|Annie Burns '12 collected 10 saves in Bates' 2-0 loss to Williams. (File photo)|
LEWISTON, Maine -- No. 5 nationally ranked Williams College received two first-half goals en route to a 2-0 NESCAC win over the Bates College women's soccer team on Saturday in the season opener for both teams.
The Bobcats' defense was put to the test early in the match as Williams controlled play for most of the first 15 minutes. Bates senior goalkeeper Annie Burns (Topsfield, Mass.) was busy collecting saves and directing traffic as defenders Amanada Sirianni (Holliston, Mass.) and Bud Arens (Weymouth, Mass.) thwarted the early Ephs attacks. Willims was finally able to break through the stingy Bobcat defense when Williams senior Brett Eisenhart (Seattle, Wash.) converted on a pass from Caitlyn Clark (Middleton, Mass.) at the 9:02 mark of the first half.
The Bates offense then found its feet and started to counterattack. Although limited on shots the Bobcats relieved the pressure on their defense by controlling the midfield and sending a few balls in on Williams goalkeeper Hannah Van Wetter. One such run produced a scoring opportunity for senior Tina Tobin (Lowell, Mass.). Tobin was taken down by the Ephs defender inside the box and was awarded a penalty kick. Tobin went low and hard to Van Wetter's left, only to have the goalkeeper guess correctly and come up with the save.
The Bobcats continued to exchange opportunities with Williams through the remainder of the period. The Ephs were able again convert on one of their possesions when in the 41st minute, Haley Cook (Virginia Beach, Va.) netted the Ephs' second goal with an assist from Allison Magruder (St. Louis, Mo.).
In the second half Bates came alive on the offensive side and took 11 shots, up from the four they produced in the first half. A noticeable increase in pressure for all 45 minutes of the second half by the Bobcats helped to keep the Ephs off the board the remaining way. Bates continued to press the offense but in the end was unable to net a goal.
The Bobcats' offense was anchored by seniors Tobin (three shots) and Alix Vandeventer (North Attleboro, Mass.; two shots) but a pleasant surprise was the contribution by first-year player Dakota Donovan (Marblehead, Mass.) off the bench. She tallied a team-leading four shots and was a spark to the offense.
Defensively, Annie Burns collected 10 saves for the Bobcats as did her counterpart, Van Wetter for the Ephs.
The Bobcats' first four games under first-year head coach Kelsy Ross are all NESCAC contests; next they host rival Bowdoin on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. The game can be followed online via live video webcast and by live stats.