Williams College women's soccer can't break tie with Bates

Williams women's soccer co-captain Danielle Sim talks about her team's draw against Bates.
HOWARD HERMAN - THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE
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WILLIAMSTOWN — The process of building continues for the Williams College women's soccer team, even if the Ephs didn't quite get the result they wanted Sunday.

"It's always frustrating not getting the result we want," Williams defender Danielle Sim said. "We definitely worked really hard and worked together, which I think is the most important part. We stayed positive the whole time, and we're going to use this game to play faster from the start and keep the intensity up."

Freshman Victoria Laino's goal seven minutes into the second half knotted the game, and neither fourth-ranked Williams (6-0-1, 5-0-1 NESCAC) or Bates (4-1-1, 2-0-1) could untie it as the teams battled to a 1-1 draw Sunday at Cole Field.

It was one of those days where one team, at least on the stat sheet, had full control of the game. Williams had 24 shots at the Bobcat net to eight for Bates. Visiting goalkeeper Sarah McCarthy had to make six saves to three for Eph keeper Olivia Barnhill, and Williams recorded 11 corner kicks to two for Bates.

The tie followed a 3-2 win over Little Three rival Amherst on Saturday.

"That's soccer, right?" Williams coach Michelyne Pinard asked rhetorically.

"We take out of this game a few things," the coach said. "One, I think we can play at the tempo we played at after they scored, right from the start. If we play at that tempo for 90 minutes, teams are going to have a hard time playing with us.

"Two, I'm incredibly proud that we didn't break down on a team perspective. We stayed positive, we stayed together and that's not easy to do when things are frustrating."

Two first-year Ephs had huge scoring opportunities in the first half. Georgia Lord, the reigning Gatorade Vermont player of the year from Burr & Burton High School in Manchester, nearly scored in the 25th minute. Her shot was cleared from the post by Bates defender Cassidy McCarns.

Twelve minutes later, former Pittsfield High School player Ilana Albert sent a high pass toward Erika Jung, but the Bates goalkeeper punched the ball out of danger.

Bates got on the board in the 40th minute. The Williams defense cleared the ball out of the box, but Bates' Sarah Amdur settled it and ripped a shot from 25 yards out. It snuck in the net just under the crossbar. That's how the first half ended.

The second half started with the Ephs on the attack. A corner kick turned into a goal. Off a short corner, Laino got a pass into the box where she made certain her shot found the back of the net.

Williams didn't stop pressing, and had several quality scoring chances before the start of overtime.

The best Williams chance in overtime came in the final minute of the first, 10-minute overtime. A hand ball just outside the box set up an Eph free kick. Natasha Albaneze took the shot, and McCarthy made the save.

"We gained more confidence in ourselves after the goal," said Williams' Sim. "We took our chances. We were more creative on the ball offensively.

"We were able to push harder in their half, so we were able to get chances. Unfortunately, we were not able to finish."

Reach sports writer Howard Herman at 413-496-6253 or @howardherman.


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