LEWISTON, ME – The 5th-ranked Williams women’s soccer team started off the season on a winning note today as they defeated the Bates Bobcats (0-1-0, 0-1-0 NESCAC) 2-0. Led by a goal from senior Brett Eisenhart and a second from sophomore Haley Cook, the Ephs (1-0-0, 1-0-0 NESCAC) took their first victory of the year.
In the 10th minute of the game, Eisenhart received a pass from Caitlyn Clark and found the back of the net to put the Ephs up early. Eisenhart and Clark were second in goals and assists, respectively, last season. Said Coach Michelyne Pinard about her senior captain’s ability to take the game over, “I think Brett took advantage of an opportunity, which we hope she does for the rest of the year. She’s so dynamic and so dangerous that other teams have a really hard time dealing with her. We’re just thankful that she’s on our team.” Pinard was quick to compliment all three of her senior captains – Eisenhart, Nicole Stenquist, and Sachi Siegelman – saying that “all three seniors really stepped up – [showing] the way they were working and competing ” and commenting on how they “were composed.”
Having only three seniors is certainly a change from last season when the Ephs had nine. This year’s first-year class boasts ten players – seven of whom saw the field today. Pinard was quick to comment on her rookies as well. Said Pinard after the game, “Having ten first-years means that we look completely different… They have the added pressure of learning a new system and learning about each other as players. “
To add insurance for the Ephs, Cooke added a second goal in the 41st minute off of a pass from Alison Magruder, a first-year who came off the bench for the Ephs.
On the defensive end for the Ephs, first-year goalkeeper Hannah Van Wetter turned away a penalty kick from Tina Tobin in the 29th minute. Said Coach Pinard about the play, “That was the first save of her college career [and it] was a PK save. The team believes in her; they believed in her going into the game, and I think there’s even more confidence in her ability [after the game]. It was such a great opportunity for her to show her ability, and she stepped up to the plate at a really important moment.” Van Wetter turned away ten shots on the day.
Bates fought until the end with three shots in the final ten minutes, but the Ephs’ early run and stellar defensive performance was too much for the Bobcats to overcome even with three shots on goal from Tobin and another two from Alix Vandeventer.
Said Pinard on what the win means to her team, “The team has worked so hard and so long to be ready for this game, and you could feel [the energy and excitement]… Getting the [win] just means the world to this group, and I couldn’t be happier for them.” She added, “It was a normal first game in that a lot of key things happened but our timing is still a second or two off and once that comes together, this team could be scary.”
The Ephs will look to double their victories tomorrow against Wheaton. Play begins at noon.