WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – No. 4 Women's soccer (8–0–1, 6–0–1 in the NESCAC) defeated Castleton 5-0 this afternoon on Cole Field.
The home side struck for three goals in the first half. Forward Alison Lu '20 started the scoring just 31 seconds into the game. After receiving a pass from Natasha Albaneze '18 in the penalty area, Lu beat the goalkeeper from close range.
In the eighth minute, midfielder Natalie Turner-Wyatt '19 made it 2-0 Ephs. The ball bounced out to center back Liz Webber '20 near the right touchline, and Webber floated a gorgeous ball into the box. Turner-Wyatt connected with a header that found the net.
Forward Sydney Jones '21 added her name to the scoresheet in the 41st minute, tallying her first collegiate goal. Jones' first touch on a pass from Erika Jung '20 took her past the defenders, and she found the bottom-right corner with a shot.
With a 3-0 lead at halftime, head coach Michelyne Pinard opted to use several players off the bench. In total, 26 Williams players, including three different goalkeepers, appeared in the game.
Lu notched her second goal of the game in the 56th minute. She controlled a loose ball in the box and powered a shot inside the far post for her team-leading sixth goal of the season. 26 seconds later, Turner-Wyatt found her second score as well. Her first-time strike off a feed from Albaneze, who recorded her conference-leading seventh assist, went in under the crossbar.
Castleton freshman Rylee Nichols had a shot on goal in the 65th minute, but substitute goalkeeper Whitney Lincoln '20 made the save.
The score was 5-0 Ephs at the final whistle. Williams recorded 33 shots in the game, and Castleton goalie Rachel Shambo had five saves.
Pinard said she was pleased with her team's attack down the flanks in today's game.
"We're trying to be unpredictable and attack in different ways," she said. "Every team gives you something different, and we're trying to be more confident in our attack on the flanks.
"We got on the board quickly, but it took us some time to figure out where the space was. We did a good job of moving the ball and playing quickly. Lots of people got on and got minutes and experience, and it's a good day when you can score five goals against a good team. We're thrilled with what we did today."
Next weekend, Williams will face undefeated No. 15 MIT, the highest-ranked team the Ephs have played. Pinard said the team will look to improve on its success this weekend in preparation for the challenge.
"We need to continue to tighten up defensively, and we need to continue to move the ball," Pinard said. "We're going to keep building and putting puzzle pieces together."
Williams hosts Farmingdale State next Saturday at 11:30 a.m.