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No. 8 Ephs come back to top women's soccer in opener, 2-1

Bates co-captain Caitlin McMahon (8) congratulates first-year Amanda Gifford after Gifford scored to give Bates an early 1-0 lead. Co-captain Avery Pierce is at left.

LEWISTON, Maine -- No. 8 Williams College shrugged off an early goal by Bates College to take a 2-1 NESCAC women's soccer victory Saturday at Russell Street Field in the host Bobcats' season opener.

Junior back Brianna Wolfson (Brookville, N.Y.) tied the game at 1-1 in the 28th minute of the game, then assisted on sophomore back Jacqueline Russo's (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) game-winner in the 65th minute to lift the Ephs (2-0, 1-0 NESCAC), who are ranked No. 1 in New England.

Bates first-year forward Amanda Gifford (Lee, Maine) put the Bobcats (0-1, 0-1 NESCAC) on top in the 23rd minute when she collected a rebound while isolated on the right side of the penalty area. Gifford's rocket inside the near post made it 1-0 Bates.

Bates sophomore Brittney French (Auburn, Maine) made 16 saves, helping to offset Williams' 40-5 advantage in shots taken. Williams starting goalie Lauren Sinnenberg (Westfield, N.J.) played the first half before giving way to sophomore Julia Schreiber (Cockeysville, Md.), who made the Ephs' lone save in the game.

Bates will next play a non-conference game at home against Wellesley College on Thursday at 4 p.m.

STATS: Williams 2, Bates 1