Springfield, MA—Williams College women's lacrosse (2-0, 1-0 NESCAC) defeated Springfield College (2-1) on Wednesday evening 8-4 as a strong start by the Ephs, with two goals from Junior Bridget Malicki, led to a four-goal lead in the first half that would set the tone for the remainder of the game.
The Ephs got on the board early in the first half with a goal by Malicki just 2:14 into the contest. The junior dodged down the right alley and snuck a shot past Springfield goalie Anne Versprille to give the Ephs an early advantage.
Despite several saves by Versprille throughout the half, the Ephs established a firm lead, firing in three more unanswered goals. At the 22:49 mark, Molly Belk scored to push Williams' lead to two. Just two minutes later, Nancy Palmer extended the Williams' lead to 3-0 on a free-position shot. Receiving another free-position shot, Malicki added her second goal of the game with 4:40 left on the clock.
Jennifer McDonough put the Springfield College Pride on the board with 1:22 left in the half following a save and successful clear by goalie Anne Versprille, her eighth of the game.
The half ended with the Ephs in the lead 4-1, despite nine first-half saves, of the Ephs' fifteen shots on goal, by Versprille.
Reflecting on the team's initial momentum, Williams' head coach Chris Mason said, "I think we started off stronger than Springfield, but I thought that their goalie played well the entire game."
The Springfield College Pride came out tough in the second half, possessing the ball well in their attacking end and forcing the Ephs' defense to pressure out. Following nearly ten minutes of scoreless play, Kelly Gallo put in a second goal for the Pride on a free position shot at the 20:13 mark to put the Pride within two goals of the Ephs.
The Ephs quickly answered back, transitioning the ball down to their attacking end as Maeve Mulholland fired the ball into the back of the goal off a pass from Malicki at 19:34. Following two unsuccessful shots by the Ephs, Palmer added her second goal of the game at the 14:19 mark after burying an inside feed from Malicki to put Williams up 6-2. Rebecca McGovern extended the Ephs' lead to 7-2 off of a free-position shot just 27 seconds later.
Following another long run on their attacking end, the Pride fired in two quick goals to gain some ground on the Ephs. Heather Raniolo fired a shot in front of the goal off a feed from teammate Emily Rodgers at the 6:23 mark and Gallo scored her second goal shortly after, pulling the Pride to within three with 5:14 left on the clock.
Palmer iced the Springfield momentum and buried her third goal of the contest in transition with 1:10 remaining. Alyssa Amos picked up a loose groundball and passed it up to Anne Rehfuss who found Palmer on the crease one-on-one with Versprille.
The Ephs would continue to possess the ball as the clock ran out, ending the game with an 8-4 victory over Springfield College.
About the matchup Chris Mason said, "Our defense really played well and for the most part could keep Springfield out when they were trying to drive. Our attack did a good job trying to win the ball back and created a lot of turnovers. Our press and our defense were outstanding."
The top scorer for Williams was Palmer with 3 goals. The top scorer for Springfield was Gallo with 2 goals. Springfield Goalie Anne Versprille ended the game with 11 saves and Williams Goalie Ali Piltch with 5 saves.
The Ephs will next be in action on Saturday, March 8th when they travel to Smith College to play Trinity College at 12:00 PM.