KANSAS CITY, MO. >> The Williams women's soccer team punched its second consecutive ticket to the Division III championship game on Friday, topping Centre College 2-1 in Final Four action at Swope Park.
The Ephs' win was all about fight. Falling behind a goal just 115 seconds in, Williams was able to recover with two second-half goals for the win.
"I couldn't be prouder of our performance today, mostly because it was clear that we didn't start the way we wanted to, but the fact that we were so resilient and tough for the full 90 minutes," Ephs head coach Michelyne Pinard said in a statement after the game. "This team is amazingly steady, and that showed today."
No. 6 Williams also clinched its second straight 20-win season, the only two times Williams has reached the 20-win mark in its history.
Destinie Graves put Centre up early, but the run of play started going back the other way almost immediately. In the first half, Williams outshot Centre 7-2 but could not find the equalizer.
The tying goal took 68 minutes to finally come. Then, right before the 71st minute, Natasha Albaneze got the Ephs on the board with a right-footed effort from 20 yards out.
Albaneze then fired Williams into the lead five minutes later, scoring from the penalty spot after Kristina Alvarado was hauled down inside the penalty area.
The goal, though, did not put Williams completely in the clear. In the 84th minute, Centre got one more chance through Rachel Harris, but Tressa Palcheck was able to somehow paw the ball off the line for Katie Wardlaw to eventually clear away with her boot.
Palcheck finished with four saves in the win.
Williams will play No. 4 Washington-St. Louis in the championship game today at 2:30 p.m. EST back at Swope Park. Williams is chasing after its first D-III championship in program history.
College Women's Basketball
WILLIAMS WOMEN 83, PINE MANOR 71
In Williamstown, the No. 22 Williams women's basketball team kept its perfect season going Friday, dispatching Pine Manor, 83-71, in the Williams Classic.
The win moves the Ephs to 5-0 on the young season.
Three players hit double figures for Williams, with Amanni Fernandez leading the way with 19 points. Oge Uwanaka and Katie Litman each had 12 in the win. Litman led all players with a whopping 21 rebounds — eight on the offensive end — and Uwanaka also had a double double with 14 boards.
Fernandez had five helpers and four boards. As a team, Williams rejected 16 Pine Manor shots in the win.
The Ephs opened a 23-12 lead after a quarter to take the lead for good. Pine Manor closed the gap to four points in the third, but that was as close as the game got.
Williams is back in action today against Clarkson at home for the second day of the Williams Classic.
WILLIAMS MEN 2, TUFTS 0
In Malden, Mass., the Williams men's hockey team topped Tufts, 2-0, in NESCAC action on Friday evening.
The win moves the Ephs to 4-1-0 overall and 3-0-0 in the NESCAC. Tufts falls to 1-3-2 overall and 0-2-1 in the NESCAC.
Williams got goals from George Hunkele in the first period and Tyler Young in the second. Young's goal was assisted by Hunkele, and came on an odd-man rush during a penalty kill.
In goal, Noah Klag recorded a shutout, making 36 saves. In three starts so far this year, Klag has given up just three goals.
Tufts' Mason Pulde stopped 31 shots in the loss.
It was not all good news for Williams, though, as Hunkele left the game in the second period with an injury and did not return.
Williams is back in action today at Connecticut College for a 3 p.m. start.
WILLIAMS WOMEN 3, WESLEYAN 1
In Middleton, Conn., the Williams women's hockey team took down Wesleyan, 3-1, in NESCAC and Little Three action.
The Ephs put up two goals in the second period and an insurance goal in the third period to seal the win.
Sarah Lehman scored the opener on a pass from Michaela Levine then added the second on another rpass from Levine.
In the third period, Wesleyan brought the game within a goal when Ellery Sarosi beat Christina Cleroux on the power play, but then Williams answered on the power play through Talia Simon, who scored on an unassisted effort.
Cleroux stopped 17 shots in the win, while Corinne Rivard had 30 saves in the loss.
The teams will square off again today in a 3 p.m. game back at Wesleyan.
High School Basketball
DOANE STUART 38, DARROW BOYS 32
On Wednesday, the Darrow boys basketball team came up just short against Doane Stuart, 38-32.
Doane Stuart led 20-15 at halftime, and Darrow was able to narrow the score to a one-point game with eight minutes to go, but Darrow could not get over the hump for the win.
Can Taylan led Darrow with 15 points and four rebounds, while Kyle Ragland had six points and 11 rebounds. Jasneal Pabla had three steals and three rebounds, while Kofi Poku had three steals and six boards.
DOANE STUART 58, DARROW GIRLS 31
The Darrow girls basketball team opened its season with a loss on Thursday, falling to Doane Stuart 58-31.
Rochelle Foster provided nearly all of the Darrow scoring, putting up a career-high 29 points in the loss. Crystal Awobue added the other bucket and also pulled down seven rebounds, and Brandy Ryles had eight boards.
Darrow is back in action today at home against Faith Christian Academy.