Ephs notch fourth straight shutout, down Polar Bears 3-0

Eph Huddle
Eph Huddle

BRUNSWICK, Maine – Women's soccer (5–0–0, 4–0–0 in the NESCAC) shut out Bowdoin (1–2–1, 0–2–1 in the NESCAC) 3-0 this afternoon, bringing its winning streak to five games.

The Ephs enjoyed an early possession advantage, but the Polar Bears defended well to avoid danger. Bowdoin backs Sophia Lemmer and Lizzie Sands made key interceptions to thwart Williams' attacking moves.

Natasha Albaneze '18, who scored a goal and assisted on two more in yesterday's game, was heavily involved in the early offense. In the 11th minute, the forward got deep into Bowdoin territory and put in a threatening cross. She had a shot just a minute later after Alison Lu '20 picked her out in the penalty area. Albaneze tried a volley, but the ball went over the bar.

Albaneze got the visitors on the board in the 19th minute. Lu took the ball down the right wing, drew an extra defender and passed to an unmarked Natalie Turner-Wyatt '19. Turner-Wyatt sent a ball into the middle that the Polar Bears failed to clear. Albaneze poached the loose ball, and a composed finish put the Ephs up 1-0.

In the 36th minute, Sarah Scire '20 earned a penalty kick after she was fouled in the box. Tri-captain Evan Gancedo '18 stepped up to take it and calmly converted to double the Eph lead.

Bowdoin's Kate Morrison sent a volley on goal in the 41st minute, forcing a save from goalkeeper Olivia Barnhill '19. Morgen Gallagher, Julia Patterson and Lynn Farquhar created the bulk of the Polar Bears' opportunities in the first half.

The score at halftime was 2-0 Williams. Shortly after restart, however, Bowdoin ramped up the pressure. Some nice passing moves resulted in an extended spell of possession deep in Eph territory. The Polar Bears won a free kick 30 yards out from goal, but Emma Beane's shot sailed over the bar.

Liz Webber '20 extended the visitors' lead to three in the 52nd minute. Albaneze's delivery from a corner kick found its way to Webber, and the center back netted for her first collegiate goal.

In the 61st minute, Patterson nearly got through to goal for Bowdoin but was dispossessed by Williams defenders in the box. Substitute goalkeeper Whitney Lincoln '20 was tested by the Polar Bears late in the game. In perhaps the home side's best opportunity, Gallagher had a close-range shot saved by Lincoln, and the goalie kept out a follow-up try as well.

Victoria Laino '21 nearly gave the Ephs a fourth goal in the 83rd minute, but the crossbar kept her shot out of the goal.

The clock ran out with the score at 3-0, and the women recorded their fourth shutout in as many games. Williams has not conceded a goal in 430 minutes of play, after Amanda Becker scored in the 20th minute of the season opener.

The Ephs outshot the Polar Bears 16-10 and edged the hosts 7-5 in shots on goal.

Head coach Michelyne Pinard said that organization has been key in the shutout streak, singling out Barnhill and tri-captain defender Danielle Sim '18 for their efforts.

"Our goalkeepers and center backs are doing a great job of organizing us," she said. "We're working hard on defending collectively, putting pressure on the ball wherever it is and organizing behind."

Pinard added that the team has improved its use of space on the field and that it is starting to get closer to its potential.

"We're doing a good job of identifying the space we can get into," she said. "We're putting the puzzle pieces together, and my hope is that we'll continue to improve and by the end, we'll see the picture of what is possible for this team. The level of play this team is capable of is off the charts. It's exciting to think about what the final product could be."

The women return to Cole Field on Saturday to host archrival Amherst at noon.