Williams rallies by Westfield State
Wellenbach, Stenquist each tally goals to lift Ephs to victory
HOBOKEN, N.J. -- No. 20 Williams advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament on Sunday after defeating Westfield State 2-1 on the campus of Stevens Institute. The Ephs were led by a first-half penalty kick by freshman Lilly Wellenbach and a second-half goal by senior Nicole Stenquist. The Owls end their year with a record of 15-4-2 while the Ephs improve to 13-4-3.
Westfield State got on the board just five minutes into the game. Kayley Miller had a good look at the net for the Owls, but Eph keeper Laura Wann made an incredible save to send the shot over the crossbar. The Owls were awarded a corner on the play. Miller served the ball from the left side into the box, where Kate Wye finished to give the Owls an early 1-0 advantage.
Just under two minutes later, Stenquist looked to counter for the Ephs with a rocket of a shot from the left side after winning a 50-50 ball. Westfield State goalie Jess Habif, however, was able to drop to her knees to make the save.
After making a tactical change to place more players in the mid-field, the Ephs controlled play for the rest of the half. Williams continued gunning for a goal and finally found one in the 34th minute when Brett Eisenhart beat Habif to a cross in the box, Habif was charged with a foul for taking the attacker to the ground and given a yellow card, while the Ephs were awarded a penalty kick. Wellenbach stepped up to take the shot for the Ephs and finished it to tie the game at 1-1.
The Ephs continued to pressure offensively for the rest of the half but were unable to move in front. Williams tallied 18 shots in the half while holding the Owls to just six.
Both teams came out of the break searching for the go-ahead goal. The Owls had the first three looks look at the net behind shots from Miller, Brittanie McGregor and Colleen Bazinet. Miller's shot went wide and McGregor's and Bazinet's shots were each blocked to keep the score even.
After a few good looks at the net, the Ephs finally found their scoring opportunity in the 70th minute. Following an Owl foul, the Ephs lined up to take a free kick from 15 yards out on the left side. The ball was on target into the six-yard box where Stenquist was able to flick it into the back of the net for her first goal of the year. Caitlyn Clark was credited with the assist.