Ephs rebound from loss, defeat Red Dragons 3-0

Samantha Vilaboa '13
Samantha Vilaboa '13

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NORTH ADAMS, MA – The Williams women's soccer team bounced back from their first loss of the year with a 3-0 victory against Oneonta State (1-4-0).  The Ephs (3-1-0) got goals from Samantha Vilaboa, Brett Eisenhart, and Sachi Siegelman in the win.

The Ephs took full advantage of their first real look at the net in the 12th minute.  Just past midfield, senior Nicole Stenquist fired the ball from the center of the field to Samantha Vilaboa on the left side.  Vilaboa, who missed last year with an injury, lobbed the ball over Oneonta's goalie into the top right corner of the net.  The goal was Vilaboa's first since her injury. It looked as if Vilaboa might double her points when Caitlin Clark took a free kick from just outside the box seven minutes later. Vilaboa got a foot on the kick, but the shot was blocked by an Oneonta defender.

With 22:33 to play, Brett Eisenhart got a goal of her own.  Vilaboa fired the ball just into the center of the box.  Eisenhart beat the goalie Amy Lusby to the ball and put it around her to give the Ephs the 2-0 lead.

After many runs from Kori Hamm and Dana DeSimone, the Red Dragons finally saw a chance with just over 18 minutes to play.  Hamm took a free kick from just outside the right side of the box.  She got it into the center where Jenna McCarey, just off the bench, was able to get a piece of the ball.  Goalie Laura Wann, who recorded two saves in the half, was able to get a hold of the ball, though. 

The rest of the half passed uneventfully for both teams, and the Ephs entered the break with the 2-0 lead.

The Ephs came out of the break fiery on offense. Just over two minutes in, Eisenhart was wide open at the top of the box.  Goalie Lusby made a great save, diving to the right to keep the score at 2-0.

The Ephs kept the offensive pressure on with 10 shots in the second half.  While Oneonta did add four shots of their own in the half, the defensive hustle of Lilly Wellenbach, Chelsea Davies, Kristine Nakada, Carla Nicasio, and Sachi Siegelman allowed for the Ephs to hold onto their lead.  The Red Dragons did see two good opportunities in the half.  With 25 minutes to play,  Brittney Reilly got a look at the net from the top of the box.  Five minutes later, Brittany Caroni fired a shot from just outside the box.  First-year Hannah Van Wetter, who had three saves on the day, was able to come up with both ball, though, for the Ephs.

With 12:40 left in the game, the Ephs found their final scoring opportunity.  After Siegelman collected a clear by Oneonta, she weaved through defenders to the top right side of the box.  Her shot took a nice bounce past Lusby to give the Ephs their final goal.
 
"Coming into this weekend I wasn't quite sure what it was going to look like, because we are pretty young and we are still finding our way," said Eph Head Coach Michelyne Pinard. "I couldn't be more pleased with how they responded, and even more importantly, I am thrilled with what we as a team got out of this weekend. I think we are a better team front to back all the way through as a result of playing teams like this."
 
Pinard was particularly happy about Vilaboa's performance on the day. "There's no doubt that anyone who saw her go through what she had to go through over the last year to get ready was teary eyed – it was just a great moment for her and a great moment for us," Pinard said. "She's worked as hard as anyone I've ever seen to be in that situation and to be ready for that moment, and I am just so happy to see her finish and combine for an assist [today]."
 
Today's match up was very physical.  The Red Dragons recorded 19 fouls on the day while the Ephs had 13 of their own.  Wellenbach also received a yellow card with just under 20 to play.
 
"This was one of our goals right from the beginning," said Pinard; "we want to play pretty soccer if we can, but if it's going to be a battle, we are willing to fight that too. I think [the team is] willing and capable of playing whatever style of game is thrown at us and I think they did a great job doing that today."
 
Williams will next take on Wesleyan on the road next Saturday at 11 a.m. The team will then return home on Sunday to take on Bowdoin at 12 p.m.