AMHERST, MA – Abby Morss scored in the final minute of the game to lift the Williams women's soccer team over fifth-ranked rival Amherst (6-1-1, 4-1-1 NESCAC) 3-2 today. The Ephs (6-2-1, 5-0-1 NESCAC) went down 2-0 before getting a goal from Sarah Brink and two from Morss to finish the upset. With the win, the Ephs are now tied with Amherst in the all-time series at 16-16-8.
Amherst got on the board first when Chloe McKenzie found the back of the net in the 38th minute. Eph goalie Hannah Van Wetter came out of the net to stop the play, but after Megan Kim's shot was blocked, McKenzie finished off of the rebound.
Just under six minutes later, Maggie Belknap and Hannah Cooper had a nice passing combination in the middle of the field. The exchange resulted in a beautiful finish from Cooper that sailed over Van Wetter's head into the top right corner of the net.
With just under a minute left in the first, the Ephs finally got on the board after forcing a corner. Brink took the corner from the left side of the field and curved the ball into the left corner of the net.
The Ephs came out of the break gunning for a tying goal. They finally found one with 24:11 on the clock. Carla Nicasio made a nice move in the center of the box just in front of the net. She got off a good shot, but Amherst goalie Holly Burwick made a great diving save to her left to keep the ball out of the net. Morss, however, got a header on the rebound and placed the shot right over the keeper's outstretched hands to tie up the game at two apiece.
It looked like the Ephs might put it away with just over six left to play when Lindsey Vandergrift received a great ball in the box. While the keeper came out to stop the breakaway, Vandergrift stuck with it. Her opportunity, however, fell wide. Just minutes later, Morss had another look at the net to seal it but Burwick made a nice save.
Finally, the Ephs' hard work paid off. With 49 seconds on the clock, Louisa Costa kicked the ball into the box off of a throw-in. An Amherst defender got to the ball first, but Samantha Vilaboa managed to keep the ball in the box and get a little pass off to Morss. Morss put the ball past the keeper in the lower left corner of the net to give the Ephs the victory.
The Ephs outshot the Lord Jeffs 15-12 today. Van Wetter posted two saves for Williams in the first half, while Laura Wann added six in the second. Burwick had eight saves for Amherst.
Said Coach Michelyne Pinard after the game, "The first half didn't feel like a 2-0 or a 2-1 half. I thought we had a lot of good chances. [Amherst is] great at finishing their opportunities. That's certainly what they did. We had opportunities. If we'd finished them early, it would've felt a little different, but I wouldn't have traded this exciting result for anything."
Pinard added about the team's mindset, "We just know that it's Amherst. They're always great, and we always need to be ready. We knew that we could beat them, and we needed to be at our best to do so. We just kept getting better and better."
Looking ahead, she said, "We are a young team. Whenever you get a result like this, it helps you believe in yourselves and your team. They should believe in themselves because they're a phenomenal group, and I can't wait to see what they do down the road."
The Ephs look to keep their NESCAC record perfect when they take on Bowdoin tomorrow at 12:00 PM in Brunswick, Maine.