Women's Soccer Defeats Colby 3-1 in First Round of NESCAC Tourney

Women's Soccer Defeats Colby 3-1 in First Round of NESCAC Tourney

Williamstown, MA--No. 3 Women's Soccer (14-0-1 NESCAC 9-0-1) notched their first win in the NESCAC tourney with a 3-1 victory over the Colby Mules (7-6-1 NESCAC 3-6-1). The win extends the team's winning streak to five. 

The Ephs, the No. 1 seed in the NESCAC tournament, are going for its ninth NESCAC title, the most of any conference school. 

Williams dominated the entire game, putting 27 shots on goal. Sydney Jones '21 remained a catalyst for the Eph's offense, providing support on one of the goals and nearly scoring herself on two occasions.  

Georgia Lord '21 opened the scoring in the 2nd minute after receiving sharp pass from Liz Girvan '22. She finished with a booming shot that snagged the upper-right corner of the net. 
Williams added to its lead in the 12th minute when Sydney Jones '21 muscled the ball away from a defender and sent a quick pass into the goal box. A defender deflected the pass, but the ball landed squarely in front of Sarah Scire '20, who buried the ball into the left corner. 
In the 48th minute Nkem Iregbulum '20 showcased herself as two-way player. Always a stout defender, she usually doesn't get many opportunities near the opposing net. But against Colby, she took matters into her own hands. After an attempted clearence by Colby, the ball rolled past the 18. Iregbulum ran forward and took the long shot, giving Williams a 3-0 lead. 
Colby's offensive opportunities were few and far between as the Eph's offense dominated possession. But in the 68th minute, a breakaway offered some hope of a goal. Sofia Oliveira was sprinting down the wing when she sent a pass to Catherine Fraser, who collected the ball and cut across the penalty arc to get around a defender. With a clear window, she struck a shot to the right-side of the net that escaped the reach of Eph goalie Whitney Lincoln '20.
Lincoln had replaced Olivia Barnhill '19 in 55th minute.
Midfielder Natalie Turner-Wyatt '19 returned today against Colby after being injured earlier in the season. Her play-making ability will be valuable if the Ephs go on a postseason run. 
Head coach Michelyne Pinard said that Turner-Wyatt's return will be a boost for the team in November. 
"She's worked so hard to get back. To see her back out there is a huge boost for our team. She's an incredible player, competitor, and leader. We're just thankful she's back with us, and we can't wait to see her in November," Pinard said.
Tallying the scorecard, Colby netminder Shannon Gray had a busy day, playing 90 minutes, making 10 saves, and allowing three goals.
Olivia Barnhill played 55 minutes, had no saves, and allowed no goals. Whitney Lincoln played 35 minutes, had no saves, and allowed one goal.
Williams finished with a 27-4 advantage in shots on goal and a 9-1 advantage in corner kicks.
As the top seed in the tournament the Ephs with their win today secured the right to host the NESCAC Semifnals and Finals next weekend.
Next Saturday the Ephs will play Tufts at 11:AM on Cole Field and that contest will be followed at 1PM with Middlebury playing Tufts.

Saturday's winners will meet on Cole Field at noon on Sunday to determine the 2018 NESCAC Women's Soccer champion. 
Whoever wins will earn an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
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