WILIAMSTOWN, MA – In their NESCAC season opener, the Williams College field hockey team defeated Trinity College 4-3 in an exciting back and forth game at Williamson Field. Rachel Brissette tallied 2 goals and 2 assists and Alex Bennett recorded 1 goal and 1 assist to lead the Ephs to victory.
Both teams came out with a strong, fast-paced start, but it was Trinity who struck first only 4:46 minutes into the game. Sophomore, Chandler Solimine dribbled into the circle from the left side, meeting Eph goalie Margaret Draper directly at the cage. Once in close to the net, she forced a shot past Draper to put the Bantams on the board.
Despite the quick goal, the Ephs fought back and responded minutes later. 9:56 into the first half, senior Rachel Brissette got the ball inside the circle on the right side and centered a pass to teammate, Meredith Wright. Wright collected the pass and quickly shot to the far left side of the net, sneaking the ball by the Bantams goalie, Lori Berger.
There was a lot of back and forth action for the rest of the half resulting in several scoring chances for both teams. At 30:44, Williams received a penalty corner, which allowed the Ephs to strike again. Off the corner, Brissette sent the ball to junior, Alex Bennett who took a powerful shot from the top of the circle towards the net. Berger stopped Bennett's original shot, but the rebound popped back out to Brissette, who was able to put it in the back of the cage at 31:34.
The end of the half remained exciting as the Ephs received another corner with about 1:30 left. Rachel Brissette took the corner once again and inserted the ball to Bennett. Bennett stopped the ball at the top of the circle, quickly wound up, and sent an impressive drive right past Berger, putting the Ephs up by 2 with exactly a minute remaining in the half.
The Bantams did not let down, though, and responded moments later. Junior, Kelcie Finn collected a through ball in the center of the circle and in a single motion, spun around and one-timed a backhand shot into the back of the net. This goal brought Trinity within a goal of the Ephs with just :14 left in the first.
The second half was just as high energy as the first and both teams continued to be relentless. The next goal came 51:45 into the game and was scored by Chandler Solimine to mark her second of the game. Solimine dribbled into the circle on the left side of the field and took a shot, placing it in the back of the net to tie the game.
The tied game lasted less than two minutes when Williams scored again to take the lead. Off of another corner, junior, Hannah Goodrick inserted the ball to Bennett who sent a blistering shot towards the net. The ball was several feet off the ground, but Brissette, who was standing in front of the cage, was able to connect with the ball and deflect it into the net. This game-winning goal at 53:13 was her 2nd goal and 4th point of the game.
The Ephs ended the game with 10 shots on goal and 10 penalty corners to the Bantams' 9 shots on goal and 4 penalty corners. Trinity's goalie, Lori Berger made 6 saves, where Margaret Draper had 5 saves to give Williams their first NESCAC win of the season.
"I am most proud of our perseverance and how we were able to keep coming back. We really had to earn that win because Trinity is very threatening offensively and are hard to defend," commented Williams' head coach Alix Barrale. "Draper did a nice job in the cage and Katie Gallop saved us at the end with the defensive save to keep us from going into overtime. Offensively, we really made the adjustments that we needed to from our last game, which enabled us to find the ball and finish in front of the net."
The Ephs will have an out of conference matchup against Mt. Holyoke away at 7pm this Wednesday.