GENEVA, N.Y. -- For Michelyne Pinard, head coach of the women's soccer team at Williams, the fun is not necessairily in the results but in the process of trying to create the best team experience possible for her student-athletes.
So getting back to the NCAA Final Four one year after losing the national title game in penalty kicks might help that along. Today at 1:30 p.m., the Ephs 18-1-1 will take on Stevens Institute (18-3-1) in a NCAA Tournament Third Round game at William Smith College.
The Ducks are having a sensational season, averaging nearly four goals (3.86) per contest, a total of 85 in 22 games. The won the Empire 8 conference tournament and last weekend, defeated Lesley (5-0) and Bowdoin (4-1) at home to advance to today's game.
Stevens has two 50-point players entering play today. Junior Raba Nassif has 19 goals and nation-leading Div. III 19 assists for 57 points. Freshman Zisi Komar has a team-high 20 goals and 10 assists for a total of 50 points.
The Ducks have been to the round of 16 only once before, falling to in-state rival The College of New Jersey 1-0 in 2005.
The Ephs are led, in scoring, by juniors Kristi Kirshe (12 goals 7 assists, 31 points) and Audrey Thomas (11 goals, 4 assists, 26 points). Last weekend however, five different players scored as Williams brushed past Westfield State (3-0) and The College of New Jersey (3-0) in first and secound round NCAA Tournament victories.
Senior Crystal Lewin scored a goal in each contest and now has four, tying her career-high for a single season. Senior Zoe Trutner leads the Ephs' defensive effort, while Junior netminder Tressa Palcheck boasts a 17-1-1 mark, and has only allowed seven goals on the season.