Ephs defeat Oneonta St. 2-0 in home opener

Ephs defeat Oneonta St. 2-0 in home opener

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The Williams women's soccer team defeated the Oneonta St. Red Dragons (3-3-0) today 2-0.  Alison Magruder and Alex McInturf both scored for the Ephs (2-1-1) in the opening frame. Today's matchup was the Ephs' first on Cole Field.

The Ephs got off to a strong start, and Magruder looked like she might get her first goal of the year in just the 13th minute. She weaved through several defenders in the box and faked out goalie Rori Stark for an open look at the net. An Oneonta defender cleared the ball, though, to keep the game scoreless.

Magruder, however, did not have to wait long for the goal. Less than four minutes later, Crystal Lewin dished the ball into the box from a few steps inside the right sideline. Magruder gathered the ball at the top of the box and made a move around her defender before sailing the ball over the keeper's head into the middle of the net.

After the goal, the Ephs continued to push. Just eight minutes later, the Ephs were awarded a corner kick.  The ball was mishandled by an Oneonta defender in the box and took a bounce in the middle.  McInturf played the ball off the bounce and skipped it into the net.

Oneonta tried to get back in the game with a free kick from the right corner. Liz Lasota rocketed the ball perfectly over the crowd to the far crossbar, but Eph keeper Hannah Van Wetter calmly collected it to keep the Ephs up 2-0.

The score held for the rest of the half despite the Ephs' continued pressure  - they outshot the Red Dragons 10-2 in the opening frame.

In the second half, the Ephs continued to push. Just over fifteen minutes in, Mai Mitsuyama sent a free kick in from the right side of the box.  Lilly Wellenbach headed the ball to Magruder, who fired at the net. Stark, however, made a pretty save on her knees to keep her team in the game.

The Red Dragons looked to gain some momentum as Kayla Ceschini carried the ball up the right sideline ahead of her teammates just over two minutes later. She rocketed the ball at the net, but Van Wetter came off her line to make the save.

Oneonta continued to push, and Avery Serfis fired the ball on net from the middle of the box.  It looked as if the ball would curve over Van Wetter's head into the net, but at the last second she made the beautiful one-handed save to send the ball over the cross bar instead.

The rest of the half passed without either team able to finish as the goalies played more aggressively to keep the ball out of the net.

The Ephs dominated today's matchup on the offensive end as they outshot the Red Dragons 18-4.  Stark had five saves in the game for Oneonta; Van Wetter turned away all four of the Red Dragons' opportunities.

After the game, head Coach Michelyne Pinard commented on her two scorers: "[Magruder] is just always dangerous, and it was great to see her get on the board. [McInturf] is having a heck of a season.  We're getting leadership from literally every class, and it's not a surprise to me that [Magruder and McInturf] got on the board for us. It couldn't have come at a better time."

Added Pinard about her team's ability to bounce back from a 2-0 loss to Trinity yesterday, "I couldn't be prouder. I think losing a tough NESCAC match and rebounding the next day against one of the best teams in the country is hard to do, and I'm just so proud that we were that resilient. We've been talking all along that we just control the things we can control. Today we could control our energy, and I think we did a good job with that."

The Ephs return to Cole Field next Saturday to take on rival Amherst at 2:00 PM.

Said Pinard about the game, "We like to say it's 'Amherst Season,' so this week is 'Amherst Season.' We're certainly excited about that. There's no doubt there's a little something special about this week and next Saturday, but our preparation is always the same, and we'll be ready to go."