WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — As storms loomed and a steady downpour set in on Cole Field Saturday afternoon, rain was not the only thing that peppered the Bantam back line, as the weather did very little to put a damper on the endless Eph attack. Looking to not allow a repeat of last year's 2-0 regular season loss in this fixture, Williams combined for five goals from five different players, including three freshmen, in a comprehensive team effort to sink Trinity 5-0.
The game started out at a very slow pace, but started to pick up after the first twenty minutes, when the Bantams had one of the first good chances of the game. Bantam senior Karyn Barrett took a corner short to sophomore Laura Nee, who dribbled a few yards down the touchline before sliding the ball back to Barrett at the top-right side of the box, whose left-footed dipping effort, skimmed off the top of the crossbar and out of play.
In the 27th minute, Eph head coach Michelyne Pinard decided to inject some fresh legs into a thus-far impotent Eph attack, and it wasn't long before the Ephs opened up the scoring.
In the 35th minute, freshman Danielle Sim tallied the Ephs' first goal of the day as well as her own first goal in an Eph uniform. Fellow freshmen Evan Gancedo and Natasha Albaneze combined through the midfield, before Albaneze slid an incisive pass through the Bantam back line, looking for Sim, who ran onto the ball and slotted it past junior keeper Monica DiFiori and into the back of the net.
It was only four minutes later when the Ephs doubled their lead by way of Hanna Kaeser, who also scored her first goal for the Ephs on Saturday. This time it was senior Louisa Costa who started the move, as she raced down the right flank before centering the ball to Sim in the box, who tapped the ball to Kaeser on the right side, leaving little left to do but bury the ball into the left panel of DiFiori's goal to give the Ephs a 2-0 lead going into halftime.
The Ephs started the second half just as lively as they ended the first, adding a third and a fourth goal before the hour mark.
First, it was sophomore Audrey Thomas in the 57th minute who bagged her third goal of the year in as many games. The play was initiated by a lovely lobbed through ball from senior co-captain Hana Tomozawa, who floated a ball over the Bantam back line for Thomas to run onto. Once the ball was at her feet, Thomas dispatched it past DiFiori, smashing it into the roof of the net, leaving DiFiori little chance to keep the Bantam's deficit at two.
Thomas' striking partner, and fellow sophomore, Kristi Kirshe would not be outdone however, as she notched the Ephs' fourth goal of the game with her own fourth goal of the season, mere seconds before the hour mark. Sophomore Katie Wardlaw dashed down the right side, beating her defender to the touchline, where she sent a perfect cross to the back-post to Kirshe, who was waiting to jump up and nod the ball past the outstretched arms of DiFiori, kissing the post before rippling the netting of left panel of the goal.
The Ephs foreshadowed their fifth goal in the 76th minute as Natasha Albaneze continued the trend of attacking down the right wing, creating some nice space with her speed before sending a low cross through the Bantam penalty area to sophomore Gabby Suarez, who wasn't able to keep her shot low enough to test DiFiori.
Five minutes later, the Ephs wrapped up the day's scoring, as it was Albaneze's turn to add herself to the score sheet and net the first goal of her Williams career. The ball fell kindly to junior Lindsey Vandergrift after rattling around the chaotic Bantam penalty area. Vandergrift picked out Albaneze, who tucked the ball nicely into the right panel of the goal to a put an exclamation point on what was a resounding statement of intent for the Ephs.
All the Ephs had left to do was complete their strong defensive performance and earn their second clean sheet of the year, which they did, as Eph senior keeper Hannah Van Wetter made three saves before sophomore Tressa Palcheck got her first minutes of the 2014 season, coming on for Van Wetter in the 78th minute to see out the rest of the game and the clean sheet.
After the game, Coach Pinard praised the all-around performance of her team: "We know our strength is our depth, and to know that we can have player after player come off the bench and increase the tempo of play is a huge lift for us. Trinity is a great team. They do a great job keeping the ball and that can be frustrating, but we kept our heads out there and performed very well. This team wants to be great, and greatness is earned every minute. They wanted to keep the scoreboard clean, and that's all the motivation they needed. I didn't have to say anything to them."
With the win, the Ephs extend their unbeaten start to the season (3-0, NESCAC 2-0), while Trinity continues their slow start in conference play (2-2, NESCAC 0-2).
The Bantams have the rest of the weekend off, as they are set to next take on Wheaton (Mass.) on Wednesday. The Ephs, on the other hand, play their next game tomorrow, Sunday, against MIT, which is scheduled for a 1 PM EDT kickoff.