BIDDEFORD, ME- The #7 Williams College Ephs (12-2) toppled the University of New England Nor'Easters (10-9) with two late goals by Claire Fitzpatrick '21. The Ephs had a solid first-half lead of 2-0, but two back-to-back goals by Reanna Boulay tied the score at 2-2, and it would be Fitzpatrick's two goals and a reignited Eph defense that secured the win for the Ephs.
The Ephs offense took control early in the game and with the ball in possession, Fitzpatrick found teammate Emma Ticknor '20 near the goal, and she slotted the ball in past the pad of Nor'Easter keeper Liz Sargent to give the Ephs an early 1-0 lead (6:13). The Ephs kept the pressure on as Isabel Perry '20 fired a shot at 10:26 that was saved by Sargent. A penalty corner at 12:18 provided an opportunity for the Ephs, but the resounding shots from Simone Veale '21 and Fitzpatrick were blocked by the Nor'Easter defense (12:28, 12:32).
Another penalty corner at 13:59 gave an opportunity to Emily Batchelor '23 but her shot was knocked out by Sargent. Ticknor collected the rebounded ball and fired her own shot but was just wide of the net (14:09).
In the second quarter, the Ephs offense showed no signs of slowing down. Fitzpatrick fired a shot at 19:04 that was just knocked aside by keeper Sargent. The Ephs kept the ball in the circle and Ticknor made another attempt at the goal but was blocked by a Nor'Easter defender (20:43). The Nor'Easter defense caught up with the Eph offense to keep play in the midfield for some of the quarter, but the Ephs found their way back into the circle and notched a penalty corner at 26:39. Catherine Torres '23 would take the corner for the Ephs and her pass found Veale at the top of the circle. Veale's pass made it to the stick of Kate Gregory '22 who made a hard shot at the goal but was blocked by Sargent (27:00). Shea van den Broek '23 collected the rebound and shot the ball again, but was blocked by a defender (27:05).
Into the final minutes of the half, the Ephs kept the pressure on. Elizabeth Welch '22 with possession in the circle fired a hard shot through the legs of Sargent to put the Ephs up 2-0 (28:38).
The Nor'Easters had their first opportunity of the half with a late shot from Kendra MacDonald that was played away by Eph Keeper Abby Lloyd (29:43). A final second penalty corner for the Nor'Easters proved unfruitful as the shot by Reanna Boulay was blocked by an Eph defender (30:00).
The third quarter became an even battle between the two squads, as play remained in the midfield for the first 10 minutes. But the Nor'Easters broke away with a penalty corner at 41:14. Haylee Angster would take the corner and her pass found MacDonald at the top of the circle. MacDonald found Boulay close to the net and Boulay's shot slid just past the pad of Lloyd to bring the score to 2-1 (41:22). The Nor'Easters quickly regained possession after starting back in the midfield and notched another penalty corner at 43:47. The Nor'Easters converted again with the same play, and Boulay fired another shot past Lloyd to even the score at 2-2 (43:55).
The Ephs offense looked to bounce back and regain the lead with a shot from Batchelor at 44:26, but was blocked by a defender. A penalty corner at 46:40 provided an opportunity for the Ephs, but Fitzpatrick's shot was knocked away by a Nor'Easter defender (46:24).
The match headed into the final quarter with an even 2-2 score and both squads looking for the go-ahead goal. It would be the Ephs, though, that grabbed the early possession and a penalty corner at 46:40. After the initial pass in from Batchelor, the Ephs offense invaded the circle and Perry passed the ball to Fitzpatrick who swept the ball up over the shoulder of Sargent to give the Ephs the go-ahead (46:47). But the Ephs weren't done yet, as Welch headed down the field with 10 minutes left in the half and found Fitzpatrick again in the circle. Fitzpatrick shot the ball into the back corner of the net to give the Ephs a 4-2 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
From there, the Eph defense kept the pressure on and ensured no Nor'Easter made it into the circle until the final minute of the game when MacDonald found an opportunity but was stopped by keeper Lloyd to secure the Eph win.
Eph keeper Abby Lloyd had two saves on the day and allowed two goals while UNE keeper Liz Sargent had 4 saves and allowed 4 goals.
The Ephs conclude their regular season with their final NESCAC matchup against Middlebury College on Tuesday, October 29th at 6:30 pm.