WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Williams topped Bowdoin 3-0 in a penalty shootout to claim the New England Small College Athletic Conference title and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
With regulation ending in a tie, Williams moved to 12-3-2 and Bowdoin fell to 11-3-3.
In the eighth minute, the Ephs’ Hayley Cook fired a shot that bounced before it reached goalkeeper Bridget McCarthy. The ball caromed to Abby Morrs who fired on goal, but the shot was saved by McCarty.
Nicasio tested McCarthy moments later with a long looping shot from deep on the left side. McCarthy batted the ball down and collected it on a bounce.
The Ephs scored first when Abby Morrs charged down the side of the box to the left of McCarthy and fired a crossing pass that was intended for Lilly Wellenbach, but struck a Bowdoin defender’s hand and a penalty kick opportunity resulted.
Chloe Kuh buried the shot past McCarthy on the left side to put Williams up 1-0.
It did not take Bowdoin long to respond as the Polar Bears’ Jamie Hofstetter lasered a shot past Van Wetter at 20:58 to tie the game.
Even play marked the remaining 24 minutes in the first half and the teams went to the intermission tied at one goal apiece.
Laura Wann entered the game at goal for Williams and neither team was able to find the net through the rest of regulation and overtime sessions.
“I think what you saw out there was two very tired teams at that point.” Williams head coach Michelyne Pinard said.
After 110 minutes, McCarthy made eight saves while Ephs goalies Hannah Van Water and Laura Wann combined to make three saves.
In the penalty shootout, the Ephs’ Lilly Wellenbach and Caitlyn Clark scored while Bowdoin’s Becky Stoneman and Casey Blossom were stopped by Wann, giving Williams a 2-0 lead.
The Ephs’ Crystal Lewin scored the third point of the shootout to give Williams a 3-0 lead. Bowdoin’s final hope for extending the shootout rested with Toni DaCampo. DaCampo’s shot was off target to the right and Williams earned its fifth NESCAC title in the last six years.
“Laura’s a great shot stopper and it was helpful to a get a read on Bowdoin,” Pinard said. “You know at the end of the day she’s going to come up big becuase she is a great shot stopper.”