Wheaton (Mass.) 0, Williams 0 (Wheaton Wins Shootout, 3-0)



After a scoreless 110 minutes of play, through regulation and two overtime periods, the match between Williams womens soccer and Wheaton College had to be decided with penalty kicks. The Lyons won the shoot out by a decisive 3-0 margin. Wheaton came into the game undefeated with a 21-0-1 record and ranked second in the nation, and the Lyons had given up just 3 goals all season. Starting keeper Stacey Kronenberg allowed just one of those three goals.

The match began with some quick back and forth action and opportunities for both teams. Six minutes in, Lindsay Dwyer 05 was all alone and running onto a loose ball. Kronenberg came out to challenge her and dove at the ball just as Dwyer connected for a shot. Just minutes later Wheatons Lauren Konopka raced down the right side of the field and placed a perfect cross at the feet of teammate Beth Caromile, whose shot sailed over the net.

Eph keeper Sarah Ginsburg 07 had to be on her toes throughout the first half. At 17:00, Ginsburg came way out of the net for a loose ball, blocked a shot by Jordan Pouliot, and then managed to get back to her net and in position for a save on a shot by Wheatons Ashley Furr.

The pace slowed briefly during the middle of the first half, but picked up again as the minutes wound down. With 13 minutes left, the Lyons had a corner kick that Williams failed to clear quickly. The ball bounced around a little and Wheatons Jenna Stiegler had a look at an empty net, but her shot was blocked by Kaolin McEvoy 08 and cleared.

Williams came out more aggressively in the second half, though their efforts got them little more than two off sides calls on Dwyer in the first 15 minutes. Several well placed balls put past the Wheaton defenders allowed speedy forwards Jessie Freeman 08 and Dwyer room to run on to the ball. The intensity grew as the game progressed and more and more fouls were called, especially on the Ephs.

One of the Lyons best chances of the second half came with 23 minutes remaining. Furr was all alone at the top of the box but she never got her shot off before the Eph defender Pilar Macdonald 07 took the ball out from under her feet. Just a minute later, Freeman had a rush down the left side of the field and made a low cross right to Brittany Esty 05, who couldnt get a foot on it to tip it past Kronenberg.

With just under eight minutes remaining in regulation, Freeman took a free kick from about 30 yards out. The kick found its way through to Dwyer but she was called off sides. At 86:00, Pouliot received a pass from Katelyn Brack and took an extremely close range shot that was headed to the upper left corner. Ginsburg corralled it easily and quickly sent the ball back down to the other half of the field.

Eph Ana Sani 08 nearly finished the game off with 30 seconds remaining in regulation as she sent the ball into the upper left corner. Her shot rang off the crossbar, however, and the teams found themselves headed to overtime.

The first overtime was action packed and two minutes in, Ginsburg came out to challenge Konopka and blocked her shot, leaving the net wide open behind her. Furr jumped on the loose ball and sent a shot to the open net. Macdonald, scrambling towards the net, was hit with the shot in the back, saving a goal and keeping her team in the game.

Williams dominated the second overtime period and had many chances in quick succession. As the seconds ticked away, a cross by Joan Danver 08 found Dwyer, who took a shot that sailed just wide to the right as the buzzer sounded, ending overtime and sending the match to penalty kicks.

Williams shot first and Ginsburg stepped out of her usual place to make the fist attempt. Her shot missed wide to the lower left corner. Erin Duffy took the first shot for Wheaton. Ginsburg guessed wrong and Duffys shot hit the back of the net, putting the Lyons up 1-0.

Esty took Williams second shot, but she, too, missed the net. Brack shot second for Wheaton. Her shot hit the left goal post and Ginsburg was there, but a quick bounce into the net put the Lyons up 2-0. Alix Oliver 07 started off the third round and Kronenberg made an excellent save on her. Teresa LeBel, knowing a successful attempt would give her team the win, didnt falter and sent a mid-height shot to the right side that beat Ginsburg and ended the game.

Said Ginsburg on the prospect of facing such a highly ranked team, We didnt think they had really been tested and we wanted to make sure we did that. We were not intimidated by them. Hannah Stauffer 05 agreed, We were really excited to give them a good game and we remembered at halftime that we thought we deserved to beat them.

Head coach Michelyne Pinard said, It was great for the seniors to be able to be here [at Williams] for this game. (The game had been originally scheduled to take place yesterday at Wheaton, but was postponed and moved due to snow.) Its just unfortunate that we were so close but didnt get the result we wanted.

Lyons head coach Luis Reis commented on the deciding penalty kicks, It was a very exciting, intense game with good play and missed opportunities for both teams. Id rather a game like that isnt decided by penalty kicks, but we have to follow the rules.

While Williams season is over, Wheaton will continue playing, facing Middlebury College next weekend at a site yet to be determined.

Scoring: none

Williams 9
Wheaton 22

Corner Kicks:
Williams 2
Wheaton - 6

Williams Ginsburg (110 min, 8 saves, 0 goals)
Wheaton Kronenberg (110 min, 4 saves, 0 goals)

-- Courtesy Williams