LEWISTON, Me. – The Eph midfield controlled possession throughout, and a 17th-minute goal from forward Rain Condie '22 was the lone score as women's soccer kicked off October with a 1-0 win over Colby on Saturday.
No. 22 Williams (6–2–1/5–2–0 in the NESCAC) picked up its third straight conference victory in its visit to Colby (3–4–2/1–4–2 in the NESCC) in Waterville, Maine. Goalkeeper Leyla Kamshad '23 made 3 saves in her collegiate debut, and the Eph back line stood strong in the few tests it faced.
Midfielder Aspen Pierson '21 set up Condie's goal with some strong dribbling on the left side of the penalty box. Pierson beat her marker and picked out Condie just outside of the 6-yard box. A Colby defender blocked Condie's first shot, but Condie slotted the rebound into the bottom-right corner to give Williams the lead.
The goal was Condie's second of the season, tying her total from last year. Pierson collected her third assist of the year, moving into a tie with Claire Tolliver '23 for the team lead.
The Mules' best chance of the half came in the 25th minute, when Colby forward Juliette Nadeau sprinted behind Williams' back line. Nadeau shot early, but her attempted chip sailed over the crossbar.
Williams took its 1-0 lead into halftime. The Ephs outshot the Mules 8-2 in the period. Colby senior goalkeeper Dani Lonati made 6 saves in the period, while Kamshad did not face a shot on goal.
The Ephs' attacking players got forward to create several chances in the second half, although the Mules, backed by 7 saves from substitute goalkeeper Shannon Gray, defended well to keep Williams from extending its advantage. Forward Alison Lu '20 was active in the second half, getting on the end of her teammates' feeds, but was unlucky not to score.
"We had a much better 2nd half than first," head coach Michelyne Pinard said. "We are at our best when we are reading, not reacting to, the play. That was the difference. We were quite dynamic in the 2nd half, [and] it was fun to watch."
In the 50th minute, Tolliver played Lu through, but Lu's shot from the right side of the box went over the bar. Lu also hit the crossbar in the 69th minute after she beat the defender to a loose ball in the box.
Tolliver had a chance of her own in the 64th minute, but Gray made the save, and two Williams shots were deflected, resulting in a corner.
At the final whistle, Condie's strike stood as the lone goal of the match. Williams finished with a 19-5 edge in shots, and Kamshad saved the 3 shots on goal she faced.
The win is the fourth straight for the Ephs and their third straight in the conference. Williams currently sits atop the NESCAC standings, although Middlebury, which is two points down in second place, has played two games fewer than Williams.
With the team seeming to find its rhythm after a difficult stretch in mid-September, Pinard said she hopes the team can keep making strides.
"I'm excited for the team to continue to improve each day, each week with the goal of playing as long as we possibly can this fall," she said.
Williams returns to Cole Field next Saturday to take on Farmingdale State (5–3–2/2–0–0 in the Skyline Conference) at noon.