WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. (Williams College Athletic Communications, Photo Courtesy of Stephen Goodhue) An early goal from Annie Higgins propelled Connecticut College (15-2-0, 8-2-0 NESCAC) to a 1-0 victory over Bowdoin (12-4-0, 8-2-0 NESCAC) in the NESCAC women's soccer semifinal on Saturday. The Camels, who last appeared in the conference semifinals in 2004, advanced to their first-ever final.
Higgins scored off a breakaway in the 7th minute, taking a leading pass from Michelle Medina that split the last two Polar Bear defenders and dribbling just inside the 18 before sliding a rolling shot past Bridget McCarthy for her fourth goal of the season. The tally capped off an early offensive flurry for the Camels and for Higgins, who recorded four shots—three on goal—within the game's first 17 minutes.
Though the Camels kept the Polar Bears on the back foot for much of the afternoon, Brianne Weaver's side had its chances, including a dangerous opportunity just minutes after the Camels took the lead that came courtesy of Amanda Kinneston. The senior midfielder sliced through the Camels defense before dishing a pass out wide to Evan Fencik and quickly getting a return feed; Kinneston then fired two shots in quick succession, but was stopped first by a Camel defender, then goalie Bryanna Montalvo.
Montalvo made four saves in all to earn her NESCAC-leading 11th shutout of the season for the Camels. McCarthy, who finishes the season leading the conference with an .899 save percentage, stopped seven shots for the Polar Bears, who were outshot 17-12 and struggled to put together any significant chances in the game's dying moments.
With the win, the Camels avenged a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Polar Bears in their October 18 visit to Brunswick. They will look to do the same in tomorrow's final against host Williams, which defeated the Camels in New London by a 3-0 count on September 27. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.