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Williams Edges Out No. 21 Women’s Soccer, 1-0, With Second-Half Strike

Erin O'Brien Powers

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – The Connecticut College women's soccer team was set back by Williams, 1-0, at Cole Field on Sunday afternoon.

The teams played the first half evenly with the Camels holding a slim 6-5 edge in shot attempts and the Ephs attempting four of the match's seven corner kicks through 45 minutes of play.

Nearing the midway point of the opening frame, sophomore Bella Patino (Kearny, N.J.) sailed a corner kick in from the left side that was punched towards the goal by junior Tori Kretzmer (Glastonbury, Conn.) and redirected towards the right post by sophomore Marielle McEnaney (Orleans, Mass.). Goalkeeper Jasmine Moore, however, gobbled it up to keep the match scoreless. Freshman Hannah Boldt (North Kingstown, R.I.) sent the ball up and through to junior Kat Norton (Hampton, Conn.) shortly afterwards in the 19th minute, but defender Nkem Iregbulem made a clean tackle and cleared the ball to the left side before the Camel forward could get a shot off.

The Ephs most notably had a few chances in the waning minutes before the break and were unable to convert. Avery Mohan served up a ball from the right side that was stopped in the air by junior netminder Katy Pelletier (Topsfield, Mass.), and senior defender Erin O'Brien Powers (Portland, Ore.) headed away a ball sent in by Erika Jung.

Williams, however, was able to break the tie in the 52nd minute of action when Sarah Scire launched a cross from the left side that was headed home to the right corner by Victoria Laino. The strike also allowed the Ephs to seize the momentum, as the hosts began to pummel Pelletier with shots through the remainder of the match.

Pelletier and the defense being anchored by seniors Alyssa Kogelmann (Guilderland, N.Y.) and Sara Kogelmann (Guilderland, N.Y.) as well as O'Brien Powers and McEnaney stayed strong and was able to turn away everything for the remainder of regulation. The Ephs nearly doubled their lead when given a free kick from 35 yards out, but Pelletier and the defense came up huge. Pelletier first leaped to make a save off the kick which bounced off the crossbar, and the rebound that found Tess Belnap on the doorstep was challenged by O'Brien Powers and stopped again by the Camels' junior netminder to keep the deficit at one with under 15 minutes left and help set up additional chances for the equalizer.

Kretzmer served up a good ball for freshman Mya Johnson (Old Lyme, Conn.) in the 80th minute, but her header bounced just wide right of the goal. A last desperation attempt by Johnson with 30 seconds left went high and wide, and the Ephs were able to milk the clock out on the ensuing goal kick to survive and win their fourth NESCAC match of the season.

Moore picked up the shutout victory by making four saves for Williams (5-2-1, NESCAC 4-2), which ended up outshooting the Camels by a 14-9 margin and having an 8-3 advantage in corner kick opportunities with a stronger second half. Pelletier suffered the tough loss despite making five saves for the visitors.

Connecticut College (6-2, NESCAC 3-2) returns home and will next face UMass Dartmouth for a non-conference tilt on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.