WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- Despite a lengthy rain delay, the Ephs were able to beat the Springfield Pride today 2-0 behind two second half goals – one from senior Brett Eisenhart and the other from first-year Alison Magruder. The Ephs move to 5-1-1 (2-0-1 NESCAC) on the year, while the Pride move to 4-3-1.
Both teams saw good opportunities in the first half. With 32:47 on the clock, Eph forward Eisenhart flew ahead of defenders and had a good look at the goal. Springfield goalie Erin Greenstein came out to make the play, though, to keep the score at zeroes early on. With 16 left to play, the Pride saw a chance of their own when Erica Donnelly sprinted to keep the ball from going over the right end line. She crossed the ball to Ashley Carresi who had a look at the net, but first-year goalie Hannah Van Wetter was able to make the save.
Both teams looked ready to play at the sound of the whistle. The Ephs, however, were the first to take advantage of the time to rest their legs. In the 48th minute of the game, Kristine Nakada carried the ball into the box towards the left goalpost. Just before hitting the net, she sent a short cross to Eisenhart, who was near the center of the goal. Eisenhart just got a foot on the ball to give the Ephs the 1-0 lead.
It looked as if the Ephs might make it 2-0 when – with just over 26 minutes to play – Chloe Kuh fired a ball on net from about 30 yards out. Greenstein made an incredible diving save and just barely got her right hand on the ball to send it out of bounds instead.
The Ephs did not let their next opportunity slip away. Just over three minutes later, Eisenhart, who was at the right of the box, received a pass from Caitlyn Clark. Eisenhart crossed the ball to Magruder cutting in, who finished for the first goal of her career.
Said Eph coach Michelyne Pinard about Magruder, "[The goal]'s going to be one of many. She's a dynamic forward who can get in behind backs. It's just so fun for the team to see our young kids start to contribute on the board as well as otherwise."
Springfield looked to get a goal back with 14 to play when Bobbi Bergstrom beat three defenders to a through ball. By herself in the box, she fired at the net, but Laura Wann made the save.
The Pride found another offensive opportunity with just over four to play when they forced a corner kick. Carresi had a perfect strike into the box, but an Eph defender hit the ball out of bounds, causing another corner kick. Carresi took the resulting corner as well, but the Ephs were able to clear. With no other offensive opportunities in the final moments for the Pride, the Ephs walked off the field with the win.
Coach Pinard was happy with her team's response in the second half: "To be honest [their response to the rain delay] is not a surprise. These guys relish in any opportunity to compete and play. They didn't care if they had to wait; they just wanted to get out there, and I think they did a great job. I think they did a really great job with the surface. This is not an easy [surface]. You could see them trying to still play and still make things happen, and I think you saw them do a great job of executing, especially in the second half."
The Ephs play again on Tuesday at home against Hamilton. They game is set for 4:00.
Said Coach Pinard about the time to rest, "We are pretty banged up, so I think this time will allow us to rejuvenate a little bit. We have an alumni game on Saturday, and it will be a lot of fun to see all those guys and remember what Williams women's soccer is all about, which is just competing with passion and having fun out there."