Two Goals in Final 17 Minutes Lift Ephs Past Stevens, 2-1, And Into NCAA Sweet 16

Two Goals in Final 17 Minutes Lift Ephs Past Stevens, 2-1, And Into NCAA Sweet 16

Williamstown, MA--No. 5-ranked Williams women's soccer team (17-1-2) continued its NCAA tournament run, defeating Stevens Institute of Technology Ducks (16-3-0) 2-1. Eph Sydney Jones '21 broke the tie in the 83rd minute, ending an emotional second half comeback. 

After falling behind 1-0, the Ephs began to develop the initiative late in the second half, after both teams went to their locker rooms for an injury break when (Sarah Scire '20 was injured in the 71st minute and did not return). 

Eph head coach Michelyne Pinard talked about the adjustments her team made. 

"We made a slight tweak to our shape and asked them to play our game. . . We hadn't really played with the intensity and the urgency that we were capable of," she said. 

In the final 18 minutes, the Ephs roared to life. Bruising runs from Eph forward Sydney Jones created chances on the flank. Stellar defense in the backfield closed off any offensive lanes for Stevens. And in the 73rd minute, the Ephs forced a corner and equilized. 

Aspen Pierson '21 took the corner, curving the ball into the back of the box, where Sarah Kelly dished it back to the left side. Georgia Lord '21 blindsided the defense and scored to even the match 1-1.

Senior goalkeeper Olivia Barnhill '19 noted the momentum shift.

"As soon as we put the ball in the back of the net, we knew that we could win the game," she said.

And after a breakaway from Jones in the 83rd minute, the Ephs did just that, advancing past the round of 32. 

First-year centerback Maria Chapman talked about how her team handled the roller-coaster comeback. 

"Even at the beginning of the last 18 minutes when we were down 1-0, we were calm and composed. And that's what lead us to the tying goal," she said. 

The Ducks had been forcing the play in the first 72 minutes of the match. Julia Panko and Misha Brewster lead the offense, each posting two shots on goal.  

In the 49th minute, Panko delivered a corner kick into the heart of the box, where Brynn Budka struck the ball off the cross bar, Misha Brewster got a shot on goal, and Ally Wanzor finally put the ball in the back of net.
Trailing 1-0, Williams still could not muster any offense. A run from Sydney Jones in the 70th minute looked promising, but she was called offsides.
Of course, the tide turned in the 72nd minute, and in the final 18 minutes, the Ephs struck five shots on goal while earning three corner kicks.
Barnhill finished with six saves and one goal allowed. Izzy DiDario had six saves and two goals allowed. 


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