Ephs dominate in NCAA opener over Keuka, 5-0

Ephs dominate in NCAA opener over Keuka, 5-0

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WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Regional host Williams College dominated Keuka College, 5-0, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament and will face off against Oneonta State tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.  Williams remains one of two teams in the nation who has not lost or tied a game this season. 

The Ephs, who are currently ranked second in the latest NSCAA rankings, won the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament championship for the third straight year to earn a berth into the NCAA Tournament.  

The Keuka College Storm were making their second straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament after finishing second to Penn State-Harrisburg in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Tournament this past weekend. The Storm posted a 10-9 overall record and recorded an 8-2 mark in the NEAC.

Williams were visibly dominant even under an often equalizing wet and rainy field, controlling the ball and maintaining possession in their half of the field for nearly the entire contest. On paper, the Ephs were equally overpowering, out shooting Keuka 43-1 and tallying 15 corner kicks.

“We came to play,” said Williams’ head coach Michelyne Pinard.  “This is NCAA tourney time, and it’s all about showing up and competing and we’re glad that we were able to come out today and get on the board early.  We expect to be perfect on days like this, but it’s not a fair expectation because you can’t be perfect.  We just play the way we like to play, and are enjoying the opportunity to be in the tournament,”

Two goal efforts from senior captain Sarah Walmsley and star scorer Bret Eisenhart propelled the Ephs to victory.  Walmsley scored the first goal of the game at 15:23 after collecting a quick pass from Tyler Rainer directly in front of net, and nailing a shot to the top right corner. 

Eisenhart followed with her first goal fifteen minutes later.  After dribbling free from her defender, the sophomore forward laced a slow roller that slipped past the goalkeeper’s hands and into net for the two-goal advantage.  Williams could have potentially doubled their first-half lead, but had two goals whistled back by offside calls. 

Eisenhart picked up right where she left off in the first half, scoring nine minutes into the second period off a savvy follow up play.  Teammate Brianna Wolfson took a shot that nailed the post, and Eisenhart reacted quickly to squeeze the deflected ball just inside the left post for her second goal of the game.

Walmsley followed with her second goal at 61:30 off a two-on-two fast break with Annelise Snyder.  Snyder took the ball up field, with Walmsley trailing on her right side.  Snyder passed the ball to her teammate’s far right, and Walmsley raced outside of her defender to collect the pass and score.  Christine Jones scored the Eph’s fifth goal, and her first goal of the season, off a corner kick in the 81st minute of play.

Keuka College finishes their season with a 10-9 record.  Williams ups their undefeated record to 18-0.

“This is a very exciting time of year,” commented Pinard.  “We are thrilled to be able to play against the best teams in the country.  We will take it game by game, and hopefully get to play in Texas.”