Women's soccer plays to 1-1 draw with Bates

Women's soccer plays to 1-1 draw with Bates

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Women's soccer (6–0–1, 5–0–1 in the NESCAC) fought Bates (4–1–1, 2–0–1 in the NESCAC) to a 1-1 draw this afternoon on Cole Field, as both teams remained undefeated in conference play.

A solid work rate from both teams led to a host of chances in the first half. In the 25th minute, Georgia Lord '21 had a shot from the edge of the box, but it was cleared near the post by Bates defender MacKenzie Kelly. The Bobcats then went on the attack, and a corner kick led to a header for Cassidy McCarns that went wide.

A dangerous sequence for Bates in the 29th minute nearly led to a breakthrough. A cross connected with Hannah Behringer in the penalty area, and Behringer ricocheted a shot off the right post. The ball was sent back in, and Behringer had another shot, saved brilliantly by Olivia Barnhill '19.

In the 37th minute, Ilana Albert '21 lofted an inviting ball for Erika Jung '20 in the box, but Bates goalkeeper Sarah McCarthy punched the ball out.

The visitors went up 1-0 in the 40th minute. Bates forward Caroline Bogue laid the ball off for Olivia Amdur, who took a touch around a defender and hit a wonder strike from 25 yards out. The powerful shot sailed in just beneath the crossbar.

The Ephs looked to strike back, and in the 41st minute, Sarah Kelly '20 came off a nice one-two and hit a shot with the outside of her foot. McCarthy, however, was pushed the try behind the end line for a corner.

The score at halftime was 1-0 Bobcats, and the Ephs went into the break behind for the first time this season. Williams held a 7-6 advantage in shots and a 6-2 edge in corners in the first 45.

In the 53rd minute, the Ephs equalized. Natasha Albaneze '18 traded passes with Sarah Scire '20 from a corner kick, and Albaneze sent a ball in that found its way to Victoria Laino '21 in the box. Laino knocked the ball into the net, scoring for the second straight day.

Kelly won the ball deep in Bobcat territory and hit a shot over the bar in the 59th minute. Georgia Lord '21 set Laino up with a chance for a second goal in the 63rd minute. Lord cut the ball back from the right flank, and an unmarked Laino had a try at the top-left corner from the edge of the box, sailing high and wide.

Williams created more opportunities in the latter part of the half, but the Bates back line and goalkeeper Sarah McCarthy stood strong. McCarthy saved a shot from Scire in the 84th minute and one from Alison Lu '20 in the 88th minute to send the game to extra time.

The Ephs continued to threaten in the extra period. In the 91st minute, Natalie Turner-Wyatt '19 won the ball on the left side and fed Kelly, who dodged defenders to get a shot on net. Lord forced another save from McCarthy shortly thereafter, when she headed a free kick toward goal.

One of the best chances for a decider came in the 99th minute, when a Bobcat hand ball set up a free kick from just outside the box. Lu slid onto a delivery from Albaneze, but McCarthy was there to make the save.

The Ephs kept the pace quick in the second overtime period, and Lauren Brown '19 had shot go just wide into the side netting. Bates forward So Kim sent a shot on goal in the 106th minute, but Barnhill dealt with the danger.

After extra time, the game finished a 1-1 tie. Williams commanded a 24-8 advantage in shots and an 11-2 edge in corners. The Ephs enjoyed most of the possession after the first half, but the Bobcats kept the ball out of the net. McCarthy made six saves, while Barnhill had three.

"We didn't finish today," head coach Michelyne Pinard said. "That was the key. If we finish, it's a different game. That's soccer, though, and we'll keep working."

"We need to take shots when we get them," she added. "We can't always wait for the perfect final ball."

Pinard said she liked her team's response to the first-half deficit but wishes the players could start the game at that level.

"Our tempo was faster after they scored," she said. "I'm hoping we can start with that tempo and do that for 90 minutes or 110 minutes. That would give us a better chance to win."

Pinard experimented tactically this weekend with players seeing time in new roles. She and her  coaching staff iare trying to put the team in the best position to play to its full potential.

"We have a lot of first years, and a lot of sophomores and juniors are coming back from injuries," she said. "We're trying to put the pieces together and put people in the right places to make us the best team. The team is flexible, and we're getting there."

The Ephs will return to Cole Field next Saturday to host Connecticut College at noon.