GREENSBORO, N.C. -- From Cole Fieldhouse to Albany, N.Y. to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, PA, Raleigh, N.C. and finally Greensboro, it was all about the cow suits Wednesday.
Well-wishers, strangers, innocent bystanders and even fellow parents of NESCAC schools were swept up as two different herds of purple cow took over airports up an down the east coast as the Williams College women's soccer team hit the road for the 2017 NCAA Div. III Tournament's Final Four -- its third such appearance in four years.
Williams (20-1-1) will take on Hardin Simmons (23-0) Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro's Soccer Stadium. You can watch the game HERE. You can follow the game via live stats HERE.
The most oft-asked question of the day? "What's with the cow suits?" The second most-oft asked question of the day? "Are you guys supporting Chick-fil-A?"
The wearing of the cow suit tradition has continued to evolve over the years as the women's soccer team has continued to excel and qualify for the Final Four. The first year, players changed into the suits in line while checking in at the Albany International Airport. The following year, they put them on at Cole Fieldhouse. Wednesday morning, they came to the fieldhouse dressed for success, giving the appearance that a scattered herd of cows was stampeding toward the field house from Mission and points south.
Per usual, the Ephs didn't leave academia behind. Tri-captain Jacqueline Simeone worked diligently on a take-home economics test while waiting for a flight. Others were involved in a competitive card game, while still others used the airport corridors as a nice place to get a good stretch in. The plane/bus rides consisted of the usual fare, intense discussions of what student-athletes would do with their hair differently if they could do anything they wanted, burning questions such as "If you could only live in one place, where it was 100 degrees all the time or 0 degrees all the time, what would you choose," and of course, in another time-honored Eph tradition, the roommate game.
Finally, a stop at Chipotle, dinner on the bus and a light stretch and jog once the team reached the hotel in Greensboro.
Today, the Ephs have a full slate scheduled. An mid-morning walk-through of UNCG's Soccer Stadium commences the activities, followed by a full practice on an adjacent field, a scout and then lunch on the UNCG campus before participating in the NCAA Community Service project by taking a trip to Wiley Elementary School. The NCAA banquet, in which all eight (four women's teams, four men's teams) take part in, is tonight at 6:30 p.m.
A couple of additional items of note. Eight members of the women's soccer team were named to the NESCAC Fall All-Academic team, including Albaneze, Barnhill, Gancedo, Sarah Hollinger, Nkem Iregbulem, Sarah Kelly, Alison Lu and Sim. To be honored, an individual must have reached sophomore academic standing and be in good standing on their team with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.40.
Also, Simeone was named to the NESCAC Fall All-Sportmanship Team.