MIDDLETOWN, CT- It was the day of the first-years as the Ephs (1-1, 1-1 NESCAC) got their first win of the season off three goals by rookies Emily Batchelor (3:59), Catharine Torres (10:29) and Shea van den Broek (43:42) to top Wesleyan (2-2, 0-2 NESCAC) 3-1.
The Ephs offense came out dominating in the first quarter, earning two penalty corners within the first minute and testing Cardinal goalie Delaney Wood with two shots soon after by junior Simone Veale (1:06) and senior Emma Ticknor (1:10), blocked and saved by the Cardinal defense.
Wesleyan found a bit of momentum with a penalty corner at 2:30 but couldn't find a hole in the Eph defense. The Cardinals would remain shotless in the first quarter.
The Ephs offense picked up where they left off, taking the ball down the field and pushing back against the Cardinal defense. Junior Claire Fitzpatrick took two hard shots at the goal which Wood defended but first-year Emily Batchelor took the opportunity off a rebounded ball to find the back of the net for her first collegiate goal (3:59), giving the Ephs an early 1-0 lead.
The offense did not let up as play continued, maintaining possession and testing the Cardinal defense with 5 shots in a three-minute interval. Ticknor and Batchelor took 2 shots each but were kept out by the defense. Sophomore Elizabeth Welch took a hard shot at 10:13 but the ball was kicked out by goalie Wood, but Fitzpatrick took the ball and found first-year Catherine Torres who drove the ball back into the circle and past the pad of Wood for her first collegiate goal and a 2-0 lead for the Ephs (10:29). Fitzpatrick was awarded an assist on the play.
After a 2-minute pause between quarters the Ephs offense was met with a stronger Wesleyan defense. The defense only allowed 4 shots in the quarter, to the 13 taken in the first quarter. The Wesleyan offense began to find their footing at the end of the half, with a shot by first-year Erica Horowitz that went wide of the net (26:28) and a penalty corner at 28:39. But the half would end with no shots on goals for the Cardinals and a relatively calm defensive half for Eph keeper Abby Lloyd.
The second half found a much tighter game on both sides of the field, with both teams pushing for possession. The Ephs ultimately came out with the ball and pressured Wesleyan in the circle with 3 penalty corners and 2 shots on goal from junior Veale, ultimately cleared by Wood.
After the Eph threat, Wesleyan took possession and tested the Eph defense. The Cardinals took 5 penalty corners in a 10-minute span, firing shots at the Eph defense. But Williams kept their cool, clearing the shots as they came, aided by senior keeper Abby Lloyd who made a big save at 38:10 to keep the Cards at bay.
The Eph offense wasn't quieted yet and retook the ball pushing a penalty corner at 43:23 and again at 43:35. After two shots by Veale that were both thwarted by Cardinal defense, it would be another first-year Shea van den Broek who would find the back of the net for her first collegiate goal and a 3-0 Williams lead (43:42).
Into the 4th quarter, the Eph offense was unstoppable. Taking immediate possession, the Ephs took a penalty corner at 46:24 and two shots by Torres and Welch, the first going wide and the second saved by Wood.
Wesleyan pushed back, keeping the ball in neutral ground and challenging the entire Eph field. A quick breakaway by a Wesleyan forward excited the Williams defense, but senior Marissa Feller took on the forward one v. one and made a great play to clear the ball and give the Ephs possession to make a run down the field. Sophomore Kate Gregory took the ball all the way to the circle and found Batchelor who took a great shot but couldn't make it past Wood, who made a great split save to keep the ball out (55:30). The Ephs made a final goal attempt with a shot by Welch at 56:20 but were pushed out by Wood.
With less than 30 seconds of play left, Wesleyan forward Diana Schwarz took a shot at the top of the goal line, and found the back of the net, making the score 3-1 (59:44) The late goal would be the only Wesleyan goal of the game, as the last 16 seconds ticked down and the buzzer sounded.
Eph keeper Abby Lloyd had one save on the day while Cardinal keeper Delaney Wood had thirteen. The Ephs has 17 shots on goal, with 30 in total.
"I'm so proud of the way we bounced back from last week," noted Eph head coach Alx Barrale. "In practice, we really worked on finishing in the circle and I think we definitely did that. Wesleyan has a great goalie, and I think we had a couple shots that were robbed. Claire Fitzpatrick did a great job of winning the ball back for us and keeping our offense going. It was also a great day for our defense to be able to still be strong and do their job when they needed to, even though for us it was an offense dominated game. We're looking forward to jumping into a lot of games this week and it's really exciting to take this win and this momentum into our next games."
The Ephs next game will be a midweek non-conference matchup at Smith College on Tuesday, September 17th at 7:00 pm EST.