NESCAC Semifinal: No. 1 Williams 3, No. 4 Tufts 2

NESCAC Semifinal: No. 1 Williams 3, No. 4 Tufts 2

Courtesy of Williams Sports Information 

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - The top-seeded Williams Ephs defeated No. 4 Tufts, 3-2, at a muddy Cole Field on Saturday in a NESCAC Women's Soccer Championship Semifinal. Williams advances to the NESCAC Championship game which is set for 3 p.m. on Sunday, November 4 at Farley-Lamb Field at Williams.

Sophomore Aspen Pierson opened the scoring for Williams at 6:50. Senior Natalie Turner-Wyatt had sent a looping cross into box, where it was headed by a Tufts defender. The ball rolled out of the box and to the foot Pierson, who took the shot. The ball was again deflected but this time sailed over the head of Tufts goalkeeper Emily Bowers and into the net. 

Tuft's forward Sophie Lloyd evened the score at 1-1 with a goal in the 15th minute. After receiving the ball from midfield, she took a touch past two Williams defenders and got into the goal box with space. Her sliding shot that went into the right corner of the net. 

At the 33-minute mark Eph midfielder sophomore Victoria Laino responded with a free kick goal. Her shot was struck well and sailed into the upper right corner, out of the reach of Bowers.

In the 42nd minute, Williams was charging down the right flank. Senior Sarah Hollinger sent a pass through the Tufts defense to first-year Rain Condie. Condie got around her defender and sent a pass through the goal box. A Tufts defender tried to block the pass, but her deflection sent the ball into the net for an own goal, giving Williams a 3-1 lead at the half.

Following a break, Tufts scored quickly to shrink the deficit to one. In 50th minute, Hannah Isenhart found space on the left flank in Eph territory. Despite pressure from sophomore Georgia Lord, she lifted the ball in the air towards the middle of the goal box. Sarah Maloney headed the ball into the right side of the net, narrowing the lead to one, 3-2. 

Tufts had an opportunity to score an equalizer in the 61st minute. After a dangerous pass back from a defender, Eph goalie Olivia Barnhill had to come out of the goal box to dive on the ball but ball came out right to Tuft's Liz Reed who sent the shot towards the open net, but Barnhill managed to save it. 

Tight defense in the final 30 minutes helped the Ephs secure the 3-2 victory. 

Tufts had a 17-15 advantage in shots on goal and a 9-4 advantage in corner kicks. Barnhill had four saves for the Ephs, while Bowers made three saves for the Jumbos.