Tufts Game Recap Written by Freshman #22 Calla Khilnani
Williams 2 – Tufts 3
Coming off of our huge 2-1 win against Bowdoin, we were so excited to play the Jumbos at their brand new field. In the days leading up to the game, which would be our second to last of the regular season, the energy and anticipation led to a great couple of practices. There is no greater feeling than coming together with your teammates and achieving something great, and you can tell that every single person on the team felt this by the way that we all came together. We continued to support each other in every way possible, and a bunch of us made it to watch Hannah Goodrick’s (‘18) amazing violin performance with the Berkshire Symphony. Once the day finally came, everyone was buzzing with excitement. It was field dedication day and senior day for Tufts, and this only served to further inspire us to make a statement about what kind of team we really are.
Throughout the first half of the game, the play was very back and forth. Tufts had control of the ball, and they were able to notch two goals off of corners. During half time, the rain started falling much more heavily, and a lack of drainage led to a large puddle in the corner of the field in our offensive zone. The game was delayed due to this build up of rainwater, and we headed back to the locker room as a team to wait for clearance to resume play.
During the break, the team sat, dried off, and talked about what we needed to do in order to come out with fire in the second half. After we got the word that we could return to the field, we got in a short warm up and quickly lined up to start. It was so fun and astonishing to see how much stronger we came out for the second half of the game. When Charlotte Cooper (‘20) ripped a shot that got deflected by Meredith Wright (‘19), we physically could not stop cheering from the sidelines, and the momentum instantly shifted in our favor. Even though Tufts then scored on a stroke, we kept fighting, and Meredith Wright was able to take a beautiful shot from a perfect pass from Rachel Brissette (‘17) that brought the game to 3-2.
Even though we were not able to take the Jumbos into overtime, we are proud of the way that we turned the game around after the first half. Also, our ability to adjust to the uncontrollable, such as the long delay, gave us newfound confidence that I am sure will help us in the future. Last but not least, this was the first game that Meredith Wright’s grandfather has ever been able to come to, so it must have been awesome for him to see his granddaughter score two gorgeous goals against a very strong team! We can’t wait to see how our team adjusts to our upcoming challenges in the NESCAC tournament!
Tufts Game Notes: The stats fell in the favor of the Jumbos as they outshot and out cornered the Ephs. However, the Ephs were able to hold the #1 NESCAC team to just 4 corners and 12 shots. The Ephs surged in the second half to put two goals on the scoreboard, but fell short of catching the Jumbos.
Middlebury Game Recap Written by Junior #8 Hannah Goodrick
Williams 2 – Middlebury 3 – OT
After playing through cold temperatures and a heavy rainfall at their previous conference matchup with the Tufts Jumbos on Saturday, October 22, the Ephs battled the first snowfall of the year in Williamstown for their last regular season game against the Middlebury Panthers. In reflecting on their previous 14 games that made up the regular season, the Ephs worked together to improve their first-half shot and corner count to match their second-half strength they had shown throughout the season. From the start, the two teams possessed the ball in close to even proportions, and both teams created many scoring opportunities for themselves. In the first half, the Panthers outshot the Ephs only by 10 shots to 8, a statistic that was an improvement for the Ephs compared to the numbers of their other highly competitive matchups during the season. Another huge success for the Ephs in the first half was securing 7 penalty corners over the Panthers’ 4.
Middlebury quickly put their name on the board at 10:04 when Grace Jennings intercepted a pass from the Ephs below the 25 yard line, dribbled into the circle, and sent a blistering shot into the opposite corner of the cage. The Ephs took this early one-goal deficit not as a setback, but as fuel for their determination to keep battling the defending NCAA champions. With this, the Ephs answered back at 22: 49 when Rachel Brissette scored off of a corner and an assist from Katie Gallop. Just before the close of the half, Middlebury forward Emma Johns scored off of a pass from Lauren Schweppe.
The second half brought the same intensity as the first, with the Ephs outshooting the Panthers 8 to 5, and the Panthers edging the Ephs in corners 4 to 2. Quickly into the second half, and to tie the game, Libby Dolan netted an Eph goal off of a pass from Rachel Brissette. The rest of the half showed impressive speed, stick work, teamwork, and scoring opportunities for both squads, but neither team could convert. After 70 minutes the score was 2-2 and the teams advanced to an overtime period.
When it didn’t seem possible for a game to become more competitive than it already was, the intensity from both teams instantly rose at the beginning of 7 v 7. While the two teams battled tirelessly on the field, the fans in the stands, and the players ready to enter the game on each bench, cheered on their respective teams with abandon, knowing that once one team scored, the game would be over. This win was important to each team in achieving a high ranking for the first round of the NESCAC tournament. After drawing 6 penalty corners in overtime, the Panthers converted on their last attempt with a goal from Audrey Quirk and an assist from Annie Leonard.
Although the outcome was not in the Ephs’ favor, they were proud of the way each player connected their passes with one another and worked as a unit. Margaret Draper led the intensity from the Eph goal with an impressive 11 saves, and allowed the defense, midfield, and forward lines to take risks in the field.
Middlebury Game Notes: The Ephs and the Panthers came out nearly even in shots and corners. The Ephs held on through thirteen minutes of overtime play, but at the 83:43 mark the Panthers lined up for their 6th penalty corner in OT. The reigning National Champions fired one in past Draper to end the contest. Margaret Draper registered 11 saves on the day.