WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- A pair of first-half goals held up as the final score on Saturday, as the Bates women's soccer team fell 2-0 at Williams in the Bobcats' season opener.
The Ephs (1-1-0) took the lead in the first frame with an unassisted goal from Abby Morss, followed by a finish from Alison Magruder off of a through ball from Samantha Vilaboa.
"We came out strong at the start, and unfortunately it took us a little too long to sort things out after the first goal," said second-year head coach Kelsy Ross. "Our adjustments in the second half allowed us to put the pressure on; our work ethic never faltered. Game one is under our belt, and we'll look to put more of the pieces together on Wednesday."
Just over fifteen minutes into the first half, Williams' Caitlin Clark had a sent a through ball into the box to Magruder. Bobcat junior goalie Anabel Schmelz (Monmouth Beach, N.J.) beat Magruder to the ball to keep it a 0-0 game. Just over a minute later, Hayley Cook had a cross to Vilaboa, who just got a foot on the ball in the box, but the shot fell wide.
A continued attack, however, proved to pay off when Eph first-year Morss scored on a low shot from the top of the box. The goal gave the Ephs a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute. The Ephs added to the lead just over two minutes later, when Magruder received a through ball from Vilaboa and sprinted past her defender to keep possession. She finished with a shot just over the keeper's head.
Bates looked to respond with a goal of its own, with a nice give-and-go that resulted in a shot for sophomore Dakota Donovan (Marblehead, Mass.) in the 29th minute. She kept the shot on the ground, and Eph keeper Laura Wann came up with the save to keep the Eph lead at 2-0. The two teams traded possessions for the rest of the half, and the Ephs went into the break with the lead.
Out of halftime, the Ephs continued to attack, but the Bobcats fought back and the play was back and forth for much of the half. Bates continued to fight to get on the board, but the Ephs' defense held up. While Bates managed to hold the Ephs scoreless for the entire second half, they could not find the back of the net.
The Bobcats' best opportunity came with seven minutes to play, when first-year Caitrin Griffin (Geneva, Ill.) served a corner into the box. Eph goalie Hannah Van Wetter misjudged the ball, and it fell in the center of the box. Bates first-year Maggie Coco (Avon, Conn.) got a foot on the loose ball and took a rocket of a shot that went off the crossbar. Van Wetter scooped up the ball in the box to preserve the shut out.
The Ephs took 18 shots to the Bobcats’ seven. Bates goalies Schmelz and sophomore Alyssa Morgosh (Carlsbad, Calif.) held their own, however, and combined for nine saves -- including six from Morgosh in the second half. Van Wetter and Wann had two saves apiece for the Ephs.