WILLIAMSTOWN, MA- The Williams College Ephs (7-3, NESCAC 5-2) pushed past Little Three rival Wesleyan with a 5-1 win. The go ahead goal came off a rare penalty stroke by sophomore Allie Weiner at 28:32, who notched her first and second collegiate goals for the win.
The Ephs and Cardinals started off with an energetic battle, threatening with shots on both sides while the Ephs notched 3 penalty corners in the first 10 minutes. Cardinal Erica Horowitz threatened early with a shot at 6:33 but a solid defense by the Ephs allowed the ball to be kicked away by Eph goalkeeper Emma Santucci. Sophomore Claire FItzpatrick moved quickly with a hard shot for the Ephs at 9:06 but was turned away by goalkeeper Delaney Wood.
Cardinal Nikki Gerjarusak broke through the Eph defense at 12:11 to go one on one with Santucci, but Santucci made a fantastic save to keep the Cardinals empty-handed. But Gerjarusak came back at the 20 minute mark to line a shot to the left corner of the goal to put Wesleyan up 1-0. The Ephs answered back quickly with three penalty corners in a row, and getting past the high stick of a Cardinal defender senior Libby Dolan took a cross from junior Isabel Perry to hit the back of the net at 23:33.
The Ephs kept the pressure on notching another penalty corner at 28:08 and with a large scramble in the circle, sophomore Allie Weiner was awarded a penalty stroke, sinking the ball past the stick of Wood to put the Ephs up 2-1. But the Ephs offense was far from done and on another penalty corner at 32:24 Perry lined the ball to Weiner for a straight shot to the net, making it a 3-1 game at the half.
Abby Lloyd would go in for Santucci at the half for the Ephs. Santucci had 2 saves and allowed 1 goal. Wood had 3 saves in the half.
The Ephs momentum carried over into the second half and after a defensive save by junior Marissa Feller on a shot by Gerjarusak at 35:49, the Ephs maintained dominance. Weiner made another goal attempt at 39:21 but was blocked by goalkeep Wood. The Ephs broke through again as Dolan made a cross to sophomore Claire Fitzpatrick to sneak the ball past the pad of Wood for a 4th goal at 45:03.
After several penalty corners the Cardinals tried to move the ball out of the circle but freshman midfielder Elizabeth Welch sent the ball right back in for Perry to take a shot at the goal, narrowly saved by Wood at 49:18. The 5th penalty corner of the half came off the stick of freshman Kate Gregory who sent the ball to senior Meredith Wright. Wright found Gregory at the corner of the goalbox and she sunk the ball into the opposite corner for her first collegiate goal.
The Cardinals subbed in Caitlin Grant at goalie at 56:19. Wood had 5 saves on the day and allowed 5 goals. Grant saved two shots by sophomores Simone Veale and Molly Lohss at 59:11 and 62:54 to keep the Ephs at bay. Isabel Perry threatened at 61:11 getting past goalie Grant for a shot but a defensive save by Cardinal Olivia Baglieri kept the Ephs at 5-1.
Coach Alix Barrale noted "We dominated early with 6 penalty corners but Wes scored early, which normally puts teams up on their toes. We did a great job of coming together after that goal, making great passes and converting on our penalty corners. And we were able to carry that fire into the second half and not let up offensively. We were able to get everyone into the game and this win is great momentum for us going into tomorrow's match."
The Ephs next matchup will be against NESCAC rival Bowdoin at tomorrow, the 14th at Williamson Field.