NORTH ADAMS, MA – The Ephs and Polar Bears tied today in double overtime. After Bowdoin (2-2-2, 0-2-2 NESCAC) dominated the first half and was up with a goal from Molly Popolizio, Williams (4-1-1, 2-0-1 NESCAC) responded with a goal from Brett Eisenhart early in the second. Although the Ephs controlled the second half, they were unable to find the back of the net for a second time, and after 110 minutes, the teams walked off the field in a draw.
Although the Ephs tallied two more shots in the first half, the Polar Bears were the first on the board when in the 17th minute, they converted a corner kick. Caroline Logan struck the ball from the right corner into the middle of the box, where Ellery Gould headed the ball to Molly Popolizio, who headed the ball into the back of the net. Both Gould and Logan were credited with assists. It looked as if Popolizio might strike again when – just over two minutes later – she received a pass from Casey Blossom in the box. Yet again, she got her head on the ball, but the shot hit off the crossbar.
The Ephs tried to rally with opportunities of their own. With just over 20 minutes left to play, Louisa Costa passed the ball through to fellow first-year Alison Magruder in the box. Magruder had a nice look at the goal, but Polar Bear goalie Louise Johnson came off her line to make a nice save. Magruder attempted to strike again after Eisenhart carried the ball up the field and passed it to her in the left corner of the box. Magruder's cross was beautiful, but there was no Eph offensive player there to finish the play. With seven to play, Magruder narrowly kept the ball in off the end line and passed it to Hana Tomozowa, who nearly headed the ball into the net, but Johnson came up with the save. Despite Polar Bear control in the half, they were unable to convert another goal, and they went into halftime with the 1-0 lead.
The Ephs came out of the break hungry and looking for a goal. They found one just over five minutes in when Hayley Cook passed the ball to Costa, who chipped it through to Eisenhart in the box. Eisenhart took a low shot just past the goalie and was able to tie the game up for the Ephs.
Williams continued to control play after the goal. Just over two minutes later, Nicole Stenquist dribbled through the box and around multiple defenders before her shot narrowly missed the net wide left. A minute later, she had another nice look that hit off the post. Her two opportunities were just two of the 14 the Ephs had in the second.
With 28:48 to play, it looked like the Ephs might find another goal. Sachi Siegelman lined up for a free kick. When the ball bounced just over the goalie's head, Eisenhart was just able to get a foot on the ball. The ball hit off the post.
Just over two minutes later, Bowdoin saw one of their best opportunities of the half. In the box by herself, Gould fired the ball at the net, but first-year goalie Hannah Van Wetter came out to make the diving save. Gould continued to pressure for the Polar Bears, and with three to play in regulation, it looked like she might make the winning goal happen with a nice cross near the goal. Van Wetter was able to kick the ball out, though, and despite Williams' domination in the second half, regulation ended with the score tied at one all.
Said Coach Michelyne Pinard about what was different in the second half, "I think we've had a grueling schedule. I think we've been traveling, and we've been playing some of the best teams in the country. I think we just mentally let down a little going into this game. We knew it and just couldn't get ourselves out of it. Halftime gave us a chance to regroup and collectively come together and move forward to have a better second half."
The first overtime saw opportunities for both teams but most noticeably one for Williams that ended with an offsides call and another with Cook by herself up field. Racing to receive a through ball, Johnson came out and kicked the ball out of bounds to allow her team to recover. Neither team was able to finish in the first ten.
As the second period of overtime began, both teams had a sense of urgency. With five minutes to play, Williams saw a great opportunity when Eisenhart placed a perfect through ball for Caitlyn Clark. Clark's attempt went over the crossbar. Both the Ephs and the Polar Bears saw their final offensive possessions end in offsides calls, and the two teams ended the game in a tie.
Said Coach Pinard after the game about her seniors, who were everywhere for the Ephs today, "I don't think anybody wants to win any more than [Eisenhart, Siegelman, and Stenquist] do. They're competitive. They're fiery, and they tried to put us on their backs today and carry us, and we just couldn't quite finish it off. [I] couldn't be more pleased with their effort [and] their energy, and I'm hoping we'll all feed off of what they brought to the table."
Coach Pinard also commented on what this tie meant looking towards NESCAC play, "The league is [as] competitive as ever, and there are [going to] be ties and losses for everyone all over the place. Hopefully we can learn from it and move forward and get even better."
The Ephs look to return to their winning way against non-league opponent Springfield on Thursday. The game will take place at 4:15.