Women's Soccer Loses 1-0 to Middlebury in NESCAC Finals

Women's Soccer Loses 1-0 to Middlebury in NESCAC Finals

Williamstown, MA--No. 2 Women's Soccer fell short today at Farley-Lamb field, losing 1-0 to the Middlebury Panthers (15-1-2 NESCAC 9-1-1). The Panthers, who beat Amherst in the semi-finals, will receive the NESCAC conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. 

Despite losing in the NESCAC finals, the Ephs (15-1-2 NESCAC 9-1-1) will likely retain a spot in NCAA tournament. 

In the 67th minute of today's match, Midd's Ellie Greenberg scored the game winner. 
 
Greenberg, whose speed was a constant threat in the first half, finished what had been an offensive flourish by the Panthers. Midd's Jane Devito started the play by putting the ball on the right flank, where sophomore Eliza Van Voorhis rerouted the ball to Simone Ameer. Ameer volleyed the ball into the goal box for Greenberg, who knuckled the ball off her leg, sending it into the net. 
 
The goal seemed to take the air out of Williams, as they struggled to find an offensive spark. As the game neared the 85th minute, Williams started to take desperation shots. Aspen Pierson '21 twice found space on the left side and let the ball fly from the 25 yards out, sending excitement through the hometown crowd. But both missed the net. 
 
Middlebury eventually worked the ball to the corner and ran out the clock, securing their fourth NESCAC title in school history. 
 
The game was scrappy, aggressive, and hard-fought. Midd's Isabelle Hartnett and Caitlin Magruder both received yellow cards, Hartnett's at 12:05 and Magruder's 33:05. 
 
Williams had dominated the first half, putting eight shots on goal while only allowing two from Middlebury. They had their best chance in the 22nd minute, when Pierson received a pass from Sarah Scire '20, crossed her defender just north of the 18, and drilled a shot to the left side of the net. Midd's goalie, Ursula Alwang, dove and got a hand on the ball, deflecting it around the right post. 
 
Alwang had three saves in the match, with no goals allowed.
 
In the 33rd minute, Greenberg's speed created a breakaway chance for Middlebury. Two passes from the backfield pushed the ball to Greenberg who outran her defender on the right flank. Greenberg took the shot, but William's goalie Olivia Barnhill '19, who had left her line, slid and blocked the shot with her leg.  
 
Olivia Barnhill would finish with two saves and one goal allowed. The loss was only the second of her career. 
 
Williams finished with and advantage in shots on goal (3-2) and corner kicks (3-1). 
 
 The Eps will likely return to play in the NCAA tournament. The tournament bracket will be posted at 1:30 PM tomorrow. 
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