Women’s Soccer Drops First of Two Little Three Matches
After finally settling into a groove, the women’s soccer team was stopped short at Williams College on Saturday by a score of 3-1. In their last game, against Salve Regina, the Cardinals were able to score three goals and snatch a victory on the road. However, the Cardinals’ newfound offensive potency was thwarted as the Ephs dealt Wesleyan its first multi-goal loss of the season. Williams’ three goals were more than the Cards had allowed in its other five games combined.
The Cardinals were able to keep the Eph attack grounded through the first 20 minutes of play and were on the fortunate side of an offside call that reversed a Williams goal. However, Williams scored in the 21st minute off of a rebound for the first goal of the match. While the Cardinals regrouped, they couldn’t quite catch a break, as a Williams cross in the 42nd minute set up a header that gave the Ephs a two-goal cushion at the break.
At the start of the second half, the Cardinals tweaked their strategy to put more pressure on the Williams defense. However, despite the force of the attack, Williams was able to withstand it and conceded just four shots on the contest. In comparison, the Ephs launched 20 shots at the Cardinal net.
The Cards were finally able to break through and ruin Williams’s clean sheet in the 86th minute. Beth Alexion ’16 ended up in the box with a ball played through by Kerry Doyle ’14 that put the Cardinals on the board. Unfortunately, Williams had already tacked on a third goal earlier in the half, and Alexion’s strike was too little, too late.
The loss represents the Cardinals’ longstanding woes in Little Three competition, especially against a Williams squad that hasn’t dropped a game to the Cardinals in 30 years. It was also Wesleyan’s third loss in four NESCAC contests so far in 2012. With six of their eight remaining matches against conference foes, the Cards need to establish a consistent offensive identity if they want to compete.
The Cards will get some well-deserved rest before their next match on Saturday, Sept. 29 at home against Middlebury. Ideally, they will make the most of their week free from competition by addressing tactical improvements for the upcoming duel with another NESCAC powerhouse.