BRUNSWICK, ME - The Williams women's soccer team defeated the Bowdoin Polar Bears (8-2-1, 4-2-1 NESCAC) 3-0 today. The Ephs (7-1-2, 4-1-1 NESCAC) handed the Polar Bears just their second loss of the year behind goals from Crystal Lewin, Alison Magruder, and Kristi Kirshe. The Ephs and Polar Bears last met in last year's NESCAC finals, where the Ephs claimed the title in penalty kicks.
Williams got on the board early. In just the fourth minute, Magruder crossed the ball inside the box to Lewin, who put it past Bowdoin goalie Bridget McCarthy for her first goal of the year.
The Ephs did not let up after the early goal. Twenty minutes after taking the 1-0 lead, Magruder got a goal of her own as she finished a cross from Kirshe to give the Ephs the insurance goal. The Ephs continued to push for the rest of the half – outshooting the Polar Bears by a tally of 15-4. However, they remained unable to finish for the rest of the opening period.
Out of the break, Bowdoin looked to get back in the game. Just seventeen seconds into the second half, Jamie Hofstetter had a nice look at the net. Eph keeper Hannah Van Wetter calmly made the save, though, to keep the cushioned Eph lead. Bowdoin fired off another shot just forty seconds later. Van Wetter again rose to the occasion as she thwarted Demi Feder's opportunity.
The Ephs continued to push on their offensive end as well, but McCarthy managed to turn away three straight Eph opportunities. Williams finally found the back of the net in the 73rd minute. Audrey Thomas connected with fellow first-year Kirshe, who fired the ball into the goal. The goal was Kirshe's second of the year; she scored yesterday's winning goal against Wesleyan – the first of her career.
Van Wetter was stellar in net for the Ephs today as she turned away all six of the opportunities she saw. Tressa Palcheck, who played the final ten minutes in net for the Ephs, also recorded a save. McCarthy saved eight Eph shots in just over 77 minutes of play. Casey Krause did not face any shots on goal in the final 12:40 of the game.
The second half of the game was much more evenly matched: Bowdoin outshot the Ephs 7-5 with five of their second-half opportunities falling on cage. The Ephs outshot the Polar Bears 20-11 in the game.
Said head coach Michelyne Pinard, "I think our depth and our fitness and our toughness really showed today. We were ready right from the start, and we played for ninety minutes. It was great to see us handle this incredible challenge – with the long road trip and playing such great teams."
She added that "getting on the board early was really huge" for the Ephs.
The Ephs will return to Cole to take on Tufts next Saturday. Game time is set for 2 PM.
Pinard is excited for the Ephs to return to the field: "The further we go in the season, the more focused this team gets."