Thomas lifts Ephs over Conn 1-0

Thomas lifts Ephs over Conn 1-0

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA ­– The Williams women's soccer team defeated the Connecticut College Camels (2-2-2, 0-2-1 NESCAC) 1-0 today.  First-year  Audrey Thomas scored the only goal of the match in the second half for the Ephs (3-1-2, 2-1-1 NESCAC).

Williams started off strong when in just the second minute Alison Magruder served a beautiful pass from the left side of the box inside to Hana Tomozawa. Tomozawa headed the ball on net, but her shot flew over the crossbar. The early opportunity gave the Ephs some energy as they controlled play for much of the first half.

Despite several opportunities in the opening frame, the Ephs were unable to find the back of the net. However, they continued to push and looked like they might finally finish when they were awarded a free kick several yards inside midfield with about ten minutes to play. Mai Mitsuyama fired the ball into the box, but Camel keeper Bella Hall scooped up the ball before an Eph attacker could take advantage of the opportunity.

A few minutes later, Connecticut had one of its best looks of the half as Rebecca Raymond fed the ball into the box from midfield. However, Eph keeper Hannah Van Wetter narrowly beat Annie Higgins to the ball to thwart Connecticut's attempt at a goal.  Neither team was able to score for the remainder of the half.

The two teams proved more evenly matched in the second half and both came out with more energy.  Just over five minutes into the half, though, it looked like the Ephs might break the tie as Alex McInturf passed the ball into Magruder inside the box with just one Camel defender.  Magruder beat the defender and took the one-on-one shot on goal.  Hall slid to make the save for the Camels to keep the game scoreless.

After a lot of back and forth play, the Ephs finally found the back of the net in the 66th minute.  Mitsuyama passed the ball ahead to Thomas who broke free of the Camel defenders and fired the ball from just inside the box. The ball curved perfectly into the top left corner of the net to give the Ephs the 1-0 lead.

Connecticut continued to fight, and with just over sixteen left to play Lily Cannon fired a nice pass into the box after playing down a throw-in.  There were no Camels in the box, though, and Van Wetter cleared the ball out of danger for the Ephs.

Both teams attacked aggressively for the rest of the half, but the defenses locked it in, and neither team was able to score.

Van Wetter posted one save for the Ephs; Hall scooped up five for the Camels.  The Ephs outshot the Camels 14-4 in the match.

Said Coach Michelyne Pinard after the game, "I think anytime you play a well-organized team who tries to take the steam out of the game, it's hard to keep the tempo going, and I thought we struggled with that a little bit in the first half. I was very pleased with how we solved that in the second half.  [The energy] showed with our ability – just going at them a little more and a little sooner, which created a lot of opportunities for us."

She added, "A strength of ours is our depth, and I think that showed today. I'm just so pleased: Everyone's worked so hard to be ready, and we were ready today.  I'm proud of them."

Pinard was particularly impressed with Thomas's play: "She's a gamer, so I often say with those types of players, 'The bigger the moment, the better they are.' She's definitely that.  To be a freshman and have that impact – not only scoring goals but all over the field – I couldn't be more pleased with her performance."

The Ephs return to the field on Wednesday. They take on Springfield at 4 PM.

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