WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — Same time, next year.
That's where the Williams College women's soccer team finds itself this weekend, traveling back to the campus of William Smith College on a quest to return to the round of eight of the Div. III NCAA Tournament and, ultimately, the final four.
You may recall that last season, the Ephs also took a trip to Geneva, defeating previously unbeaten Eastern Connecticut State, 2-0, in a third round contest before losing a tightly-contested 1-0 battle with the host Herons in the round of eight game.
This weekend, the Ephs will face another unbeaten team in Emory University (17-0-2), currently ranked fifth in the nation. The Eagles were the champions of the University Athletic Association.
Emory is making its 13th NCAA Tournament appearance and are coached by Sue Patberg, who is 95-21-18 at Emory over seven seasons. The Eagles have outscored their opponents 48-4 this season. Emory claimed a 3-0 win over Piedmont College in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament, followed by a 2-0 victory over Centre College in the second round.
The Eagles are led by Emily Feldman, who has 20 points this season (7 goals, 6 assists). Merrill Bachouras has eight goals, while starting keeper Erica Stein is the backbone of the defense with a 11-0-1 record, a 0.21 goals against average and a .867 save percentage.
Williams comes into play this weekend 12-4-3 after traveling to Hoboken, New Jersey last weekend and edging Virginia Wesleyan, 1-0, in the first round on a goal by Caitlyn Clark and then coming from behind to edge Westfield State, 2-1, on goals by first-year Lilly Wellenbach and senior Nicole Stenquist.
Williams is currently ranked 20th in the NSCAA poll and 18th in the D3Soccer.com poll, The Ephs are led offensively by Brett Eisenhart (10 goals and one assist for 21 points) and Clark (2 goals, 8 assists), while junior Laura Wann has a 0.62 goals-against average and a .857 save percentage.
Williams is led by 10th-year head coach MIchelyn Pinard, who is 129-32-19 during her career. Emory and Williams will face-off at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, with the winner advancing to Sunday's Elite 8 game vs. the winner of Middlebury-William Smith, who play at 11 a.m. tomorrow.
Sunday's game is slated for a 1 p.m. start.