WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — The two-time defending national champion Williams College women's soccer team (9-5-2) kicks off its 21st NCAA Div. III Tournament appearance Saturday against Gettysburg College (13-4-1).
Williams and the Bullets will kick-off around 1:30 p.m. in the second first round game of the day at M.I.T.'s Roberts Field at Steinbrenner Stadium. The host Engineers (19-1-2) battle Johnson & Wales University (16-6) at 11 a.m. Saturday in the first game of the weekend.
The Ephs last game was a 2-0 defeat to rival Middlebury in the conference tournament semifinals played at Tufts. Williams defeated Connecticut College, 3-2 in overtime, in the quarterfinals of the tourney. Gettysburg also lost in the semifinals of their conference tournament, the Centennial Conference, dropping a 3-0 decision to top-seeded Dickinson College. The Bullets defeated McDaniel, 2-1, in the quarterfinals.
Gettysburg is making its 8th NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2014. The Bullets have a 2-6-1 record in NCAA play. They are led by sophomore forward Erika Muskus, who tops the team in goals (12), assists (5) and points (29). Senior forward Charlotte Cenatiempo is second on the team with 7 goals, 4 assists and 18 points. The Bullets have outscored their opponents 35-14 over their 18 games this season.
Gettysburg goalkeeper Maddie Cunningham, a sophomore, has started 16 of those 18 games and compiled a 0.87 goals against average and a .818 save percentage. The Bullets fronted a defense that has posted eight shutouts, five of which came against conference opponents, and a 0.76 goals-against average, which ranked them tied for fourth and third, respectively, in the conference. The goals-against average also ranks seventh-best in a single-season in program history. The defense has limited its opponents to 14 goals in 18 games, holding seven teams to only one goal.
Six members of the Gettysburg College women's soccer team have been named to the All-Centennial Conference Team, it was announced Thursday. Muskus was a First Team selection while Cenatiempo earned 2nd Team recognition. Sophomore defender Kelly Guadian was also a 2nd Team selection while senior defender Brooke Priddy, sophomore midfielder Molly O'Shea and junior defender Julia Myers were all honorable mention selections.
Williams has outscored its opponents 29-18 this season. Junior midfielder Victoria Laino was named the NESCAC Player of the Year. She leads the Ephs in goals with 8 and added 2 assists for a team-high 18 points. junior midfielder Mikayla Kappes is second on the team with 7 points (3 goals, 1 assist). First-year midfielder Emma Lynch also has three goals this season. In all, 13 Ephs have at least one goal over the first 16 games. The Ephs are led by seniors Nkem Iregbulem and Sarah Kelly in the back. Iregbulem was a First Team All-NESCAC selection this season. Senior goalkeeper Whitney Lincoln and sophomore Chelsea Taylor have the most minutes in the net for the Ephs this season. Lincoln has started eight games and has a 1.16 goals against average and an .814 save percentage. Taylor has played in 7 games, starting six, and has a 1.61 GAA and a .773 save percentage.