Women’s Soccer Forces Shutout
By Matt Fernald '13, Sports Section Editor
The women’s soccer team forfeited their Saturday to make the long voyage over the mountains to the small, largely uninhabited village of Williamstown, where they were to take on Ephs. Last year, the women were humbled by an offensive onslaught at Hitchcock Field, falling 3-0 in front of the home crowd. Looking to return the favor, the Jeffs were surely relying on the fact that “what goes around comes around.”

And come around it did, in the form of a brilliant header from rookie Amanda Brisco in the 64th minute. Although it didn’t follow the pattern of last year’s one-sided battle, Saturday’s clash between the 25th-ranked Jeffs and the favored eighth-ranked Ephs went in the visiting team’s favor once again by a score of 1-0. The Jeffs clutch defense and precision offense proved to be the difference.

The Jeffs faced an uphill battle against their highly-favored rivals, and received a scare early on when Williams had a free kick from midfield. The kick was misjudged, however, and floated over all the leaping Williams’ heads into Amherst goalie Allie Horwitz’s waiting arms. The Ephs’ Brett Eisenhart led her team with seven shots on goal that day, but Horwitz proved to be too solid.

Amherst had opportunities in the early-goings as well, with a free kick of their own that was saved by Williams goalie Julia Schreiber. Brisco had her first shot at the goal in the 10th minute with a breakaway that looked as though it might result in an early go-ahead goal for the Jeffs, but she was rebuffed by the Ephs’ Chelsea Davies.

Aggressive play from both teams was the hallmark of the game, with the teams racking up several fouls throughout. Finally, after opportunities missed for almost 64 minutes, Kathryn Nathan ’13 passed up to Emily Little ’13, who crossed from the left side of the field, where Brisco pounced, placing it deftly in the right-hand corner of the net.

Following recent World Cup champion Spain’s example, the Jeffs went immediately from offense to defense after obtaining that crucial 1-0 lead, and held off waves of charging Cows for the win. Heading into that Saturday, Amherst and Williams were 14-14-7 against each other since 1978. With the win, the Jeffs hand Williams their first NESCAC loss in over three years, grant each member of their team a first victory over the Ephs, and take the lead in the all-time head-to-head, 15-14-7. The team next travels on Saturday, Oct. 9 to the northernmost corners of the country to do battle with Middlebury.

Issue 05, Submitted 2010-10-06 04:05:33