Women's soccer outlasts Connecticut College in double overtime

Evan Gancedo '18
Evan Gancedo '18

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – No. 4 women's soccer (7–0–1, 6–0–1 in the NESCAC) edged No. 18 Connecticut College 1-0 this afternoon on Cole Field, in a game that went to double overtime.

Chances were few in the first half, as the cold and rainy weather restricted both teams' movement. The Williams attack ran mainly through tri-captain Evan Gancedo '18 in the center of the midfield, while Eph wingbacks made runs down the wing when given space. The Camels played a defensive-minded game, attempting to take away space from the Ephs in the midfield. Playing with a lone striker, Connecticut College often dropped midfielders to reinforce the defensive third.

Williams' best chance of the half came in the 18th minute, when the ball broke in the penalty area for Natalie Turner-Wyatt '19. She got a shot off, but it sailed wide of the left post.

Connecticut College nearly found a breakthrough in the 42nd minute. Olivia Barnhill '19 came off her line to clear a long ball, but her clearance bounced off a player to Camels forward Kat Norton. With Barnhill away from the net, Norton's shot was blocked at the edge of the box.

With Connecticut College delegating its resources to defense, most of its opportunities came on the counterattack. Tri-captain Danielle Sim '18 and the Eph defenders, however, prevented the Camels' from creating many scoring chances.

The first half finished scoreless, and Williams outshot the visitors 6-3. Neither team managed a shot on goal.

The Ephs threatened to break the stalemate after halftime. In the 57th minute, a failed clearance led to a chance for Alison Lu '20. A defender got a foot onto a ball played by Turner-Wyatt, but the ball fell to Lu in the center of the box. Lu's shot hit the left post, and the Camels dealt with the danger. 

Kristina Alvarado '19 found Victoria Laino '21 with a cross in the 70th minute. Laino tried a volley, but the shot was blocked by Camels defenders. 

After 90 minutes, the game was still scoreless, and the teams headed into extra time. Connecticut College had an opportunity to score in the 95th minute. An Eph handball gave the Camels a free kick 25 yards out from goal. Senior midfielder Lauren Steele took it, and her shot went just over the crossbar. 

In the 97th minute, Sarah Kelly '20 made a long run from her defensive position. She sent a cross in, but Camels goalkeeper Bryanna Montalvo came out to catch.

Williams found the decider in the second period of extra time. In the 102nd minute, Laino had a shot blocked that went out behind the end line for a corner kick. Natasha Albaneze '18 sent in a shot directly from the left corner, and the ball curved inside the near post for an unlikely goal. Albaneze's tally ended the game 1-0 in the Ephs' favor. 

At the end of the game, Williams had a 16-6 advantage in shots and a 3-0 edge in shots on goal. The Ephs had four corners, while the Camels had one.

Head coach Michelyne Pinard said she was impressed by her team's play against a stingy Connecticut College defense.

"I was really pleased with our team effort today," Pinard said. "[The Camels] are a good team; they're organized and athletic, and they were tight defensively for the entire game. That's not easy to break down, so I was pleased with how patient, calm and positive we stayed.

"At some point, the ball is going to bounce the right way, and it did."

Williams returns to Cole Field tomorrow at noon to face Castleton.