Lord ran towards the ball and blistered a low laser past goalie Katherine Nuckols. It was Lord’s first goal this season. The goal was the only offense needed by the Ephs, as their aggressive play ensured that Bates would have few opportunities to score.

Bates’ only opportunity came late in the first half when Laura Jarry sent a cross to Sarah Dipillo, who shot a burner through the grass. But tri-captain goalie Olivia Barnhill ’19 dove to stop the threat.

In the 69th minute, a beautiful corner kick from Ilana Albert ’21 sailed over the head of Nuckols and met the foot of tri-captain Sarah Hollinger ’19, who buried the ball in the middle of the net.

Even with a 2-0 lead and only a few minutes left in the game, the Ephs continued to press. A powerful run by forward Sydney Jones ’21 in the 85th minute nearly resulted in her seventh goal of the season, but her shot was blocked by a sliding defender. Seconds later, Dawn Penso ’19 dribbled down the left side in Bates’ territory and sent a high looping pass towards the goal box. The pass went directly in the goal to give Penso her first goal of the season.

The Ephs finished with an advantage in shots on goal (17-4) and corner kicks (3-1). Barnhill made three saves in her fourth shutout of the season.

On Saturday, the Mammoths managed to halt the Ephs’ five-game win streak by lasting 110 minutes in a 0-0 draw.

Both teams opened the contest with scoring opportunities. At 2:57, Amherst’s Natalie Landau fired a corner kick into the goal box. Her teammate Jordan Bailey headed the ball towards the net, but the ball sailed wide right. At 7:57, Hayley Roy of the Mammoths pounded a shot directly at Barnhill, who made the save comfortably. In the 20th minute, the Ephs had their best opportunity to score. Lord sent a corner kick into the goal box, where Victoria Laino ’21 scissor-kicked it off the crossbar.

The game then settled down considerably. Tight defense prevailed against offense. Maria Chapman ’22 played a great game, often guarding the Mammoths’ forward Rubii Tamen. Her speed and quickness prevented Tamen from breaking through and getting one-on-one with Barnhill.

In overtime, both teams were betrayed by their legs. Although Amherst had several shots on goal, most landed on a hop to Barnhill, who handled them with ease. A desperation shot by Albert from 25 yards outside the penalty box was as close as the Ephs got to a golden goal.The clock eventually ran out, and the Ephs had to settle for a draw.

Barnhill had 11 saves in the draw, her most so far this season. The Ephs finished with an advantage in corner kicks (7-5) but were edged by Amherst in shots on goal (18-4).

The Ephs were participating in “Play with Pride” week, in which college teams across the country wear rainbow laces in support of athletes and coaches of all sexual orientations. United Soccer Coaches, in conjunction with LGBTQ+ coaches and Allies Member Group, started the initiative in 2017.

Next Saturday, the Ephs return to action at 12 p.m. against Connecticut College.