NORTON, MA – The Williams women's soccer team saw its season come to an end today when it dropped its second loss of the year to Wheaton (18-1-6) 1-0 in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Cassey Muse's goal in the 27th minute proved enough for the host to overtake the Ephs, who finish the year at 13-4-2.
Both teams started off the game eager to attack. Lauren Corigliano had the first look at the net for the Lyons in just the fourth minute, but Hannah Van Wetter was able to make a play on the ball to keep the game scoreless early. Down the other end just under two minutes later, Louisa Costa had a nice shot on goal for the Ephs, but Lyon goalie Taylor Wilson was able to make the save.
Both teams continued to be aggressive, and it paid off for Wheaton 26:38 into the game. Corigliano sent a through ball ahead from the midfield to Muse, who was able to finish past Van Wetter for her tenth goal of the year and the lead.
Following the goal, the two teams settled into a more defensive game with few looks at the net. Alison Magruder was the only Eph with shots for the rest of the half, but a pair of them fell wide right and Wilson was able to make a play on the third.
The Ephs came out of the break looking to tie the game up, but both teams struggle to force through the other's aggressive defense. The Ephs saw their first look at the net in the 69th minute when Carla Nicasio had a nice opportunity, but her shot fell wide as well. The Ephs continued to fight, but Wilson was able to make a nice save on an Abby Morss header in the 84th minute, and neither Costa nor Caitlyn Clark could convert either of the Ephs' final two chances.
The Ephs outshot the Lyons by a tally of 10-9 in today's matchup. Van Wetter posted three saves for the Ephs and Wilson posted the same for Wheaton. With the win, the Lyons move on to play Carnegie Mellon in the third round of the tournament.
Today marked the final game for seven senior Ephs: Clark, Chelsea Davies, Bridget Gallagher, Kristine Nakada, Chloe Kuh, Samantha Vilaboa, and keeper Laura Wann. The seniors finish their careers with three NESCAC championships, four NCAA tournament appearances, and an overall record of 60-14-7.
Said Coach Michelyne Pinard after the game, "You get to this point in the NCAA tournament, and you're going to see some great teams, and we saw one today. It just didn't come out the [way] we wanted it to."
She went on to say, "For such a young team to deal with the losses on the road at the beginning of the year and to come so far and win a NESCAC championship and get to the Round of 32, I'm incredibly proud. They achieved so much. The seniors are leaving a wonderful legacy. Like I said to them after the game, we're going to make them proud. We're going to get better and keep working on playing further and further in the tournament."